Only the first 12,000 tables appear in the Link Tables dialog box in Microsoft Access 2000, Microsoft Access 2002, or Microsoft Office Access 2003. Now who the heck would have an application that large? Clearly some organization with a lot of pull at Microsoft to get this problem fixed.
That KB article references an updated version of Jet 4.0 – 4.0.9514.0. Description of the Jet 4.0 Database Engine cumulative hotfix package for Windows XP SP2 and SP3, Windows Server 2003 SP1 and SP2, Windows Vista, Windows Vista SP1, and Windows Server 2008: July 2, 2008. This KB article mentions Access 1.0 and 2.0 problems and ADO records from an Excel spreadsheet as well as the above mentioned problem.