You should be using the catalog views instead of the old system tables (e.g.
sys.objects instead of
sys.columns instead of
sys.syscolumns). The system tables still exist, but they are there for backward compatibility only. Some of them have been moved to the hidden system database,
mssqlsystemresource, and/or are only visible when connecting with the dedicated administrator connection. Of course you will need certain permissions to view the new catalog views.
Please read the notes on the old docs, e.g. for
This SQL Server 2000 system table is included as a view for backward compatibility. We recommend that you use the current SQL Server system views instead. To find the equivalent system view or views, see Mapping SQL Server 2000 System Tables to SQL Server 2005 System Views. This feature will be removed in a future version of Microsoft SQL Server. Avoid using this feature in new development work, and plan to modify applications that currently use this feature.
Here is a link to the mapping document they mention, but don't link. This should show you how to start making the transition from, say,
Stop using the old system tables. Learn the new metadata; it's here to stay.