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MS Access 2002- Problem importing File

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I apologize, it is a fixed width import. First 2 rows of data contain many "blank" columns, and this appears to be my problem. Evidently there are "embedded null values" in my source file and Access 2002 cannot "read" these, instead it needs spaces to mark the blank columns. Strangely enough, Access 97 imports everything just fine, and there is no truncation (I checked). If I delete the first 2 rows from the source text file that have some blank fields in them, it imports into 2002 perfect, leading me to say with some confidence it is an issue with the embedded null values... Any advice with this issue? I cannot modify the source file because it is a production file, I need to import! Please don't tell me I must regress to 97 in order to perform this operation!!!!!!!!