HMRC Basic tools could not access the database !

A client had downloaded and installed the HMRC basic tools (UK) but on starting the program found that they got an error “HMRC Basic tools could not access the database”



Given that this was their first use of the application I thought that error might be a little misleading – so took a look at the folder ┬áthat contains the database used by the app and checking permissions and thought it was worth trying to rename the database and to run the “setup” again. The database actually gets created when the application is first run – not during the setup which just copies it into the relevant folder and creates the shortcut.

So closing the HMRC application and error prompt and TURNING OFF THE AVG AV TERMPORARILY – I renamed the database and started the application again

Bearing in mind that the appdata folder is normally hidden and will need to be shown with the folder options for “system folders” – the sqlite database can be seen here renamed to xsqlite3 and the new file which gets created is larger




So my suspicion was that the antivirus prevented the database setup from completing – hence the spurious error which should more properly say “Hey that database doesn’t look right – we may have a corruption problem!”

Note that this approach could be used to restore a backup (of course you backup your payroll data everytime its updated!!) – by stopping the application – renaming the file and unziping the backup file and placing the database in that folder. Off course make a backup of the folder and its contents before starting !!