Installing Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) on a system adds an association to Windows Explorer that lets users double-click an existing .udl file to automatically open the Data Link Properties dialog box. You can edit the .udl file and change the various connection properties. However, whereas Windows 2000 includes MDAC 2.5, it has no association that lets you add new .udl files directly from Windows Explorer. You can manually modify the Registry to add a new Data Link option to Windows Explorer's File, New menu.

  1. First, use Notepad or another text editor to create a datalink.reg file that contains the following lines:
    REGEDIT4
    \[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.UDL\ShellNew\]
    @="MSDASC"
    "Data"=hex:ff,fe,5b,00,6f,00,6c,00,65,00,64,00,62,00,5d,00,0d,00,0a,00,3b,00,
    20,00,45,00,76,00,65,00,72,00,79,00,74,00,68,00,69,00,6e,00,67,00,20,00,61,
    00,66,00,74,00,65,00,72,00,20,00,74,00,68,00,69,00,73,00,20,00,6c,00,69,00,
    6e,00,65,00,20,00,69,00,73,00,20,00,61,00,6e,00,20,00,4f,00,4c,00,45,00,20,
    00,44,00,42,00,20,00,69,00,6e,00,69,00,74,00,73,00,74,00,72,00,69,00,6e,00,
    67,00,0d,00,0a,00,50,00,52,00,4f,00,56,00,49,00,44,00,45,00,52,00,3d,00,6d,
    00,73,00,64,00,61,00,73,00,71,00,6c,00,3b,00,0d,00,0a,00
  2. Next, run regedit, and from the Registry menu, select the Import Registry File option to import the file into your system's Registry. Importing the file will add a Data Link option to Explorer's File, New menu. Note that if you don't know which version of MDAC you are using, you can download the MDAC Component Checker from http://www.microsoft.com/data/download.htm. This utility will report the version of MDAC that you're using and any Registry or compatibility problems.