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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    26

    Exclamation Unanswered: Access97 Permission Problem

    I bought a database about 10 years ago and still uses it. Since then we changed our address and need to update all the forms as the address is hard coded into the forms. When I tried to update any thing it tells me I don't have the Read Design Permission. I tried to contact the programmer, but he's been out of business years ago and was unable to contact him.

    How do I reset the permission? I tried Tools->Security->User/GroupPremissions and it only shows Admin user with "Read Design" checked on all object names. And if I check on any other permission it says I need administer permission.

    Your help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    You may not be able to. I hate to say it, but the developer may have just secured it well enough to prevent any design changes.

    Mind you I don't do much with trying to crack through security, I spend most of my time developing, so there might be a way that I am unaware of.
    Owner and Manager of
    CypherBYTE, Microsoft Access Development Specialists.
    Microsoft Access MCP.
    And all around nice guy!


    "Heck it's something understood by accountants ... so it can't be 'that' difficult..." -- Healdem
    "...teach a man to code and he'll be frustrated for life! " -- georgev

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    If Access security is implemented and the mdb is protected with an mdw file (ie. you open the mdb with a shortcut which utilizes the mdw file), here's a utility (run the mda file in the attachment) which let's you browse to and open the mdw file and see all the users and passwords in it. I've used it successfully. Use it to get the admin password or a password for a user which has read permissions. If there's no mdw file, I'm not sure of any other way other than reverse engineering it via a 3rd party (I can't remember the name but we discussed this with someone who does reverse engineering on an mde/protected mdb in one of these threads a few months back). It'll most likely be expensive though.

    Good luck and let me know how it turns out.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by pkstormy; 12-19-07 at 00:19.
    Expert Database Programming
    MSAccess since 1.0, SQL Server since 6.5, Visual Basic (5.0, 6.0)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    26

    Red face

    Thanks for the file. I didn't have Office2000, and it would not work on Access97, so I tried on Access2003 which seems to run.

    However, opening any MDW files, the admin passwords are all garbled not only on the MDW file came with the program but also on other MDW files as well which does not have any security.

    I downloaded another called MDWRecovery, and it states no username or password is in the MDW file.

    So far, we have been scratching out old address and hand write new address on every invoices. If nothing else, I guess I'll need to have it reverse engineered. Searching thru forum.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by itchibahn; 12-19-07 at 18:34.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Adelaide, South Australia
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    Good luck!
    Owner and Manager of
    CypherBYTE, Microsoft Access Development Specialists.
    Microsoft Access MCP.
    And all around nice guy!


    "Heck it's something understood by accountants ... so it can't be 'that' difficult..." -- Healdem
    "...teach a man to code and he'll be frustrated for life! " -- georgev

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    Here's another utility I have which may or may not help. I haven't used it so I can't tell you if it'll work or not. I'm guessing you also tried exporting to another new mdb or importing to a new mdb.

    As StarTrekker said, good luck (and tell your company or make sure you always get the unprotected source code). 10 years though is a long time ago. If the mdb has lasted you 10 years, that's pretty good for running it that long without needing changes (hopefully you've gotten the value of what you paid for out of it.) It may be time to upgrade it.

    If you have MSAccess 2003, maybe try converting one or both the mdb/mdw to a 2003 (or 2000) format and then running the utility. Not sure if that'll help you but it's worth a shot if you can do it.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by pkstormy; 01-13-08 at 13:10.
    Expert Database Programming
    MSAccess since 1.0, SQL Server since 6.5, Visual Basic (5.0, 6.0)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    26
    Yes, we have been very fortunate for past 10 years. We only had few modifications, last one being about 1.5 years ago. This DB was custom designed specifically to fit our business, paid about $7K. Had no idea that programmer won't be around. The DB still does exactly what we want it to do, just the address... Hate to chuck it and rewrite.

    Thank you for the file. I tried it and it tells me "Can't define the database owner" with nothing in Database Password box.

    I've also tried to open it exclusively from Access2003, with same problem. Tried to convert to Access2003 but says no permission to do so.

    Tried creating a blank database, and did an import. It imported all the tables and queries, but the Forms, Reports and Macros failed to import with permission error.

    Thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Adelaide, South Australia
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    You're f****d.

    The way I see it, you have two choices. Get the source code from the developer or have the application re-written. Sorry.

    Next time, choose a developer who either supplies source code or one who deals with this issue adequately. My business has a "Design Continuance Protection Guarantee" to cover this situation. Sadly, WAY too many developers don't even think about this scenario ... or they don't care.
    Owner and Manager of
    CypherBYTE, Microsoft Access Development Specialists.
    Microsoft Access MCP.
    And all around nice guy!


