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Access WatchDog Template

Restart Database or Reboot PC if Access Locks Up

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The Access WatchDog is a Visual Basic Script that will run in conjunction with your Access Database. If for any reason your database locks up or becomes unresponsive, the WatchDog will kill the MSACCESS.EXE task and restart your database. If it's still unresponsive after a few attempts, WatchDog will reboot the computer. Put your database in the Startup group and it will load back up and continue running. This is great for people who have their Access application running on a loop, performing regular tasks, like an email server.



  • I just released a version 1.1 update. WatchDog will now attempt to kill MSACCESS.EXE and restart your database instead of rebooting the computer. After a few tries, however, if the database is still unresponsive. the PC will reboot.

Full Package

Once you have purchased the full developer package, come back to this page and click on the Download button below. This will give you access to the ZIP file containing the Template files. Be sure to watch the Developer Guide video (above).

Please be sure to read the Before You Purchase section below before buying this template!

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  • Make sure database is running at all times
  • Restart database or reboot PC if database is locked up

You Will Also Learn

  • Boot Windows without a password (optional)
  • Run database & WatchDog on startup
  • Program a loop in your database

Do you have an Access database that runs certain processes on a continuous loop, for example an email server? Do you need to make sure it's running perfectly 24/7? Does it lock up from time to time, forcing you to manually reboot it?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you need my Access WatchDog Template. This is a package that contains all of the code necessary to monitor your server, make sure your Access database is running smoothly, and if not, WatchDog will kill the MSACCESS.EXE task and restart your database. If it's still unresponsive after a few attempts, WatchDog will reboot the computer.

You'll get step-by-step instructions for installing the WatchDog script so that it loads when your system boots. I'll also include a video explaining how to get Windows to automatically log you on, run your database, and lock itself. (Not recommended for databases with sensitive or secure information).

I'll walk you through setting everything up and explaining how to integrate the WatchDog script with your database. If you already have a loop programmed in your database, it's as easy as copying and pasting one function and adding one line of code to your loop. That's it.

And if you don't have a loop in your current database, I'll show you how to make one.

You'll also get a Developer Guide video where I'll walk you through every step of the integration. Now sure, there are a bunch of other programs out there that can reboot your computer on a regular basis. The Access WatchDog is specially designed to integrate with your Access database so it knows when it's running and when it's locked up, and can reboot your system only in the event that your database has crashed.


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Before You Purchase

A few important notes before you purchase this template:

  • Please note that this is NOT a teaching database. You should have a strong background in developing Microsoft Access applications before attempting to setup this template with your database. You don't have to be an expert with Visual Basic, but you should know a little VBA. I strongly recommend taking my Access Developer 1 course first or at a bare minimum watching my Intro to VBA video. 
  • In order for this template to work properly, you must follow the instructions in the Developer Guide video (#02, above). Be sure to watch the video and follow it carefully so that everything works OK in your database. If you post a comment saying that it's not working, and you didn't follow the steps, I'm going to say "I told you so."
  • Backup. Backup. Backup again! Be sure to test this on a backup copy of your database first!
  • Remember, we do our best to help you here in the Forums on the website, but technical support is not guaranteed.

Possible Future Upgrade Ideas

If you are interested in any of these, please post a comment below.

  • Visual environment for the WatchDog script, instead of running in a console window (pretty interface)
  • More sounds than just a system beep (play WAV or MP3 files)
  • Teach you how to make that webpage in ASP to notify you via email when your system restarts
  • Any other suggestions? Let me know!

Integration Steps

  • Copy the CreateWatchDog function to your database
  • Add the CreateWatchDog command to your loop
  • Configure the WatchDog.VBS script with your settings
  • Edit the RunWatchDog.BAT batch file to run WatchDog.VBS
  • Put the RunWatchDog.BAT batch file in your Startup folder (shell:startup)
  • Optionally, configure Windows to logon automatically on restart


For internal use only. This template does NOT come with a royalty-free license. You may only customize the template for your business needs and for use within your organization at one location ONLY. You may not resell or distribute any form of this template to others without express written permission. Contact me for additional information on obtaining a license to distribute if you plan on including this template in a product you are reselling. Additional licenses are required if you plan on using this template with more than ten (10) employees or in multiple locations within your organization.

Not a Finished Product

Please keep in mind that most of my template databases are not designed to be finished products that are ready to go in a working environment. My templates are meant as starting points for you to customize for yourself so you don't have to reinvent the wheel. This requires that you have a basic understanding of Microsoft Access development. To work on most of my databases you should have completed my Access Beginner series and the first couple levels of my Expert series at a minimum. Most of my databases require knowledge of SQL and VBA as well. 

Customize For Your Needs

If you would like to discuss customizing this template for your needs, and integrating it into your current setup, please see my consulting page for details. While I no longer accept custom jobs that are specific to a single user, I may include your features in a future version of this template if they have mass appeal. If you are looking for custom enhancements made to this template just for you, visit my Developer Network.

Technical Support

Please note that technical support is NOT guaranteed for any of my courses, seminars, or templates. If you require help with modifying this template, you may post a question in the Forums, however an answer to your question is not guaranteed. If this template comes with an accompanying Seminar, then you should purchase that Seminar to see how the database was constructed. If not, then you should have taken the suggested courses. Most of my templates are designed on a Developer level and you should have a thorough understanding of SQL and VBA before attempting to modify them. If you have a problem with one of my databases, I will only support the unmodified database exactly as it's downloaded from my site. If you have modified it in any way, it may not be something I can help you with. You can post in the Forums, and I may be able to help you, but if the issue doesn't exist in my unmodified database, it's not something I can support.


Got sales or customer service questions about this template? Feel free to contact me. If you have technical "how do I" questions about this template, you discover a bug, or want to suggest a new feature, then please post your comments below.


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Comments for Access WatchDog Template
Age Subject From
2 yearsWatchDog 1.1 UpdateRichard Rost
13 monthsForce Reboot at 3 amEduardo Benaim


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Keywords: templates access reboot pc if access database locks up, restart pc, system watchdog, watch dog, computer freezes, auto reboot pc if application locks up  PermaLink  Microsoft Access WatchDog Template