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HOW TO: Create a System Data Source Name in Windows XP

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Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q305599
A Data Source Name (DSN) is the logical name that is used by Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) to refer to the drive and other information that is required to access data. The name is used by Internet Information Services (IIS) for a connection to an ODBC data source, such as a Microsoft SQL Server database. To set this name, use the ODBC tool in Control Panel.

When you use an ODBC DSN entry to externally store the connection string values, simplify the information that is needed in the connection string. When you do this, changes are made to the data source that are completely transparent to the code. This article describes how to create a system data source name in Windows XP.

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Create a System DSN in Windows XP

  1. Click Start, point to Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Data Sources(ODBC).
  2. Click the System DSN tab, and then click Add.
  3. Click the database driver that corresponds with the database type to which you are connecting, and then click Finish.
  4. Type the data source name. Make sure that you choose a name that you can remember. You will need to use this name later.
  5. Click Select.
  6. Click the correct database, and then click OK.
  7. Click OK, and then click OK.
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Make sure that you create a system DSN. ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) does not recognize user (or local) DSNs. Because they store settings in the registry, system DSNs offer slightly faster performance than file DSNs, which store connection parameters in a file on your hard disk.

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Article ID: 305599 - Last Review: 10/27/2002 11:23:00 - Revision: 1.1

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • kbhowto kbhowtomaster KB305599