The error I’m getting when setting up an OleDB connection to an Access database* via the Server Explorer in Visual Studio 2008 is Incorrect Add Connection screen‘Format of the initialization string does not conform to specification starting at index 0’. The screen doesn’t display the way it should be displayed, as you can see in the screenshot on the left.

There is a possible fix at svenM’s blog (it’s about checking the existence of a key in the registry called ‘ProgID’ and the default value, as you can read in this article), but this doesn’t seem to work for my situation.
It took me some time trying lots of  ‘possible fixes’ (like the registry change, attempts to (re-)install mdac, uninstalling and installing Visual Studio, and so on) . None of them helped. I even went through all four pages of this lengthy thread, but to no avail. The only thing I haven’t tried yet is the most rigorous solution: format the disk and start with a fresh install.

I’m getting annoyed over here…, if you have any tips: let me know.

* I won’t go in to whether an Access file is or is not a database ;). And although I generally wouldn’t consider Access as the database solution for an important business application, I do think it does have its pro’s in specific scenarios, like for a relative small web application.