How to Solve “Invalid field data type (Error 3259)” Problem in MS Access

Find out why you may be getting the response “Invalid field data type (Error 3259)” in MS Access and what you can do when you come across such a message.

Invalid field data type (Error 3259)

You cannot wish away runtime errors. This is because they never go away unless they are fixed. If you wish to update your database and cannot continue due to the above error, consider any of the approaches explained below and fix the problem first before proceeding.

A closer look at runtime error 3259 in MS Access

As you might have guessed, this error occurs when you try to update a field in a database table with a different data type from the one that is already defined. It relates to how the database sorts any data that is added to various fields. The data type of a field is defined during the designing phase of a database. Users can update database fields manually or use scripts. Database developers must test each component of the database to make sure that runtime errors are triggered at the right time.

Reasons why this error is triggered

For a database that is working as it should, updating a field with the wrong data type should trigger this error. However, if the collation order is altered after the database is created, then the error will be triggered. It is wise to consider the versions of MS Access that the target users of a database will have. This is because certain collation sequences are not supported by earlier versions of MS Access. Hence opening a 2010 Access database in Access 2007 can cause this error.

Therefore, it is important to familiarize yourself with database sort order features that are available in recent versions of MS Access before using them on databases that will run on older versions of the application. This approach will help you manage backward compatibility issues associated with collation sequences in MS Access.

Access databases can also get corrupted due to malware attacks, or failure of computer hardware/software such as memory and graphic drivers, respectively. When this happens, various settings on your database, including collation sequences, can be messed up and trigger the above error.

How to fix this problem

Before you start to fix the problem, rule out computer hardware and software issues by opening other Access files on your computer. If the database runs without a problem, then turn your attention to the Access file. As a precautionary measure, it is advisable to install a version of MS Access that is compatible with your database.

Under the general settings, select the right sort order for the database. Now compact and repair the database to complete the process. This procedure is possible if the database has no corruption issues and when you know the initial collation sequence set by the developer. Otherwise, you need to get creative and device a plan that works.

The easiest way is to restore your database using a copy of a backup file that works. But if you do not have a backup, you can opt to create a blank database and import objects from the affected file. This approach may work for databases with minor corruption issues.

In cases where the file has major corruption issues, use the DataNumen Access Repair tool to recover your database data. Once all files have been recovered, import them on to a new database.

DataNumen Access Repair

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