So, you can not change the table structure, but you can re-install SQL Server? Now I don't feel so bad about the craziness in my job, anyway. For reference, here is warning 1708:
Warning: The table '%.*ls' has been created but its maximum row size (%d) exceeds the maximum number of bytes per row (%d). INSERT or UPDATE of a row in this table will fail if the resulting row length exceeds %d bytes.
First of all, you should be sure that you are not going to actually hit that 8000 bytes or so. If you do, you will have a bunch of explaining to do in front of the users. If you could break up the table into two or more tables, that may help you out.
Outside of that, can you put in the error checking routine to resume next, if YourConnectionObject.errors.item(1).number = 1708?
That's still working around the problem.
If reinstalling the SQL-server does solve the problem, it should be a setting there.
I already tried reducing the severity of this error ( editing sysmessages ) but without good result.
The VB6 application is in acceptation phase so we cannot change one letter of code.