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Access 97 Install Difficulty on Windows XP - System.mdw

P: n/a
I've just received a new computer with Win XP Version 5.1.2600. I want
to have Access 2003 and Access 97 running on this, so I did some
googling on cdma and it seems I must install these versions of Access
"sequentially", ie, A97, first.

When I use the Office 97 installation cd, pick my choices, I end up, at
the end of the installation, an error telling me the system.mdw could
not be created. When I click OK on this, the installer tells me to run
the work group administrator on restart.

Well, I can't. I'm trying to create a system.mdw.

Can someone please help me. The googling I've done on 97/2003
co-existence didn't seem to pick up this problem or I missed it.

Thanks very much in advance.

--
Tim - http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~tmarshal/
^o<
/#) "Burp-beep, burp-beep, burp-beep?" - Quaker Jake
/^^ "What's UP, Dittoooooo?" - Ditto
Nov 13 '05 #1
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P: n/a
Well, I figured this out and am going to reply to it for the sake of
Googlers to come.

My machine: Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600], ie sp 1a
Pentium 3.2 2.0 Gigs RAM

Server: MS Server 2003 (not sure if this had anything to do with it)

On installing Office components from Office 97 cd, the following error
messages are encountered:

On completion of the installation, a message box entitled "Workgroup
Administrator" appears with the message:

"An error has occurred at changing workgroup database"

On clicking the OK button, another message box with the same title appears:

"Setup couldn't create a system.mdw file. After setup is complete,
reboot your computer then run the workgroup administrator before you run
this application (-1011)."

From my investigation of the issue, it appears Office 97 is (obviously)
not equipped to deal with the file and security arrngement of Windows
XP. System.mdw is usually created in the c:\windows\system32 directory.
I assume program files and windows directories are set up in Win XP
such that alteration or creation of files within them requires some kind
of coding from the client application (in this case, Office 97) in use.

My fix was to:

1) reboot my computer as described above;

2) apply service release patches (in my case sr1 and sr 2). Both the
sr1 and sr2 installations will reboot the computer on completion of the
update;

3) after rebooting the computer from sr2 installation, make sure a
directory at the root of c: (if you want Access to be able to be used by
others beside the current user/administrator) is created. I called mine
c:\Access Apps;

4) after rebooting the computer, run the work group administrator and
choose the create button in the workgroup administrator window that appears;

5) browse to c:\access apps and create a new work group called
system.mdw. You can use something simple like "123" for the Workgroup ID.

6) join the new system.mdw group. This will now be your default mdw
which you waont have to change unless you are using a separate mdw for
security reasons (such as that for the electronic purchasing system), in
which case a short cut is created specifying the different mdw.

Following the above steps will lead to a proper installation of Access
97, with the correct library/dll references for DAO3.51 instead of DAO
3.6 which Office 2000 and later forces and which causes difficulty with
A97 apps created under the DAO 3.51 library.

And, in line with googling of cdma I have done, the above needs to be
done before installation of Office/Access 2003 (and/or, I assume, O/A
2000 or 2002).

Hope this is of some value to someone in the future.
Tim Marshall wrote:
I've just received a new computer with Win XP Version 5.1.2600. I want
to have Access 2003 and Access 97 running on this, so I did some
googling on cdma and it seems I must install these versions of Access
"sequentially", ie, A97, first.

When I use the Office 97 installation cd, pick my choices, I end up, at
the end of the installation, an error telling me the system.mdw could
not be created. When I click OK on this, the installer tells me to run
the work group administrator on restart.

Well, I can't. I'm trying to create a system.mdw.

Can someone please help me. The googling I've done on 97/2003
co-existence didn't seem to pick up this problem or I missed it.

Thanks very much in advance.

--
Tim - http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~tmarshal/
^o<
/#) "Burp-beep, burp-beep, burp-beep?" - Quaker Jake
/^^ "What's UP, Dittoooooo?" - Ditto
Nov 13 '05 #2

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