Category Archives: BDE

Configuring BDE for Windows 7

Applies to: Borland Delphi, BDE, Paradox Databases, Windows 7

Windows 7 can be very restrictive towards applications written for the previous versions of Windows. This is the case with the Borland Database Engine (BDE), which is not capable of running in Windows7 unless two settings have been changed:

  1. A permission for the BDE must be given in the windows registry database.
  2. A BDE attribute named “Net Dir” must be configured to an arbitrary folder other than the root drive (C:). This configuration is done in the “BDE Administrator” program that’s installed with the BDEInfoSetup utility.

1. First, configure the permission for the BDE in the registry…

Make sure you are logged into your Windows7 machine with an administrator account. Then follow these directions:

  1. Go to Start | Run… Type regedit…
  2. Open the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE branch.
  3. Open the SOFTWARE branch.
  4. Right-Click on the entry labeled “Borland”.
  5. In the menu that shows select Permissions. The following dialog will appear:
  6. Click “Users”.
  7. Under “Permissions for Users “, select “Allow” for Full Control. Then click OK.
  8. Click OK to exit the Registry Key Permissions dialog box.
  9. Exit the Registry Editor window

2. Next the Borland Database Engine must be configured…

The Borland Database Engine makes use of a special file called “” (the purpose of which is beyond the scope of this document). The default setting for the placement of this file is in the root of drive C, which will fail under Windows Windows7, as this operating system does not permit new files to be created here. However, it is permitted to designate any subfolder for the “” file to be placed. The name of this new folder is of minor importance and could be named anything you like. For example, here we will choose “BDEShare”. (The name doesn’t matter. It just needs to be any folder other than the root drive.)

So let’s stick with this example. Create a subfolder off the root drive C and name it “BDEShare“. So the file path for this new subfolder will be “C:BDEShare”. Remember this string value because you will need to enter it below.

Now the BDE must be configured to use the new folder. This is done in the Windows control panel, where you will find an applet named “BDE administrator“. Note that you will only see this after the BDE has been installed to your system (which should have been done automatically during the installation of your application).
You can also find this utility under C:Program FilesBorlandCommon FilesBDEBDEADMIN.EXE

Double-click the BDE Administrator to open it. You will see the following dialog appear:

As shown in the above picture, click the tabsheet titled “Configuration”. Expand the configuration as shown (Drivers – Native) to expose the entry titled “PARADOX”. Single click the item named PARADOX. Now observe the data that fills on the right half of the dialog. You will need to edit the entry for “NET DIR”. Initially, it will be shown as “C:”. You need to change that entry to the subfolder that you created above. In our example, this is C:BDEShare.

If the BDE Administrator is not capable of making the change then verify that the permission in the registry has been set properly. If this isn’t the case then retry to apply the permission as described in the above.

Now start your application. With the BDE now happy with Windows7 (actually, the other way around!), your app should function properly.

BDEInfoSetup Utility Download

Applies to: Borland Delphi, BDE, Paradox Databases

Some Delphi applications use the Borland Database Engine, or BDE. The BDE is normally automatically installed by setup file of your application. But in the event your BDE installation gets corrupted, you may need to re-install the BDE manually.

Download and run the following setup file. It will install the latest BDE Version 5.2 and a special BDE Information Utility. The BDE Information Utility displays the current BDE version, current BDE Config File, and current BDE version. The BDE Information Utility can also be used to test your system to be sure that the BDE is installed and configured properly.

BDEInfoSetup.exe (6.73 Mbytes)

Attention Windows7 users: You will need to configure the BDE to work with Windows 7. Click here for instructions.

This tool was written by David R. Robinson at