I'm trying to run an asp.net page that connects to an access database via an ODBC Data Source. I'm using the Microsoft Access ODBC Driver. Everything was working fine until a recent power outage caused us to have to reboot the server. The problem is, whenever I try to open a connection (not run a query or anything, just open the connection), I get the rather cryptic error message System resource exceeded. The server runs Windows Server 2003 (standard, service pack 2). it has 7.99 gigs of hard drive space free. it seems to have about 600 megs of ram free. I obviously can't think of any other applications trying to connect to this DSN.


The three most likely causes for the "System Resource Exceeded" error on an ODBC Data Source are:

  1. Memory allocation failure- to resolve this particular issue, you can:

    • check what memory limit is set for your SQL/ODBC database application and Virtual Memory; while the server itself may have plenty of RAM available, the VM or application may be hitting a ceiling.
    • if the server itself is in fact utilizing almost all of available memory, you can add more memory to the system.
    • enable/utilize AWE Memory on Windows Server (see https://www.sqlservercentral.com/Forums/FindPost32620.aspx); standard 32-bit addresses can map a maximum of 4 GB of memory- enabling AWE will extend that up to 8GB or more.
  2. A disk space (folder or file size limit) issue - remediation actions include:

    • check the available disk space for temp files in the server settings.
    • check if Windows Server/NT event log is full; if it is you may want to prune it and update the log settings.
  3. Connection method: your current setup might be creating new connections instead of reusing existing ones, thus maxing out the number of connections. To resolve:

On a related note, but only when a query is performed- MS Access 2010 handles looping through large tables differently than Access 2003. See https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/eda4991f-ac30-4e98-87ba-8d528ae7cfde/system-resources-exceeded-ms-access-2010?forum=accessdev. There are patches/service packs available for Office and Windows Server that may remedy some of these issues as noted in this KB post: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2726928/-system-resource-exceeded-error-message-when-you-perform-a-query-in-ac

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