Microsoft tries to fix the JET Database Engine bug

[German]Microsoft released a fix for the Microsoft JET Database Engine bug on November 2, 2017. This update fixes the problem with the Access or Excel database connection, but not in all versions of Windows. Here are some details about the topic.


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The Background

There was a buffer overflow vulnerability in the Microsoft JET Database Engine that allowed a remote code execution attack. The attacker was able to install programs, view, modify or delete data, and create new accounts with full user privileges. However, users whose user accounts are configured to work with default permissions were less likely to be affected than users with administrator privileges.

Microsoft has detailed this vulnerability in Security Advisory CVE-2017-0250 (last revision October 10, 2017). In August 2017 Microsoft releases some security updates for some Windows version to close this vulnerability (see Patchday August 2017: Updates for Windows 7/8.1).

Issues since October 2017 patchday

On October 10, 2017 Microsoft released another patch, that causes issues. I received this comment, mentions trouble accessing Excel files from Access.

Since the last window supdate 10.10.2017, it is no longer possible to link excel files to Access 2000, or to open linked excel files.

Other comments within my blog confirmed an Excel data base access error. Microsoft was aware of this issue, as the following text indicates :

Issue where applications based on the Microsoft JET Database Engine (Microsoft Access 2007 and older or non-Microsoft applications) fail when creating or opening Microsoft Excel .xls files. The error message is, “Unexpected error from external database driver (1). (Microsoft JET Database Engine)“.

Microsoft patches only some Windows builds

On November 2, 2017 Microsoft released a couple of extra ordinary updates, some are addressing the Microsoft JET Database Engine bug. Here are the updates:


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  • Update KB4052234 for Windows 7 SP1 und Windows Server 2008
  • Update KB4052233 for Windows 8.1 und Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Update KB4052231 for Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Version 1607)
  • Update KB4052232 for Windows 10 Version 1511

For Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (V1709) Microsoft have had released cumulative update KB4043961 on am 10/17/2017. This addresses also the Microsoft JET Database Engine issue. For all other Windows 10 builds (Windows 10 RTM and Windows 10 Creators Update, version 1703) no update is available.

Issues and a workaround

Installing the updates mentioned above is a bitter sweet pill. They are fixing the Microsoft JET Database Engine issue, but are causing other issues. For instance:

After installing KB4041681, package users may see an error dialog that indicates that an application exception has occurred when closing some applications. This can affect applications that use mshtml.dll to load web content. The failure only occurs when a process is already shutting down, and doesn’t impact application functionality.

Details may be found within the kb articles linked above. Microsoft is working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release. I guess, not everybody will install the updates mentioned above, due to the side effects. But there is a workaround for the en Microsoft JET Database Engine error.

Instead of using the Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0 provider, use the Microsoft Access Database Engine (ACE) Provider. Download and install the Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable. Then change the DB connection string in Microsoft Excel (or in other apps) to the ACE provider. The string

Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0

need to be changed to:

Provider=Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0

The Microsoft Excel is able to read Access data bases.

Addendum: Both updates for Windows 7/8.1 has been pulled, see Windows 7/8.1: KB4052234 & KB4052233 has been pulled

Similar articles
Patchday August 2017: Updates for Windows 7/8.1
Update Rollups for Windows 7/8.1 (November 2, 2017)
Windows 10 Updates November 2, 2017
Windows Flash Player 27.0.0.183 Update KB4051613


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