[German]The security updates that Microsoft rolled out for Microsoft Office in January 2022 are once again causing problems with Microsoft Access. Only one user can still access the databases. This problem already existed with the December 2021 updates for Office. But Microsoft had released fixes for the affected Office versions at the end of December 2021. However, there were users for whom these fix updates did not help.
The December 2021 Access drama
In December 2021, Microsoft closed the (Elevation of Privilege) CVE-2021-42293 vulnerability in Microsoft Jet Red Database Engine and Access Connectivity Engine with the following updates.
- As of December 14, 2021, updates KB5002104 (Office 2013) and KB5002099 (Office 2016) have been released for the MSI versions of Microsoft Office 2013 and 2016.
- For the Click-2-Run versions of Microsoft 365, Microsoft Office 2019 and Microsoft Office LTSC 2021, on the other hand, a Click-to-Run update with corresponding fixes was rolled out in December 2021 – there are no individual updates there.
In the blog post Patchday: Microsoft Office December 2021 updates (14.12.2021) causes Access issues, I had indeed pointed out that the two updates listed above affect access to Access databases. Now one user can still work with the database. Several users had contacted me and reported this problem.
Out-of-band-updates (hot fixes) for the various Access versions were still being rolled out by Microsoft in December 2021. I had given an outline of these fixes in the blog post Status of the access bug after December 2021 update (2022/01/03). But these fixes are not helping all users. In the blog post Access Lock Bug: Where the December 2021 Fixes Fail I had discussed the topic separately again.
January 2022 access updates also cause issues
On January 11, 2022 (second Tuesday of the month, Microsoft Patchday), Microsoft released several security-related updates for still-supported Microsoft Office versions and other products. I had listed the updates in the blog post Patchday: Microsoft Office Updates (January 11, 2022). The updates will again close RCE vulnerabilities. For Microsoft Access, the bug from December 2021 is supposed to be fixed, according to reader feedback. However, that doesn't seem to work for all systems. In this German comment from January 14, 2022, user Strahd reports:
Even with the latest update from the 2102 build, the DBs do not work for us.
On the page below, you can see that M$ has fixed the fix only in the new 2108 build but not in the 2102.
Microsoft 365 Apps Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel
Version 2102, build 13801.21086
Version 2102, build 13801.21092
Version 2108, build 14326.20738
In this comment from January 13, 2022, a user also reports nasty issues under Access 2016:
So I've been following this for a while now, as we are also affected.
We had a computer on which the update KB5002099 is installed and nix went (Access Office 2016). On the computers without the update no problems…the post-installed "patch" has brought nothing and the workstation is not usable until today because we were not allowed to uninstall updates. Now we installed yesterday on the computers without the update but new Office 2016 updates (KB5002052 , KB5002060 and KB5002115)… now also here nothing works or it can be used from the department only one computer, because this locks the DB for others… Uninstall updates is as said no option (forbidden by the senior IT admins).
We have problems again with the update KB 5002124 when accessing files in the network drive with Access 2013. However, this affects both UNC paths and mapped drives in our case. The status of Microsoft for this KB: "Resolved for standard UNC paths" is not applicable for us.
After uninstalling KB 5002124 everything worked again immediately.
In this case, uninstalling the relevant security updates from January 2022 will remedy the situation for MSI versions that are patched via Windows Updates.
A possible workaround
A user describes in this comment a possible workaroud where the updates can remain installed.
If one starts the Access database from the UNC path instead of, for example, from a mapped path with a drive letter, the problem does not occur.
This seems to help with some users. In this comment another user writes:
After installing KB4484211 and the January updates, the error is gone, but only if the path length to the MDB does not exceed 128 characters.
Please check how long the path to the Access MDB database is and shorten it if necessary.
Database suddenly shows "#Deleted
Another error that has newly come to my attention appears in this German comment from blog reader Jörg B.:
With us suddenly from now on: all 2016 Access Runtime versions show "#Deleted" for every field in every record, although data is available.
With the full version Office 365 it works flawlessly …
Microsoft Office Patchday (December 7, 2021)
Patchday: Microsoft Office December 2021 updates (14.12.2021) causes Access issues
Microsoft confirms issues in all Access versions after December 2021 Update
Status of the access bug after December 2021 update (2022/01/03)
Access Lock Bug: Where the December 2021 Fixes Fail
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