Access 97, for some unknown reason, seems to chew up all available CPU when it’s idle. Microsoft acknowledges this but has never provided a fix or workaround. It turns out this isn’t much of a problem – if you have other applications running which need CPU time, Access will gladly relinquish it. But PCs and laptops have evolved in the past 10 years, and often have variable-speed fans, which invariably sound like a cross between a vacuum cleaner and a jet engine when running at full pelt. Fortunately, there’s an unofficial patch available to bring Access’ CPU usage down to a more respectable level. Being unofficial, it’s of course not supported by Microsoft (or even the author of the patch), but it does seem to work fine on my system. The patch needs the latest Office 97 Service Release (SR2b), a 24MB free download from this MS page.