    "Heck it's something understood by accountants ... so it can't be 'that' difficult..." -- Healdem
    "...teach a man to code and he'll be frustrated for life! " -- georgev

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    I can't make any guarantees but if you want to zip the mdw and mdb I'll see if I could try a few things. Most likely as StarTrekker stated, it can't be done but it's worth a shot (I've cracked a few secured mdb's in the past.) If you can copy and zip it, remove any confidential data from the tables but try to leave a few non-confidential records.
    Last edited by pkstormy; 12-22-07 at 23:41.
    Expert Database Programming
    MSAccess since 1.0, SQL Server since 6.5, Visual Basic (5.0, 6.0)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by pkstormy
    I can't make any guarantees but if you want to zip the mdw and mdb I'll see if I could try a few things. Most likely as StarTrekker stated, it can't be done but it's worth a shot (I've cracked a few secured mdb's in the past.) If you can copy and zip it, remove any confidential data from the tables but try to leave a few non-confidential records.
    Just got back home after extended holiday vacation. I greately appreciate your help. I'll get a premission from my boss to zip up the files to you. Thanks.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    26
    Hi, I got the permission from the boss. The mdb file was fuge, so I manually deleted most of the records and left around 10 to 20 records. After zipping all that it came with, it's still 4.774MB, which is attached. I'm lost and now I'm found by this forum with some hope. Thanks a bunch for help.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    Itchibahn,

    So far, using my hacker utilities, I was able to find the owner's name and ID if it's worth anything.

    The owner's name of the mdb is: APTIREPO and the ID = APTIREPO2751.

    I'll keep trying to see if I can find a way to get through the security in the mdb but I can't promise anything. Since there isn't an admin password, I'm thinking that if I'm somehow able to mask myself as the owner, I might be able to get somewhere but where is yet unknown. I'll give it a few tries.
    Last edited by pkstormy; 01-13-08 at 00:13.
    Expert Database Programming
    MSAccess since 1.0, SQL Server since 6.5, Visual Basic (5.0, 6.0)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    An unprotected christmas gift for you.

    Here's a Christmas present. Everything but the ribbon and bow. It's completely unprotected and I made the unprotected version in Access 2000 (if you need it in 97, let me know.) All security is removed and you're free to do as many modifications as you like to any of the code, reports, forms, modules, macros, etc.. (all the code is there and no code was lost.) You will want to compile the code (check the references also - the only thing I had to add was the Microsoft DAO 3.0 Object Library reference but I could have added the Microsoft DAO 3.6 Object Library instead - either way it's all unprotected with no security - no mdw file is needed.)

    If you decide to re-impliment MSAccess security, please make backups (actually please make backups before you do anything anyway) and make sure to give the admin account all permissions if you're going to use MSAccess security again. I was able to use some of the tools I have to unprotect it enough to export all the objects into a new mdb (which took a few hours just to export all the objects which was the least fun part of unprotecting it.) I usually don't spend this amount of time trying to unprotect an mdb but it was a somewhat fun challenge.

    I noticed that a lot of work went into this program and I have to give the original developer some cudo's (except on the security he/she implemented.) Upon testing it, I noticed there also seems to be a timer event in the MENU MAIN form which opens the prog_exit form to shutdown in 20 seconds for maintenance. You may want to look at the timer event property on the MENU MAIN form and disable this "feature" since it doesn't really look like it does anything except exit the mdb. I didn't change anything in the code as I don't know how the program works and there are tons of forms, queries and reports. I'll leave code changes to you as my focus was on unprotecting it. Also note that some forms (as well as some tables) are marked as hidden. Go to Tools -> Options -> View tab and check the hidden objects checkbox to view the hidden ones.

    Have fun and again, let me know how it works out for you.
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    Last edited by pkstormy; 01-13-08 at 21:00.
    Expert Database Programming
    MSAccess since 1.0, SQL Server since 6.5, Visual Basic (5.0, 6.0)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    26
    I'll try it and let you know Monday.
    U THE MAN!!!!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Posts
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    How did you do it Paul?
    Owner and Manager of
    CypherBYTE, Microsoft Access Development Specialists.
    Microsoft Access MCP.
    And all around nice guy!


    "Heck it's something understood by accountants ... so it can't be 'that' difficult..." -- Healdem
    "...teach a man to code and he'll be frustrated for life! " -- georgev

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