MDE Unlocker - Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What does the MDE Unlocker do differently to other software that's available?
  2. What limitations does the product have?
  3. So if I can't use VBA, how to I add/change the functionality of my program?
  4. Why can't I view the VBA code in my MDE?
  5. Is it possible to reverse engineer the VBA code to convert it into an MDB file?
  6. I've unlocked my MDE file but my VBA code no longer works - why?
  7. I keep getting an error message 'The Visual Basic for Applications project is protected with a password' - why?
  8. Does the MDE Unlocker work with Access 97 MDE files?
  1. What does the MDE Unlocker do differently to other software that's available?
    With the MDE Unlocker you can make design changes to forms and reports without losing the compiled VBA code behind them.  The software from other companies allow you to extract the forms/reports designs, but you are required to re-write the VBA code from scratch.  If your MDE file does not make use of compiled VBA modules, then this program is functionally equivalent of the alternative software available elsewhere.

    The MDE Unlocker does not give you access to the VBA code behind the forms/reports  however it simply retains the functionality that is already present in them.  In other words, you can make cosmetic and functional changes by using macros, whilst your application will still run the original MDE's VBA code.

    Click here for a video tutorial of the MDE Unlocker in use: Low quality (8Mb) - High Quality (13Mb)
  2. What limitations does the product have?
    • You can't view/edit/amend any VBA modules.
    • You can't create new VBA modules (nor can you create new VBA based forms/reports)
    • Deleting controls from an Unlocked MDE can cause the VBA code to fail after re-locking.  Instead, set the controls Visible property to False.  If you do accidentally delete a control, you will be warned upon re-locking the file that your re-locked file may not work.
  3. So if I can't use VBA, how can I add/change the functionality of my program?
    Macros! Many VBA tasks can be achieved using equivalent Macro commands.

    External Microsoft Article: Macros: What they are and how they work

    Obviously Macros are not as flexible as VBA code, and therefore in some circumstances Macros may not be suited to a particular task. 
  4. Why can't I view the VBA code in my MDE?
    When you create an MDE file, the VBA source code is stripped out of the file.  All that is left is the compiled VBA code which is only interpretable by a machine (or a very experienced engineer).

    EverythingAccess.com now offers an MDE to MDB Conversion service (provided you can prove ownership of the file).  This service recovers everything from the original MDE except for the original developers VBA comments.  VBA source code is recovered to a very high standard, and includes all the original procedure and variable names.

    Click here to find out more.
  5. Is it possible to reverse engineer the VBA code to convert it into an MDB file?
  6. I've unlocked my MDE file but my VBA code no longer works - why?
    Editing an MDE file is a 3-stage process - as follows:
    1. UNLOCK your MDE file using the MDE Unlocker
    2. Edit your file in Microsoft Access
    3. RE-LOCK your MDE file using the MDE Unlocker

    After you have unlocked your MDE file, the original VBA project (including VBA modules) are temporarily disabled in your file - this is to allow editing of your file without any problems.  The VBA code will not be re-activated in your file until you RELOCK it (stage 3 above).
  7. I keep getting an error message 'The Visual Basic for Applications project is protected with a password' - why?
    You will get this error message if you try to view any VBA module code.  The message is a little misleading - basically Access tries to find the VBA source code, but fails, so it assumes that the VBA project is password protected - but it is not, it is simply unavailable in an MDE file (even when unlocked).
  8. Does the MDE Unlocker work with Access 97 MDE files?
    Yes - starting with MDE Unlocker v3.00, all Access 97 MDE files will completely unlock.  Unlike v1.xx of the MDE Unlocker, you can now edit all forms/reports - even if they have the HasModule property set to True.
  9. Do you offer a money back guarantee on this product?
    Yes.  We want you to be delighted with your purchase. If you aren't, then just notify us within 14 days of purchase and we will refund your full payment. All that we require from you is that you tell us:
    • your registered email address
    • that you have uninstalled the software and won't use it again
    • why the product didn't meet your needs (so we can improve the product)

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MDE Unlocker
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