The MDB file is what houses all of the data for your Access Database. It contains everything that you used to create the database, such as forms and tables, as well as the background information to keep the database healthy.
You are probably already familiar with the numerous types of files associated with the most common Microsoft applications. The file type refers to the file extension. Word uses the .doc and .docx file. Excel uses the .xls and .xlsx file. For Microsoft Access, the file is the .mdb.
Commonly called the MDB file, it holds everything about your Access database. All of your tables, forms, modules, queries, macros, and data are contained within the single file. It can also house information from other file types.
Identifying the MDB File
You probably are already able to identify the MDB file, you just did not know that is what it is called. However, you may sometimes see two file types that look the same.
- The MDB file is the one that contains the database.
- The second file is called an LDB file. It is a temporary file that will usually disappear when the MDB file is closed. You should never use this file to work with your data. The file will provide messages when you try to use it, but you should be aware that it is there. Opening it will not harm your database, but you won’t be able to work with anything either.
Working with the MDB file is really no different than working with a Word or Excel file. If you want to open it with Access, simply double click on the file. You can also open it with other programs. However, you need to know what information you want to retrieve first.
Also like other Microsoft file types, you can convert the MDB file. It is a complicated process, and it is best that you not use the source file. Instead of using your original file, create a copy and convert it.
You should always back up your database. This is true even after you complete the initial set up for it. After you did all that work, you really don’t want to have to start over from the beginning. You need to establish a regular interval for creating the backup file. Make sure it is stored somewhere separate from your actively updated MDB file.
Dealing with a Corrupted MDB File
Unfortunately, MDB files are no more immune to corruption than other file types. While there are things you can do to minimize the odds of corruption, there is no full-proof way to protect your file.
You should always back up your database. If something happens and your working file is corrupted, you will lose a minimal amount of information if you have recently backed up the database..
If you do not have a backup or if you want to try to fix your file first, you can ask an expert for assistance. MDB repair can be tricky and you should rely on someone who has experience recovering them.
Victor Ren is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including Excel recovery tool and word recovery tool. For more information visit www.datanumen.com