Following some updates to Win 8.1, I am encountering problems with MS Access displaying GIF files on reports on some machines (nominally at the same update state). By moving the Access database to a machine that is not currently showing the problem, I have been able to prove that it is not the Access db causing the problem - something I previously suspected as machines with Windows Update turned off or those that have been moved back to 8.0 (plus those running earlier versions of Windows) display the GIF files correctly in Access.

The error message we are getting is;-
2114 <program name> doesn’t support the format of the file ‘d:\PF_Sign\M11_V2846.gif,’ or the file is too large. Try converting the file to BMP or GIF format.
where M11_V2846.gif is a variable file name which links to the Image frame on the current report page. All the files are very small (normally not more than 5kb) and are already in a gif format (they are an image version of an INK signature created using a standard utility on tablet machines).

If the GIF file is viewed outside of MS Access, it is displayed without a problem.

The problem is:-

  • only occurring on machines running Win 8.1 (32 and 64 bit)
  • does not occur on initial update to 8.1
  • has been seen to “fix” itself following one Windows update - only to re-appear after another update
  • is not happening on XP, Vista, Win 7 or Win 8 machines
  • has not been seen on a Win 8.1 machine with Auto Update switched off following initial update to 8.1.
  • at moment problem has cleared from all my test machines (which makes testing difficult) but I have a number of users who have problems with signatures displaying on reports.
  • the "techies" amongst the users (they are pest control technicians and thus are not necessarily very PC literate) each think their problem started after a "auto" windows update

The report facility in Access has been in use on a number of machines for a number of years. As part of trying to understand the problem, I have run tests with old versions of the Access database - all of which show the same problem on effected machines but work perfectly on all other machines.

The gif file is a copy of an INK signature captured via a touch screen tablet. The gif version is created automatically as part of the INK utility and is used as it simplifies including signature copies on reports (we still store the original INK signature as the "master").

Any suggestions on what might be causing the problem and how to overcome would be appreciated.
Nicholas Peek