Microsoft KB Archive/251272

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OL2000: Error Message "An Error Has Occurred in the dBase Translator" When You Import DBF Files

Article ID: 251272

Article Last Modified on 11/5/2003


  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q251272


When you try to import a dBase file (.dbf) into Outlook, the import fails and you may receive the following error message:

An error has occurred in the dBase translator while getting the contents of a file system.

The file "<path>\<file name>.dbf" was not recognized. The dBase translator was unable to recognize this file. It could be the wrong file, a version of the file type which is not supported by this translator, or the file might be corrupt.


A value greater than 99 for the year in the file's Last Modified Date field is not properly read. The year can be represented as a number between 0 and 255. Some software that creates .dbf files reset to 0 after 99, and others continue beyond 99. The original file format definition allowed some ambiguity, so either interpretation is common. Microsoft Office programs generally continue incrementing the year beyond 99, but Microsoft FoxPro and some versions of dBase do not.


To resolve this problem, obtain Microsoft Office 2000 Service Release 1/1a (SR-1/SR-1a).

To obtain SR-1/SR-1a, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

245025 OFF2000: How to Obtain and Install Microsoft Office 2000 Service Release 1/1a (SR-1/SR-1a)

You can work around this problem by using an alternative file format for the import, such as comma separated values (CSV), Microsoft Excel (.xls), or Microsoft Access (.mdb).


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. This problem was corrected in Microsoft Office 2000 SR-1/SR-1a.


Exporting to a dBase file from Outlook works without error.

Additional query words: OL2K 1999 y2k

Keywords: kbbug kbfix KB251272