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How to install the ShoWorks Companion when not initially available

ArticleID: 117025
Category: General
Date Added: 7/17/2007
Date Last Updated: 12/23/2011


In order for the ShoWorks Companion for Microsoft Access to be available, a licensed copy of Microsoft Access must be installed prior to installing ShoWorks. Otherwise, the ShoWorks install process will not recognize that Access is present and will not install the Companion.  There are two solutions to making the Companion available: A) uninstall ShoWorks (and Microsoft Access if installed after ShoWorks) or B) manually install and configure the Companion

Important!  The correct version of Microsoft Access must be installed that matches the version of ShoWorks.  For a table of which version of Microsoft Access matches the appropriate version of ShoWorks, see the article: Understanding versions of ShoWorks and Microsoft Access


Method A - Uninstalling and re-installing:

  1. Uninstall completely the applications in this order: Microsoft Access (if available), then ShoWorks by using the "Add/Remove Programs" (or "Programs" if using Vista) found in the Start>>Control Panel.
  2. Restart Windows.
  3. Install in the following order: Microsoft Access, then ShoWorks.
  4. You should now recognize in the ShoWorks install process, that the Companion will be installed and available.

Method B - Manually installing and configuring the Companion (for ShoWorks 2009 users only, ShoWorks 2012 users must use Method A):

  1. Verify that you have Microsoft Access (correct version, see above) installed on your computer and the location of the program file of Access (named "MSACCESS.EXE")
    • You must find the location of the full version Access executable file named "MSACCESS.EXE".  Do NOT confuse this with the file of the same name that is instead a runtime version of Access.  Typically, if this file is located in a directory named "Runtime" then this file is not the full version which will not work.  If you have installed Microsoft Access after installing ShoWorks, then the full version may be in a runtime directory which is okay.  To determine the location of where the full version of Microsoft Access is installed, you may try searching for the file "MSACCESS.EXE" by choosing Start>>Find.
  2. Download and save the following file to your desktop
    1. For ShoWorks 2006 users: http://fairsoftware.com/downloads/2006/swcompanion.exe
    2. For ShoWorks 2009 users: http://fairsoftware.com/downloads/2009/swcompanion.exe
  3. Configure your ShoWorks registry value to the location of Microsoft Access:
    1. Click Start>>Run and type "regedit" (if using Microsoft Vista, type this in the "Start Search" box if no "Run" option appears).
    2. Navigate the yellow folders to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then SOFTWARE then Gladstone Inc. then ShoWorks 200[x]
      (where "[x]" is a 6 or 9 depending on your ShoWorks version of 2006 or 2009).
    3. In the window on the right, double click on the "Location of Microsoft Access" value.
    4. Replace the text "unavailable" with the path and .exe file of where Microsoft Access is installed.  For example:
      C:\Program Files\Microsoft Access\OFFICE1[x]\MSACCESS.EXE
      (where "[x]" is 11 for ShoWorks 2006 users and 12 for ShoWorks 2009 users)
      (note, this is only an example, as your copy of the MSACCESS.EXE file may be installed somewhere else)
    5. Click OK and close all windows.
  4. You should now be able to run the Companion by double-clicking on the swcompanion.exe file that you have downloaded and saved to your desktop.  Vista users may need to right-click on the icon and select "Run as Administrator"

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