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Microsoft KB Archive/117307

From BetaArchive Wiki

Office Setup Err Msg: "Setup Cannot Create SYSTEM.MDA File"


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Office Professional Edition for Windows
  • Microsoft Access 2.0


When you run the Microsoft Office Professional Setup, after the last disk is loaded, your system has been updated, and Program Manager icons have been created, you may receive the following error message:

Setup couldn't create a SYSTEM.MDA file. After Setup is completed,
reboot your computer, then run the Workgroup Administrator before you
run this application. (-1809)


This error message appears when a file-sharing utility has not been loaded prior to running Setup.

Setup uses a program called the Workgroup Administrator (WRKGADM.EXE) to create the SYSTEM.MDA file. The Workgroup Administrator requires a file- sharing utility such as SHARE.EXE or VSHARE.386 (the virtual device driver file-sharing utility used in Windows 386 enhanced mode) to work correctly.


To solve this problem, do the following:

  1. After Setup is complete, quit Microsoft Windows.
  2. Follow the appropriate procedure for your version of Windows:

    • If you are running Windows version 3.1 in standard mode, make sure that SHARE.EXE is loaded in your AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS file, or load it at the MS-DOS command prompt.


    • If you are running Windows version 3.1 or Windows for Workgroups version 3.1 or later in 386 enhanced mode, make sure that VSHARE.386 is loaded in the [386Enh] section of your SYSTEM.INI file.
  1. Start Microsoft Windows. Start the Workgroup Administrator by double- clicking the MS Access Workgroup Administrator icon, and choose the Create button.
  2. In the Workgroup Owner Information dialog box, choose OK. In the Workgroup System Database dialog box, choose OK.

You will be given the option to create a new SYSTEM.MDA file. When you choose Yes in this dialog box, a new SYSTEM.MDA file is created for you.

NOTE: Name, Organization, and WorkgroupId must be entered before a new SYSTEM.MDA file can be created.

  1. Start Microsoft Access.

Microsoft Access must have a valid SYSTEM.MDA file to work correctly. If you try to start Microsoft Access before you create the SYSTEM.MDA file, you will receive either of the following error messages:

Couldn't find file 'C:\ACCESS\system.mda'.


Cannot open <path>\system.mda.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the programs listed above. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.


For more information about VSHARE.386 or SHARE.EXE, query on the following words in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

6.0 SHARE 5100

For more information about the MS Access Workgroup Administrator, contact the Microsoft Access Product Support Group or query on the following words in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Workgroup Administrator


"Microsoft Office Getting Started," version 4.3, page 15

Additional query words: installing admin can't could

Keywords :
Issue type :
Technology : kbAccessSearch

Last Reviewed: January 3, 2001
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