Wednesday, March 14, 2007

[Microsoft][ODBC Microsoft Access Driver] Cannot open database '(unknown)'

I encountered as error such as this one on a customer's web server. The server is Microsoft Windows 2000 with service pack 4 and it is running IIS5. The hardware on which the IIS services run is an Dell. Since the hardware is not the issue or subject of this post I won't add much details about it. It does have some miles on it but overall it seems to be working fine.

The problem is when a web surfer hits the web server to access it's pages, the page loads but any connections the page makes to some access databases ( a real hack programmer did most of the vb-script in the pages and the access mdb file access) a variation the error:

[Microsoft][ODBC Microsoft Access Driver] Cannot open database '(unknown)'

would display along with the page. I have been n dozens of forums and followed many of the suggestions made to correct this problem. I updates the ODBC drivers to the latest update, I've updates the MDAC, I tried rebuilding the DSN, etc..

For any of you who have come across this page while searching for a solution to this problem, check this out. I solved this by resetting the security setting on the IIS web server. The top level of the tree when looking through IIS Manager MMC Slap-in. If you mdb file is local to the server and you have already given the anonymous user all the NTFS fights it needs but you are still having this issue, then go ahead and reset the permissions on the IIS web server. That will help solve the problem. You can do it using the permissions wizard.

You may have to tweak things a bit afterwards to be familiar with some of the customer setting changes you may have made. For example the default page, if you had it set for index.html, it will be reset to default.htm. You may even encounter after you try what I just said would solve your problem, that when you try to load pages on the server through a browser you get prompted for enter a login ID and password. This is because integrated NT authentication was turned on. You would want to set that to off or on but let IIS determine the password for anonymous login.

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