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ACC: "Couldn't Find Installable ISAM" Error Message

This article was previously published under Q90111
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
Moderate: Requires basic macro, coding, and interoperability skills.
If you try to import, export, or link (attach) a file by using an indexedsequential access method (ISAM) driver, you may receive an error messageif Microsoft Access cannot find the ISAM driver.
ISAM drivers are used by Microsoft Access to update file formats otherthan its own.

In Microsoft Access 2.0, if the path to the ISAM driver in yourMsacc20.ini file is invalid, or if the ISAM driver does not exist, you mayreceive the following error message:
Couldn't find installable ISAM.

Microsoft Access 7.0 and 97 do not have an .ini file. Informationpreviously stored in the .ini files is now stored in the Microsoft WindowsRegistry. In Microsoft Access 7.0 and 97, if the path to the ISAM driverin your Windows Registry is invalid, or if the ISAM driver does not exist,you may receive the following error message:
Couldn't find installable ISAM.

This error can also occur if you enter an invalid database name for aSQL database when you are using the TransferDatabase action in a macro.When you use an invalid connect string, Microsoft Access looks for aninstallable ISAM for the SQL database. If an installable ISAM cannot belocated, an error occurs.
In Microsoft Access 2.0, edit the .ini file to specify the correct path inthe [Installable ISAMs] section, or reinstall Microsoft Access using theCustom option. For troubleshooting tips related to this error message inMicrosoft Access 2.0, please see the following article in the MicrosoftKnowledge Base:

150494 ACC2: Troubleshooting "Can't Find Installable ISAM" Error

In Microsoft Access 7.0 or 97, you can edit the Windows Registry. For moreinformation on registry changes, search for "Registry," and then"Customize Windows Registry settings used by Microsoft Access" using theMicrosoft Access 97 Help index. For troubleshooting tips related to thiserror message in Microsoft Access 7.0, please see the followingarticle in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

155666 ACC95: Troubleshoot "Couldn't Find Installable ISAM" Error

For information about the ISAM drivers in Microsoft Access 97, please seethe following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

159322 ACC97: Paradox, Lotus, & MS Exchange/Outlook ISAMs in ValuPack

This behavior is by design.

Steps to Reproduce Behavior

  1. Start Microsoft Access and open any database.
  2. Create a new macro called TestError:
          Macro Name Condition  Action      --------------------------------------      TestError             TransferDatabase      TestError Actions      ----------------------------------------------------------------      TransferDatabase         Transfer Type: Link (or Attach in version 2.0)         Database Type: ODBC Database (or SQL Database in version 2.0)         Database Name: pubs         Object Type: Table         Source: dbo.authors         Destination: Test         Structure Only: No						
  3. Save and run the macro. Note that you receive the error message. In this example, the invalid database name argument for a SQL database causes the error. To have the database name be valid, you must include the entire ODBC connection string for the attached SQL table.
For more information about the TransferDatabase action, typeTransferDatabase in the Office Assistant, click Search, and then clickto view "TransferDatabase Action."
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Article ID: 90111 - Last Review: 01/18/2007 19:10:11 - Revision: 2.1

  • Microsoft Access 2.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 97 Standard Edition
  • kberrmsg kbprb kbusage KB90111