Access for Windows Navigator Drag And Drop Limitations on 64-bit Operating Systems

Technote (troubleshooting)


Acces for Windows Navigator can only drop files onto 32-bit drop targets (applications).

Resolving the problem

Access for Windows V5R3 or later is supported on 64-bit Windows platforms. Most of the client is not a 64-bit application though. For example, the middleware components for data access were written as 64-bit components; however, the majority of the product is still 32-bit. The Access for Windows Navigator is one of those components. For the most part, this does not impact the functionality of the Navigator. One exception is in the ability to drag or copy/paste spooled files and stream files from the Navigator to the PC's desktop or folders. The user will not get any indication that the desktop is not a valid drop target as might be the case with some applications (in other words, the icon for the file does not change to a circle with a diagonal slash through it). The reason for this is that as a 32-bit application, it only supports 32-bit drop targets. If you drag and drop a file onto a 64-bit target program, Navigator will create the familiar temporary file (usually ~drgdrp.tmp); however, it does nothing more. The empty, 0-byte file is all that you will ever get.

Update: The Access for Windows V6R1 Service Pack SI41053 or V7R1 Service Pack SI41054 and later code levels contains an enhancement that now allows the Navigator to Drag/Drop and Copy/Paste to work to 64-bit desktops. Even with this enhanced functionality, the Windows desktop may need to be refreshed for the actual file name to show up on the current desktop view. The Access for Windows r7.1 and latest Service Pack level may be required for expected behavior on Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 Operating Systems.

On V5R3 and V5R4 of Access for Windows Navigator, this problem can be circumvented in at least two different ways. Spooled files can be exported to the PC. To export spooled files to the PC, you should right click on the spooled file in the Navigator and select Export from the pop-up menu. It will prompt you to define a location for the resulting stream file on the PC. Stream files that can be copied from the Integrated File System plug-in in the Navigator can be accessed from a network drive mapped to a NetServer share.

Another way to circumvent this problem is to use the 32-bit version of Explorer that is installed on the 64-bit Windows systems. This version of Explorer is found in the SysWoW64 subdirectory of the Windows installation directory (%windir%\SysWoW64\Explorer.exe). It is important to launch this as a separate process from the Windows desktop. In order to do that, you must specify the '/separate' parameter to Explorer. You can create a shortcut to launch the 32-bit Explorer by doing the following (Note: The following steps have not been shown to work on all versions of Windows.):

1. Right-click on your Windows desktop, selecting New and Shortcut.
2. Specify %windir%\SysWoW64\explorer.exe /separate as the location for the target. You might want to add an initial directory for it to open as well. In this example case, w want to use it to copy files to my Windows desktop so the following is used as the location for the shortcut:
C:\Windows\SysWOW64\explorer.exe /separate, c:\users\username\desktop

In this example, C:\users\username\desktop is the location where Windows 2008 Server saves the user's desktop. Users, can then click on this icon and drag and drop spooled files and stream files into it, and they appear on the desktop.

There can be some confusion about whether or not an application is running is a 32-bit or 64-bit application. The Windows task manager can be used to identify 32-bit applications though. If you have the Navigator and the 32-bit Windows Explorer running on a 64-bit version of Windows and open the task manager (press Ctrl+Shift+Esc), you will notice that the 32-bit applications have '*32" after the Image Name. For example, a list of currently active processes, may show the following:

cwbunnav.exe *32
explorer.exe *32
javaw.exe *32

This means that I have both the 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Explorer running. The Process Explorer tool from Microsoft is another alternative tool that can show you whether the processes in Windows are 32-bit or 64-bit programs.

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Document information

More support for:

Access for Windows

Software version:

5.3.0, 5.4.0, 6.1, 6.1.0, 7.1, 7.1.0

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