Open with Access Fails

“Could not find file.”

(haunting music plays…)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should already know that we do SharePoint hosting.

We do both Shared (no access to the server) and Dedicated (access to the server). So, why is that important here? Because in a Shared environment, customers are always looking for inventive ways to migrate or backup content.

This is the result of one such customer who was trying to migrate a list from a Shared WSS 3.0 site to their shiny new Shared 2010 Foundation site:

It all started with a list of 600 some-odd items, a number of them having attachments. Since there are attachments, export to spreadsheet is out. Some people have some innovative solutions for exporting SharePoint lists to excel, but they require you to be on the server…and in a Shared environment, you have no such access.

Next option…”Open with Access”

Open with Access

Choose “Export a copy of the data”

Export a copy of the data

And wait…

This seemed like the solution – it pulls down attachments; you can upload the table back to another SharePoint list, even a 2010 one.  Just when we thought we had the solution, we were presented with the following message:

“Could not find file.”

Uh…okay…what now? Not to worry, we can do this.  I mean it’s a clear enough error…right?  Okay, so most likely we have a corrupt file or an orphan somewhere.  However we don’t know which one, and the error aborts the process.  Well here is a work around.

Instead of Exporting the database, choose the option to link it…

Option to link it

Fill in your credentials and let access get the table created.  Once you can see your data in Access, right click the table on the left and choose copy.  Right click on the left and choose paste.
Choose Structure only.

Paste Table As

Okay, so now we have a skeleton of the original table. Let’s get the data over: Open your linked table. Select all Records and choose Copy. Open your Copy of the Linked Table. Paste your data.

Now you’re still going to get the error here, but you’ll get the option to ignore it and paste all your data.  This should paste in all your non corrupt data. You can then use access to post your data back up to a 2010 list.  Or you can copy/paste over your data in chunks to find the corrupt file (and remove it from the source) resulting in a clean and upgraded set of data!

Hope that helps and, as always, let me know if you have any questions!

 

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