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  1. #1
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    Unanswered: Stripping workgroup permissions from 95 .mdb

    Hi everyone!

    I have a .mdb made in Access 95, however there are some workgroup permissions preventing my from opening it to make some much needed upgrades!!! Our programmer/developer has long since left and there is no way to get the original file off him or somehow grant me access.

    I'm wondering if anyone knows of a method to crack/remove/strip workgroup permissions from a .mdb file or make a .mdw file that will allow me to open any protected file.

    I've attached the .mdb and .mdw file if this helps. If anyone has the capability or tools to completely unlock the file for me I'd be eternally grateful!!!

    Thanks.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
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    I don't believe the mdw you've supplied is the correct one used for this mdb. Is that the correct mdw utilized in the shortcut to open the mdb or is it just the system.mdw file?

    Look at the properties of the shortcut to get into the mdb and see if there is a different mdw it utilizes. To do anything, the actual mdw used by the mdb must be supplied.
    Last edited by pkstormy; 01-16-08 at 15:54.
    Expert Database Programming
    MSAccess since 1.0, SQL Server since 6.5, Visual Basic (5.0, 6.0)

  3. #3
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    Thanks for taking a look pkstormy!

    I'll get the original installation CD and get the .mdw off that, the .mdw I supplied was sitting in the program folder of the database. If its the wrong one, maybe thats why I can't get access?

    EDIT:

    Attached ffwear.mdw as specified in shortcut.

    Thanks in advance.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by GrimRe; 01-16-08 at 18:09.

  4. #4
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    NO - you don't get the mdw off of the cd!

    What is needed is the actual mdw that is used when launching the shortcut to get into the mdb.

    The shortcut will have properties like this:
    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\MSACCESS.EXE" "c:\SomeFolder\SomeMDB.mdb" /wrkgrp "C:\SomeFolder\System.mdw"
    or
    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\MSACCESS.EXE" "c:\SomeFolder\SomeMDB.mdb" /wrkgrp "C:\SomeFolder\MyMDWName.mdw"

    Any other mdw other than the actual mdw (i.e. the one located in C:\SomeFolder\MyMDWName.mdw for the 2nd example above) is worthless. I'll take a look at the one you've supplied in the zip.
    Last edited by pkstormy; 01-16-08 at 19:52.
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  5. #5
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    I looked at the mdw you supplied (FFwear.mdw). It only has 1 user in it which is the admin user. Are you sure this is the actual mdw utilized in the shortcut?

    Usually the mdw file will have more than just the admin user.

    Also, do you get a prompt for the username and password when you use the shortcut to open the mdb? If so, have you tried just entering Admin for the username (no password.) The Admin user I found in the FFear.mdw file you supplied doesn't have a password so I'm guessing that if you entered Admin as the user (with no password), you may be able to get into the mdb (also try holding down the shift key when you click ok to get into the design view).
    Last edited by pkstormy; 01-16-08 at 21:04.
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  6. #6
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    Here is the shortcut from the exe file to launch the program:

    "C:\FFWEAR\Office\MSACCESS.EXE /runtime /wrkgrp "C:\WIN2003\FFWEAR.MDW" "C:\FFWEAR\ffwearpro.mdb"

    As you can see the .mdw is located in C:\WIN2003\FFWEAR.MDW, which is the one I included earlier.

    When I join that workgroup, I get the same message as always:

    "The Current user account doesn't have permission to convert or enable this database."

    I don't get a prompt to login, even when holding shift while its opening/loading.

    My current name is Administrator. If I log into Windows Server 2003 (my OS) with an account that has the same username as the name defined in the .mdw would that get me access?

  7. #7
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    It might. I created an account and mimicked a user once to get into a protected mdb once which worked (use admin as the user (no caps)).

    If you don't get a prompt for a username and password it makes me wonder. You mentioned this was created in Access 95?

    What version of MSAccess do you currently have (I'm assuming you've upgraded)?
    Have you attempted to try and convert it to a later version if you have a later version of MSAccess?

    I was able to convert a protected MSAccess 97 version to a 2000 version successfully once which was the key to cracking it.

