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I wish to convert an MDE file to an ACCDE file.

Assume I don't have access to the original MDB file.

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I should have tried this before asking but it appears I can just rename the file extension and everything seems to be working OK in my application. I am still curious if there are aspects to the nature of MDE files that should and can be converted to the ACCDE format or is it simply a matter of renaming the file extension? – authentictech Jan 9 '13 at 22:20
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The internal structure of MDB/MDE and of ACCDB/ACCDE is completely different.

When you change the file extension from MDE to ACCDE, the internal structure remains MDE as before. It does not matter Access because Access knows how to open the file. However, future versions of Access may fail opening it.

You have not explained Why do you want to change the MDE to ACCDE. If the name change itself meets your needs, it's all fine. But if you want the structure of the file to be updated, this is not the solution.

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It is a legacy software application that used to run on Access Runtime 2002 and now runs on Access Runtime 2007. User data files were in the older format and needed to be updated to the new format because the software looked for the new file ending. As you said, Access can open the older files with the new file extensions. In any case, it won't matter soon because I decided to rewrite the software using a different platform. It seems this is a wise move if MS does drop support for the MDE format in later versions. Thanks for the helpful tip-off! This provides for me the answer I need. – authentictech Apr 11 '13 at 12:47

It seems to be the case that I can just rename the file extension from MDE to ACCDE and everything works properly.

EDIT: naftalip has provided the answer that changing the file extension does nothing to convert the file format and Access simply reads the format as MDE and does nothing to upgrade it.

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I am not aware if this still leaves some aspects of the file unconverted that could, and should, be converted in some other way. Feel free to leave other answers that clarify this matter. – authentictech Jan 9 '13 at 22:22
As there are no other answers yet I will accept my own answer but will change it if any better answers arrive. – authentictech Jan 17 '13 at 12:26

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