I try over 2 days to connect an ESRI Personal Geodatabase with QGIS 2.8.1

Here is my testing report.

Testing environment: Windows 7 64-bit; MS Office 32-bit; QGIS 32-Bit

1. Step: Creating an ODBC-System-DSN We have a 32-bit Office installation. We find the 32-bit ODBC-Administration-Tool under:


enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

The mdb-file is an ESRI Personal Geodatabase.

2. Step: Testing the ODBC-Connecting work With the database4.exe, which is free, I tested the new ODBC-Connecting does work. (http://fishcodelib.com/Database.htm) enter image description here

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Yes, very good!

enter image description here And here you can see all tables in the mdb-File.

3. Step: Open with ODBC-Connection in QGIS enter image description here

Yes, very good. The ODBC is working!

enter image description here

Oh no, the geometry type is Unknown!!

4. Step: Open with ESRI-Personal-GeoDatabase-Connection in QGIS enter image description here

Oh no, the ESRI-Personal-GeoDatabase-Connection doesn't work! Why? enter image description here

Reference 1: Should I try the QGIS 64-bit version? Like this post: https://gis.stackexchange.com/a/139716/53879

My opinion is, that in this post with drag the mdb file into your workspace is NOT an ODBC-Connection. The ESRI Personal Geodatabase will add with "Add Vector-Layer.." in File-Modus. Just try, drag a mdb-file into the workspace. It will open... But I want to connect the ESRI Personal Geodatabase in Database-Modus.

Reference 2: In this post: http://www.northrivergeographic.com/qgis-accessing-personal-geodatabase the workaround work. I think here is QGIS 64-bit installed.

QUESTIONS: -Why work the ODBC-Test and the ESRI-Personal-GeoDatabase-Test not?

-Should I try my workaround in QGIS 64-bit installation? Have anybody some experience?

PROBLEM: I want to connect an existing ESRI-Personal-GeoDatabase (*.mdb) over ODBC and edit the data. In 32-bit installation of QGIS is this not possible??

INFORMATION: I tryed over 4 days to connect an ESRI-Personal-GeoDatabase (*.mdb) over the Database-Radio-Button. UNSUCCESSFUL! I tested extra on a 64Bit PC: 64bit Windows 7 with SP1; 64Bit QGIS; 64Bit Office 2010. I received the same error.

And it was an Original ESRI-Personal-GeoDatabase (*.mdb). I opened with ESRI-Software.

  • 1
    odbc need to be same as datastorage installation. This is the same problem with postgres. if esri run as 32bit you need use 32bit that is not in relation with os system Commented Nov 27, 2015 at 15:13
  • 1) Get this database engine 2) and test this solution Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 11:25
  • Did you solve your problem? could you open/connect to the geodatabase and tables and relationships that may be stored?
    – nanunga
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 11:01

1 Answer 1


You are using a Benutzer-DSN/User DSN. I always use an ODBC connection that is configured on the System DSN tab. Some software may expect to find the configuration in System tab and not the User DSN tab. Hence, this may be the reason why the screen shots of your Benutzer-DSN/User DSN works correctly under certain circumstances.

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