Publication Harvester

A Brief Guide to Troubleshooting Problems with Reading Input Files


A few people have reported trouble running the Publication Harvester software. They found that they were getting errors that look like this:

[Microsoft][ODBC Text Driver] Too few parameters. Expected 2.
Could not find installable ISAM
This application has failed to start because msaccess.exe was not found

The instructions in this guide helped them resolve the problem.

This page was last updated on 20-Oct-2006.

Background on the Problem

This problem seems to have the same root cause as the problems that people posted about in a Microsoft forum. Luckily, Microsoft has a solution posted in their knowledge base (article ID 283881). This guide is based on the instructions in that knowledge base article.

Step 1: Reinstall Microsoft Office

The Publication Harvester uses ODBC drivers to read Excel and CSV files, and those drivers are updated by both Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Microsoft Office. So the first step in fixing this problem is to repair Microsoft Office and make sure all of the latest Windows updates are installed.

First Repair MS Office, in case that's what's causing the problem. To do this, select "Control Panel" from the Start menu, and then select "Add or Remove Programs". Find the entry for Microsoft Office, click the "Change" button next to it, and select the option to Repair or Reinstall Office. This may require a reboot.

Once that's done, go to the Microsoft Windows Update page and make sure that your Windows installation is up to date. Make sure to install all patches, especially Service Pack 2 (SP2) if you haven't already installed it

Now go back to the Publication Harvester. Make sure you're using the latest version. There's a good chance that it will work!

Step 2: Repair the Import/Export ISAMs in the Registry

If you're still experiencing the same symptoms, you can try this more advanced repair. This requires more technical skill. But if you feel up to it, you can try following the instructions for repairing the ISAM references in the registry. The instructions are in Microsoft knowledge base article #283881. If you try this, keep in mind that you're looking to repair the entries for the Microsoft Excel Import/Export ISAM (Msexcl40.dll) and the Text ISAM (Mstext40.dll).

WARNING: Mucking with the registry can be potentially bad for your computer! Do not attempt if you're not sure what you're doing!

If that still doesn't work, or if you don't want to risk the repair, you can try downloading and running a free copy of Registry Mechanic. You can get a free key here and download the program here. I'm not sure if this will fix the program, but it's definitely a lot safer than editing the registry by hand if you don't know what you're doing (or don't have a friend who does).


This software is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). This documentation is released under the GNU Free Documentation License (FDL).

Contact Information

The Publication Harvester project is maintained by Andrew Stellman of Stellman & Greene Consulting. If you have questions, comments, patches, or bug reports, please contact