    I'm guessing you don't have a backup copy anywhere or an unprotected version. This would be ideal.

    I've also been successful in exporting objects out of the protected mdb into a new blank mdb or importing into the new blank mdb.

    If you hold the shift key down when opening it, I take it when you try to get into design view of any form, you get an error. See if you can export the form into a new mdb.

    Currently I get an error when trying to open the mdb via a shortcut using the FFWear.mdw file you supplied. This makes it difficult to try and do anything and the error I get is usually associated with an incorrect mdw file being used.

    Also try Tools -> Security once you get in and let me know what options are available and not greyed out. If you have the ability to add new users (giving them admin permissions), you might have better luck. If "user and group permissions" is not greyed out, you may be able to do this.

    Also, I'm not able to run wrkgadm.exe (since I have MSAccess 2002) but this would be the file you would run to administer security. You'll need to search for it. It's usually in C:\Windows\System32 or C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office....(in one of the subfolders.)

    The only thing I can tell you for sure though is that the FFWear.mdw file you supplied has one user (admin) with no password.
    Last edited by pkstormy; 01-16-08 at 21:05.
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  8. #8
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    Perhaps the developer did it this way deliberately... in which case, you're locked out.
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    "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
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    OK -- I created a user on my win server 2003 with just the name admin. When I join the workgroup as admin I still can't access the database. Same permission error as before.

    This is all I have to work with, our original developer left years ago and doesn't reply to his usual email.

    Is there anyway I can just get a clean version of this file?

  10. #10
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    You don't understand. That MDW IS a clean version. You need the developer's version. Without it you're probably snookered.
    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

  11. #11
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    I'd like to help and I'll see if there's anything I can do with the mdb/mdw you supplied but I'm having difficulty even getting into the mdb with the mdw you supplied. Keep in mind that Access security is NOT easy to crack, especially on mdb's which were created in older versions of Access. I was able to crack a protected 97 mdb which was uploaded in a thread a few days ago but I didn't have problems with the mdw file like I'm having with the one you supplied. I don't think you've supplied the correct mdw.

    Please answer these questions:

    When you get into the mdb, are you able to go to design view of any form or does it tell you that you don't have permissions to get into design view?

    Are you able to get into design view of the tables?

    Are you able to go to Tools -> Database Utilities -> Convert and convert the database to a later version of MSAccess?

    What version of MSAccess are you currently using?

    Did you try getting into it and exporting all the objects into another new mdb?

    Did you try importing any of the objects into a new mdb?

    If you select Tools -> Security, what options are available for you? Have you tried adding a new user if available? Are you able to edit the Admin user?

    Are you able to run the wrkgadm.exe and join to the mdw file?

    Are there ANY other mdw files on the drive anywhere?

    Did you create a new mdw (DON'T)? Again, I think the one you supplied is not the correct mdw. See if there are any other mdw's anywhere which might be related to this mdb. If you somehow replaced the current mdw with a different one or somehow created a new one, you need to let me know. You may need to restore the mdw before you created a new one. The mdw is extremely important and holds all the security information for the mdb. Creating a new one or copying one from another source can make it futile in breaking the security (and lock yourself out of the mdb which is very easy to do!)

    Upload screen snapshots in a zip if you can. It will really help.

    Otherwise, there are companies you can search for on the web which specialize in unprotecting mdb's. Cost I believe is around $100 or more (but don't quote me on that.) They may also need the original mdw file though. I'm trying to help you free of charge but I need you to try a few things.
    Last edited by pkstormy; 01-17-08 at 02:02.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkstormy
    When you get into the mdb, are you able to go to design view of any form or does it tell you that you don't have permissions to get into design view?
    It tells me I don't have permission to do anything. I try and open it in design view, even importing data into a new blank db still says I don't have privileges.

    Quote Originally Posted by pkstormy
    Are you able to get into design view of the tables?
    No.

    Quote Originally Posted by pkstormy
    Are you able to go to Tools -> Database Utilities -> Convert and convert the database to a later version of MSAccess?
    No. Doesn't let me convert either, says I have insufficient privileges to access that .mdb object.

