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About The Editor Garry Robinson writes for a number of popular computer magazines, is now a book author and has worked on 100+ Access databases. He is based in Sydney, Australia
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Next Tip   Installing Access/Office 2003 With Care

Author: Garry Robinson from GR-FX, November 2003

See the Access 2007 version of this article

This page covers the details of undertaking an Access installation without removing your current version of Access from your computer.

Before Your Start - Install the Jet Service Pack and Test Sandbox Mode

If you don't update your current version of Access to Jet Service pack 8, you will encounter an additional and confusing dialog trying to explain to you that you need to upgrade to service pack of MS Jet 4.0 before you start the software. This applies to new installations of Access 2003 as well. To find out more about this

Also if you are planning to have users using Access 2002 and 2000 databases with Access 2003, you should your database with the SandboxMode set to full security before you upgrade. Read more about the Microsoft Jet Expression Service sandbox mode here

Keeping Your Old Version Of Access

If you have any intention of continuing to use your old versions of software, you simple must select the Custom Install on the Type of Install Page shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 - Choose Custom Install If You Want To Keep Old Versions Of Office/Access on your computer

Now I recommend that you select the Advanced Customisation check box as shown in Figure 2. Unless you never backup your whole computer, this option gives you a chance to shave a few megabytes and then a few minutes of the time it takes to fully backup your computer. It also is a useful first review of the features of the software.

Click to view full image

Figure 2 - Advanced Customisation Is Possible

Then we get to the remove previous versions of Office page where incredibly we are faced with the default option that will delete the old versions of Office. In figure 3,  I illustrate these scary default options and in Figure 4, I show you the way to setup the page so that you can keep the old versions of Access on your computer. Please take care on this page.

Click to view full image
Figure 3 - Default Install would like to delete old versions of Office

Figure 4 - Selection to keep old versions of Office

Interesting after this page that the wizard also includes the old versions of office when it calculates the amount of space to be consumed by Office. Surprisingly there is no mention of this but I guess that it is yet another attempt to persuade you to dump your old Office software and install the new software. And guess what, the amount of space that Access 2003 takes up on the machine, 360 megabytes. And that is after shaving a few megabytes from the custom install. According to the wizard, my old versions of everything in Office XP and some of Office 97 consumed 170 megabytes of space. Read on...

Once you have completed the installation, all is revealed about why so much disc space has been consumed (as shown in Figure 5). The entire installation setup has been copied to a hidden folder on your computer. This occupies 272 megabytes of space. This will allow you do to installs of Office 2003 without going hunting for the CD-Rom. Obviously this is great little timesaver, especially early in the piece and you should probably leave this on a local drive. Read more at the following address


Before you click the Finish button, remember to select the Check for updates button as there could be some important security patches for Office that you will need to download from the web.

Figure 5 - The final page after the installation is complete

Click on the Next Tip button for the next help page in this Access Loop.


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