"Operation could not be completed because of dialog or database engine failure" error message when you try to perform a mail merge

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Article ID: 322215 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q322215
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SYMPTOMS

When you select a data source for a mail merge in Microsoft Word, you may receive an error message similar to the following:
The operation could not be completed because of dialog or database engine failure. Please try again later.
As a result, you cannot perform the mail merge.

CAUSE

This problem may occur if the Microsoft Data Access Component (MDAC) files on your computer are not the latest version.

For more information about the Microsoft Component Checker and how to use it to determine the MDAC version, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
307255 Component Checker: Diagnose problems and reconfigure MDAC installations
This problem may also occur if the the Microsoft Jet 4.0 OLE DB Provider is not registered.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this problem, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Update the Microsoft Data Access Component (MDAC) files

Update the Microsoft Data Access Component (MDAC) files on your computer and then do a "Detect and Repair" operation in Word. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. To download and install the latest version of MDAC, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/data/aa937729.aspx
  2. Use the Detect and Repair feature in Word to repair problems that are associated with your Microsoft Office installation (such as missing files and registry settings). To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Start Word.
    2. On the Help menu, click Detect and Repair.
    3. Click to select the Discard my customized settings and restore default settings check box, and then click Start.

Method 2: Register the Microsoft Jet 4.0 OLE DB provider

You may be able to resolve the problem by reregistering the Microsoft Jet 4.0 OLE DB provider. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type CMD, and then click OK.
  2. Type CD %WINDOWS%\SYSTEM32, and then press ENTER.
  3. Type regsvr32 MSJETOLEDB40.DLL, and then press ENTER.
  4. Click OK if you are prompted.
  5. Type exit, and then press ENTER.

WORKAROUND

To work around this problem, use one of the following methods, as appropriate to your situation.

Method 1: Use Mail Merge Helper

To use Mail Merge Helper, follow these steps:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Customize.
  2. Click the Commands tab.
  3. In the Categories list, click All Commands.
  4. In the Commands list, drag MailMergeHelper to the toolbar that you want.
  5. Click Close.
  6. Click the Mail Merge Helper button that you placed on the toolbar in step 4, and then follow the instructions on the screen to perform the mail merge.

Method 2: Initiate the mail merge from Microsoft Outlook

To initiate the mail merge from Outlook, use the procedure in the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
320838 "The operation could not be completed because of dialog or database engine failure" error message if you use Outlook contacts for a mail merge

MORE INFORMATION

For more information about mail merge, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type mail merge in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.
For more information about how to use Outlook Contacts in a Word mail merge, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
294697 How to use the Outlook Contacts List with mail merge in Word 2002
For more information about how to set up mail-merge documents in Word, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
290408 Frequently asked questions about mail merge in Word 2002
294684 How to use the mail merge to create mailing labels in Word 2002
294685 How to use mail merge to create envelopes in Word 2002
294683 How to use mail merge to create form letters in Word 2002

Properties

Article ID: 322215 - Last Review: March 28, 2006 - Revision: 3.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word 2002
Keywords: 
kberrmsg kbprb KB322215

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