US Report: Microsoft Access bug scrambles data records

A new bug in Microsoft's Access software could wreak havoc among some users of the program.

The bug could cause entries in a database to be overwritten without a user's knowledge if they are using a feature called Combo Box, which lets people shuttle between bookmarked entries. Microsoft said it's working on a fix and will post a work-around today.

Access is database software that comes with Microsoft's Office suite. The bug reportedly affects Access 2, 95 and 97 and could throw off any functions that rely on the database, including billing and the storage of sensitive information.

The problem occurs when a user in the "form view" mode deletes a record and then moves to another record using the Combo Box and Bookmark functions, according to the company. As a result of a glitch in the software, the changes made to the second record might actually be made to the following record on the list. However, to the user, the changes appear to have been made in the correct location.

Microsoft said the Combo Box is a rarely used feature. "It's really something that a power user would potentially run into," Microsoft Office Product Manager John Duncan said, adding "We take it very seriously. We want to respond to it quickly". The bug has angered developers. On one Web site, a developer is urging a boycott of Access by new developers until Microsoft fixes the problem