While I was going to post something about the best random finds I’ve acquired from thrift stores and clearance warehouses, I’ve just discovered something after a security update to my XP desktop. Microsoft Security Update kb4034775, that was part of the August 8, 2017 deployment, broke MS Access 2000: I could open the program but I couldn’t load my old databases or make new ones. The patch does something to the Jet Database Engine to prevent a buffer overflow exploit. That sounds all fine and dandy but it’s useless to me if I can’t get a program that I use daily running.
Diagnosis: After spending some time with the copy of Access on my XP desktop, I copied a few of my databases over to my new Thinkpad X and tried again under Windows 7. Voila! Everything worked except for the lack of my favourite small font, Tw Cen MT. Back to my desktop. After briefly disabling my anti-virus program to see if that was blocking Access, and it wasn’t, I began a thirty minute dive into XP to interrogate each of the recent security updates that I had installed. Fortunately, because I had bought books about deploying Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Server 2000, Commerce Server, when I was a teenager, I knew that the Jet Database Engine was a big part of Access 2000 and that inhibiting it would undoubtedly be bad too for Access.
Anyways, I uninstalled the update via Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs -> Show Updates -> Windows XP – Software Updates -> Security Update for Windows XP (KB4034775)
However, this isn’t a fix, the buffer overflow exploit still exists and I only removed the security update because I use Access 2000—the most perfect version there is—daily for my lists. Unless you have the daily urge to load Access 2000 everyday on your old XP machine or have some other problem related to the Jet Engine, I wouldn’t recommend uninstalling the update.
Now, Microsoft, give me a million bucks.