ODBC Drivers Missing from Windows 7 64-Bit

If you go in to the Windows 7 Administrative Tools and double-click on the “Data Sources (ODBC)” icon just as you always have, and then attempt to add a new User DSN or System DSN, you will notice that there are almost no ODBC drivers to choose from.  This is especially confusing for end users who are simply trying to set up a connection to an Access or SQL database.

The secret is that most of those drivers are 32-bit, so, in order to access them you must right click on the “Data Sources (ODBC)” icon and choose “Run as Administrator” in order to see them.  Doing so allows the 64-bit Control Panel applet to display them.

Alternatively, you can simply launch c:\windows\sysWOW64\odbcad32.exe, which launches the 32-bit version of the “Data Sources (ODBC)” applet.

Bonus Tip:  With Windows 7, most organizations are no longer giving end users administrative rights to their workstations.  One consideration in regards to ODBC connections is that in order to create a System DSN, you must be an administrator of the local workstation.

Creating System DSN’s has been the defacto standard of most installation instructions that require DSNs for years, so you will likely need to modify any documentation.  User DSN’s work just as well as System DSN’s, except they must be set up individually for every user on a workstation.

About Rebecca Harness

Rebecca Harness is a Business Information Security Officer (BISO) for a publicly-traded, global information solutions company. As BISO, she champions security initiatives and recommends strategies to mitigate risk, facilitating innovation and new product development. She’s also responsible for representing the business unit’s security program in client facing engagements, conferences, and industry forums. Prior to her current role, she was an influential cybersecurity leader for one of the world’s largest transportation providers, known for transforming information security efforts into well-orchestrated programs. There, she developed an innovative methodology for delivering key information security priorities as a service model, leading to quicker adoption enterprise-wide while significantly reducing operational costs. She also led and modernized their global, multi-brand PCI Assessment and other compliance initiatives. In the early 2000’s, Rebecca developed one of St. Louis' leading Managed Services Providers from a startup in a spare bedroom into a mature consulting company with 30+ employees and 150+ clients in the Greater St. Louis Area. Rebecca holds many certifications, including; ISACA Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA); ISC2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP); and GIAC Security Leadership Certified (GSLC). She’s also a proud alumni of Hastings College and a longtime member of the Society of American Magicians.

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