Microsoft KB Archive/105514

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ACC: Invalid Path Error Message Using UNC with 10+ Characters

Article ID: 105514

Article Last Modified on 5/6/2003


  • Microsoft Access 1.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 1.1 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 2.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q105514

Novice: Requires knowledge of the user interface on single-user computers.


If you attempt to use a universal naming convention (UNC) path in Microsoft Access in which the server name is longer than 10 characters or contains spaces, you get the following error message

\\<servername>\<sharename> isn't a valid path

even though valid UNC server names can be up to 15 characters and can contain spaces.

For example, the path


works correctly, but the following UNC paths cause the above error message to appear:

   SystemDB=\\s2345 7890\ANYSHARE\SYSTEM.MDA


This problem is not caused directly by Microsoft Access, but rather by an external host, such as Microsoft Windows for Workgroups, or by a network problem. Microsoft Access does not parse UNC paths; it hands them off to external processes.


One way to work around this problem is to connect the server to a logical drive before using Microsoft Access and then reference the logical drive instead of the server.

For example, you want to use a server named \\MY SERVER\MYSHARE, and you are using Microsoft LAN Manager. To reference this server, type:


In your MSACCESS.INI file, reference it as follows:



This behavior no longer occurs in Microsoft Access version 7.0, which can handle UNC names larger than 10 characters.

Additional query words: attaching

Keywords: kbfix kbenv kbprb KB105514