Enabling xbase/DBF support in Microsoft Office/Access 2013

After upgrading a customer from Windows XP to Windows 7 I recently discovered that Microsoft decided to quietly deprecate native support for xBase/DBF formats (Dbase III, IV and V) formats in Office/Access 2013 which resulted in an unhelpful Error: “Could Not Find Installable ISAM” error message. This was a problem as the customer used a legacy ERP package and still required the support.

Fortunately it is possible restore support for DBF formats in Office/Access 2013 by installing the free Access 2010 runtime and performing a small registry hack.

First install the Access 2010 runtime which can be downloaded from Microsoft’s website here:
Installing the runtime before or after Office/Access 2013 worked for me, but your mileage may vary…

Second merge the following registry entries. This was tested on a Windows 7 x64 with the 32-bit version Office so the key locations may vary for 32-bit Windows/64-bit Office installation:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Access Connectivity Engine\Engines\Xbase]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Access Connectivity Engine\ISAM Formats]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Access Connectivity Engine\ISAM Formats\dBASE 5.0]
"ExportFilter"="dBASE 5 (*.dbf)"
"ImportFilter"="dBASE 5 (*.dbf)"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Access Connectivity Engine\ISAM Formats\dBASE III]
"ExportFilter"="dBASE III (*.dbf)"
"ImportFilter"="dBASE III (*.dbf)"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Access Connectivity Engine\ISAM Formats\dBASE IV]
"ExportFilter"="dBASE IV (*.dbf)"
"ImportFilter"="dBASE IV (*.dbf)"

You should now be able to open your DBF database file successfully in Access 2013.

DFS Replication service is not running – Migrating Server 2003 to 2012 Essentials

I had to recently migrate a customer from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 Essentials, unfortuantly the Migration Preparation tool would keep failing on “DFS Replication service is not running”.

DFS Replication service did not exist until Server 2003 R2. So to get round this I made the following modification:

  1. Open SBSMigrationPrep.ps1 located in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer 2\Models\SBSMigrationPrep.ps1 in Notepad.
  2. Find “DFSR”
  3. We will get the function as shown bellow
    function Check-DFSReplicationServiceStatus()
    $service = Get-Service -Name ‘DFSR’
    $status = $service.Status


  4. Change the contents of “$service = Get-Service -Name ‘DFSR'” to $service = Get-Service -Name ‘DFS’

Once we have done this re-run the Migration and Preparation Tool and it should now complete successfully.

How to enable Alt + Tab in citrix remote desktop/receiver

I was recently frustrated by my remote working provision where I couldn’t use common Windows shortcuts such as the Winkey-D to minimize all open windows or alt+tab to cycle between windows.

Fortuantly there is a workaround for this, simple edit this:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE\Citrix\ICAClient\Engine\Lockdown Profiles\All Regions\Lockdown\Virtual Channels\Keyboard\TransparentKeyPassthrough
or in Windows 7 x64
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Citrix\ICAClient\Engine\Lockdown Profiles\All Regions\Lockdown\Virtual Channels\Keyboard\TransparentKeyPassthrough

Set the value to be Remote and restart your connection

Apple iPhone with SBS Exchange 2003

I recently encountered an issue getting an IPhone 3gs to receive push email from a SBS 2003 Exchange server.

Having read many article, let me say that this IS POSSIBLE. There are a lot of posts out there that say:

  • You can’t do it with Exchange 2003 you need Exchange 2007 or 2010
  • You need to use IMAP
  • You need ISA server in the middle

These are incorrect.

The customer has a fairly standard Single SBS 2003 box with exchange all on the one server, running SP2 and Outlook over RPC/Outlook anywhere fully working – a typical setup for a small company.

The key problem I discovered was that OMA (Outlook Mobile Access) is required for by the iPhone to synchronize with Exchange. To enable this:

  • Open the Default Website in IIS 6
  • Disable the IP address restrictions on the exchange-oma directory
  • Restart IIS (iisreset)

Once done the iPhone email synchronization started working fine.