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Feb 28 2024 07:00 AM - Feb 29 2024 11:00 AM (PST)
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Access database threat ??

Copper Contributor

  Firstly let me say that I'm 53 &my father is 80. Neither of us has ever had any computer training and have picked up what we've needed to as we've gone along, so any help will need to be VERY easy to understand. For the past 15 years, we have built up a database of over 1.5 million photos, in terms of subject location, photographer, camera etc and stored it on Access products from 1997 to 2010 which have suited our needs very well, as all that we require is an A-Z sortable by columns basic database.

Neither of these machines has ever been attached to the net, for security reasons, so they are, in essence being used purely as word processors. Recently, my old laptop and my father's have both failed, one with the screen and one with the disc, so they've needed to be replaced and I've tried

installing our Access discs for 2003 & 2010 in each. Now the 2003 one has failed, because we've mislaid the code and that is giving us 20 days until it closes down, but the 2010 one is causing more

concern. It was legitimately purchased from a UK Microsoft agent in 2011, I phoned to get the codes and installed it into the laptops fine, so when the new ones were required thought that I could simply do the same and blithely entered the 48 digit security code and pressed enter. Cue flashing lights and

warnings and having informed me that the code was wrong and our data had been infected with a code that could damage it, I noticed that the 54 digit code was totally different from the one that I'd

got noted on our disc. My question is then, is anyone able to advise what has happened, how I can

rectify it and how I can save 15 years of work from being eaten, or whatever from what code has infected it please, as I'm now up against about 20days from it potentially happening and I don't 

understand it at all.

1 Reply

@UKNovice You are apparently running into licensing and activation problems in trying to install the same copy of Access multiple times on different computers. I wouldn't bother with Access 2003 at all. It's now 19 years old and things have changed a lot in that time. 


It's also true that Access 2010 is problematic, but the warning you describe is definitely not one we would expect to see, i.e. "our data had been infected with a code that could damage it". We would expect to see a warning that you are trying to  install unlicensed software since the activation was previously used for a different computer. Maybe you can post a screenshot of the actual message? I realize that means trying to set it up again, but to be clear, the only information available to us is the information you provide.


That said, the mdb file itself is probably okay. I'm assuming that you both have backups of it as well. 


I would suggest you invest in a new version of Access -- either the 2021 perpetual license or the MS 365 monthly rental license -- and forget trying to resurrect older versions.


IIRC, MS offers versions of MS 365 that can be installed on more than one computer, which would mean both you and your father could use the same license.


In any event, the fact that you have such an enormous investment in your relational database application certainly justifies purchasing the appropriate tools for it.