    Quote Originally Posted by pkstormy
    What version of MSAccess are you currently using?
    We have 2003 installed. However if I go by the shortcut to launch the program:

    C:\FFWEAR\Office\MSACCESS.EXE /runtime /wrkgrp "C:\WIN2003\FFWEAR.MDW" "C:\FFWEAR\ffwearproCP.mdb"

    MSACCESS.EXE I think is version 95. File version is 8.0.0.5903

    The entire folder is attached.

    Quote Originally Posted by pkstormy
    Did you try getting into it and exporting all the objects into another new mdb?
    I can't even get into the database.

    Quote Originally Posted by pkstormy
    Did you try importing any of the objects into a new mdb?
    Yes. I can see all the object inside the db, but when I click import, it says I don't have permission.

    Quote Originally Posted by pkstormy
    If you select Tools -> Security, what options are available for you? Have you tried adding a new user if available? Are you able to edit the Admin user?
    If I open what file? Opening the .mdw file doesn't give them these options.

    Quote Originally Posted by pkstormy
    Are you able to run the wrkgadm.exe and join to the mdw file?
    Yes. I've joined ffwear.mdw and system.mdw several times with name "admin".

    Quote Originally Posted by pkstormy
    Are there ANY other mdw files on the drive anywhere?
    Yes. I've attached another system.mdw that is from an older back up.

    Quote Originally Posted by pkstormy
    Did you create a new mdw (DON'T)? Again, I think the one you supplied is not the correct mdw. See if there are any other mdw's anywhere which might be related to this mdb. If you somehow replaced the current mdw with a different one or somehow created a new one, you need to let me know. You may need to restore the mdw before you created a new one. The mdw is extremely important and holds all the security information for the mdb. Creating a new one or copying one from another source can make it futile in breaking the security (and lock yourself out of the mdb which is very easy to do!)
    Well, because I can't contact the original developer I can't get any real clarification. Maybe he wanted to lock everyone out on purpose? All I know is that he is long gone and I really need to get into that database.

    Quote Originally Posted by pkstormy
    Upload screen snapshots in a zip if you can. It will really help.
    Ok I'll include some next post.

    Quote Originally Posted by pkstormy
    Otherwise, there are companies you can search for on the web which specialize in unprotecting mdb's. Cost I believe is around $100 or more (but don't quote me on that.) They may also need the original mdw file though. I'm trying to help you free of charge but I need you to try a few things.
    I'd love to give you some money to do that or anything similar for me? Your help as been absolutely invaluable to me. Thank you very much pkstormy
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  13. #13
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    GrimRe,

    I'll see what I can do with the attachments you've supplied. Hopefully I'll be able to do something but I can't make any guarantees. I don't have all the tools that some professional unprotecting companies may have but I'll try and use the tools I do have to see if I can make something happen.
    Expert Database Programming
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  14. #14
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    GrimRe,

    Sorry but I ran over a 1/2 dozen unprotect and repair utilities I have on the files you supplied without any luck. I tried every mdw file you supplied and worked on it for about 4 hours without success. Everything shows that the mdb is not protected with a password and none of the repair or crack utilities I have worked. I was not able to open the mdb file no matter what I did with it. I keep getting the permission error (which I've attached.) I'm assuming this is the same error you're getting and as StarTrekker mentioned, it stems from not having the original mdw file. Without that, there's not much else I can do with it.

    If you cannot even open the mdb and get the same error as that I've attached, I might suggest you gather your old nightly backups and perhaps restore back in time to a date where you know you were able to get into the mdb with the correct mdw file.

    I noticed a post by pootle flump on Wayne Philips which might be someone who can help you: http://www.everythingaccess.com/
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails PermissionError.jpg  
    Last edited by pkstormy; 01-17-08 at 15:34.
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  15. #15
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    pkstormy,

    can't thank you enough for you efforts. I have no paid for everythingaccess to try and recover the database. Unfortunately about 90% of it was totally unrecoverable.

    I'm going to have to hire a private detective to try and find our developer!!

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