I haven't done this in quite a while, but years ago I have set up DSNs for an ODBC connection using Windows 2000 and maybe Windows XP. I remember there being a Data Sources or ODBC icon to click in Control Panel.

I need to do the same in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2003 but I can't find any icon for a tool to do it in Control Panel. I also checked in Programs -> Accessories but couldn't find anything there either. I'm running 64 bit Windows 7.

How do I set up DSNs in Windows 7 and Windows 2003 Server?

  • 2
    Despite getting answers that enabled me to load the DSN tool, it kept crashing everytime I used it. I found a tool by the same name under C:\Windows\SysWOW64 which isn't crashing. Jul 28, 2011 at 4:53
  • 1
    +1 for the update (which includes valuable information). The full path, for anyone who's interested, is: C:/Windows/SysWOW64/ODBCAD.exe Jul 28, 2011 at 5:03

2 Answers 2


In both Server 2003 and Windows 7, it is located in Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Data Sources.

enter image description here

  • Post back with more details if you need further specific help on how to configure a connection. In most cases, I would use a System DSN.
    – KCotreau
    Jul 28, 2011 at 4:32
  • Indeed, that is where it is. I'm sure I looked in there before! I wonder if I'm just blind or if it appeared after running it from the command line. Jul 28, 2011 at 4:51
  • @GiddyUpHorsey Even though I have been doing this for a long time, and even know where it is, I always expect it to be a top level icon in Control Panel.
    – KCotreau
    Jul 28, 2011 at 4:52

I encountered this problem last year in 64-bit Windows, and solved it by running the ODBC management GUI from a Command Prompt (will also work from the "Start -> Run" command):


You may, however, encounter crashing issues when configuring some driver-specific features, but I've noticed that the crashes occur after the settings have been changed.

(Of course, the best thing to do is get updated software that doesn't require 32-bit ODBC GUI management tools, but that's not always possible with certain discontinued products, so it's quite nice that ODBCAD32.exe is included with Windows 7.)

  • 1
    That certainly gets the screen loaded up that I remember, but it is crashing before a new System DSN can be finished :( Jul 28, 2011 at 4:48
  • Make sure your system is up-to-date (I recall that Service Pack 1 resulted in this tool crashing a lot less). If that fails, then I'd suspect the database driver as being the most likely culprit. (It's too bad this solution didn't work out for you, but +1 for posting that it didn't because these sorts of updates are helpful.) Jul 28, 2011 at 4:54
  • The machine doesn't have SP1 on it so that figures :) The C:\Windows\SysWOW64 version works good though. Jul 28, 2011 at 5:00
  • I've noticed that C:/Windows/SysWOW64/ODBCAD.exe doesn't exist on all systems, so you might want to get a copy of it before running the updates just in case one of the updates is deleting it (I don't know if any DLLs that it might rely on would get deleted too). Jul 28, 2011 at 5:02
  • The name ODBCAD32 is confusing. C:\Windows\System32\ODBCAD32.exe is 64-bit version. C:\Windows\SysWow64\ODBCAD32.exe is 32-bit version.
    – rustyx
    Dec 7, 2015 at 13:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.