In this article, we’ll take a deep dive and explore the causes of “Unexpected error 35012” in MS Access database and what to do to avoid data loss.
MS Access stands out as one of the simplest database applications to deploy. Also, the fact that it runs on a desktop, it’s cheap and becomes the ideal pick for small businesses. When you encounter the above error, you need to act quickly to avoid imminent data loss.
What causes this error
If your database was created using Access 2003 or an earlier version and you open it using later versions, you are likely to trigger this error. It may also happen when converting old .mdb files to .accdb format. Unfortunately, when this error occurs, you will not access your database. Moreover, the conflict between the two versions of MS Access can corrupt your database.
Caution when handling older Access databases
It is not unusual for people to continue operating old versions of an application, even after the release of newer and powerful variants of the same. The reason behind this is that if the current software meets business needs, there is no justification to spend more on a newer version, especially if there are no monetary benefits. Moreover, there are factors to consider such compatibility with other business-critical applications.
However, if running older versions of MS Access, you’ll need to make a conscious decision to use applications that are compatible with your database. This will help you avoid incidents that can ruin your database and lead to eventual data loss.
When installing older versions of MS Access on your computer, it is advisable to perform a custom installation of the MS Office suite. This is because other applications in the Office suite such as Outlook can cause serious software conflicts and prevent your data file from running.
Approaches to fixing the error
The approach you choose when fixing this error will depend on the state of your database, i.e. whether it is corrupt or not. If your database is not corrupt, you can use a two-step conversion method. First, use Access 2003 to convert your old database to a 2002-2003 version. Then, launch Access 2013 or a later version to open the 2002-2003 database and convert it to .accdb format.
If you don’t have Access 2013, try using Access 2007 or 2010. When converting your old MDB database to an ACCDB format, you can open it in Access 2007 or later versions without experiencing the error.
Sometimes MDB files get corrupted. If this happens, you will need to solve the MDB file corruption before undertaking the database conversion step explained above. The easiest way to fix a faulty Access database is to restore it using a copy of a backup file. However, if the backup is missing or if it is corrupt, then you need a different approach.
Before you start the recovery process, make a copy of the database that will act as a backup. This is because the file can get more corrupt if the recovery process fails. You can opt to fix the database using a manual approach. Launch a version of MS Access which is compatible with your old data file and try to rectify it using the compact and repair tool. Alternatively, use the DataNumen Access Repair tool to recover your corrupt MDB file. Now you may confidently try the steps described above to convert your MDB database to ACCDB format.