Altium Designer Documentation

Using Database Libraries with 32-bit and 64-bit Altium Design Software on the same Computer

Modified by Jason Howie on Nov 16, 2017

Database Libraries (DbLibs) are a popular and powerful component management solution. However, when using Microsoft Access as the backend database for your components, there is one important difference between using 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Altium Design Software:

  • 64-bit Altium Design Software (Altium Designer 18.0 and later; Altium NEXUS) - requires 64-bit Microsoft Access Database Engine to be able to use MS Access DbLibs.
  • 32-bit Altium Design Software (Altium Designer 17.1 and earlier) - requires 32-bit Microsoft Access Database Engine to be able to use MS Access DbLibs.
Typically, the appropriate version of Microsoft Office would be installed, of which Access is a constituent part. However, it is likely that many users will have both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Altium Design Software running on the same computer. The issue is that Microsoft does not officially support, nor endorse, the coexistence of both 32-bit and 64-bit Office applications and drivers on the same computer.

Altium suggests the following three solutions:

  1. Fully install the 64-bit version of Microsoft Office (featuring Access).
  2. Install the 64-bit Microsoft Access Database Engine (2010), alongside your existing install of 32-bit Microsoft Office.

The following procedure can be used to manually install the 64-bit Microsoft Access Database Engine (2010) on a computer that already has 32-bit Microsoft Office installed and running (versions 2007, 2010, 2013, or 2016).

This manual workaround is not required if you already have 64-bit MS Office already installed.

The procedure is as follows:

  1. From a command prompt (run cmd.exe from a Windows search), enter the file path and name of the 64-bit Microsoft Access Database Engine (2010) install file, followed by a space and the switch /passive, for example: C:\Users\<ProfileName>\Downloads\AccessDatabaseEngine_x64.exe /passive. The /passive switch runs the installation without showing any error messages.
  2. Open the Registry Editor (regedit.exe from a Windows search) and browse to the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Common\FilesPaths. Delete or rename the mso.dll registry entry.
Note that if you do not delete the mso.dll registry entry, you will get a Reconfiguring message each time an Office application is accessed.
This workaround will also be needed to install Service Pack 1 of the 64-bit Microsoft Access Database Engine (2010).
  1. Install the 64-bit Microsoft Access Database Engine (2010) first, followed by 32-bit version of Microsoft Office (featuring Access).
Note that this solution only works with 32-bit Microsoft Office 2007. It does not work with 32-bit Microsoft Office 2010, 2013, or 2016.

The procedure to install the 64-bit Microsoft Access Database Engine (2010) first, followed by the 32-bit version (2007) of Microsoft Office, is as follows:

  1. Uninstall all 32-bit Office installations (including language packs and so on). If you have installed the 32-bit Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010, or 2016, you must uninstall this too.
  2. Install the 64-bit Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010.
  3. Reboot your computer.
  4. Test if your 64-bit Altium Design Software works with Database Libraries.
  5. Install the 32-bit version of Microsoft Office (2007).
  6. Reboot your computer.
  7. Test if your 32-bit Altium Design Software works with Database Libraries.

Which Solution Applies to Me?

The solution chosen depends on your particular situation - which versions of Altium Design Software you are using, and which version of Microsoft Office you currently have installed. The following table summarizes various scenarios, and which of the solutions listed above could apply/be used.

Altium Design Software Existing MS Office Installation Applicable Solution
64-bit version only

32-bit (2007)

32-bit (2010)

32-bit (2013)

32-bit (2016)

1, 2, 3

1, 2

1, 2

1, 2

32-bit & 64-bit versions

32-bit (2007)

32-bit (2010)

32-bit (2013)

32-bit (2016)

2, 3

2

2

2

 

 

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