Though Access provides a very powerful repair utility called the Compact and Repair tool, the best way of avoiding any data loss due to corruption in the Access database is by taking preventive measures. The following article provides a comprehensive overview of the precautionary steps one can take to avoid corruption in Access databases.
One of the factors, that makes Access so simple to use and manage, is the fact that typically an Access database is a single MDB file. On the other hand, this also means that in case of corruption in this MDB file, you might risk losing all your data. If you are confident that your Access database is running on a very reliable local network and further that you are not going to be modifying any database objects, it might be a rare occurrence for the MDB file to get corrupted. If, as is most likely the case, you are going to be developing the database as well as creating and modifying forms and reports, you are increasing the chances of the MDB file getting corrupted. While you might be able to carry out an MDB recovery by using the in-built Compact and Repair tool or by using a third-party repair tool, the best way to avoid any loss of important data would be to take enough preventive steps to avoid corruption of the MDB file.
The most common reason for an Access database to get corrupted is an interruption in the write operation. This in itself arises because of an improper or forced disconnection. By taking basic but important steps such as backing up the database at regular intervals, compacting the database regularly and closing the database when not in use, you can avoid corruption to a very great degree. If you do experience corruption on a regular basis, there are some areas you should pay attention to, once you have finished recovering the data through an MDB recovery.
- Many users switch off their computers without ensuring that all applications have been closed, for example Access. Users need to be educated on the fact that this could cause corruption in their databases.
- Sudden power outages, spikes in the power supply or even sharp dips could cause damage to the MDB file. By using a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply), corruption due to power problems can be largely avoided.
- Bad components, device conflicts and overheating can also cause corruption in the Access database. By troubleshooting, identifying the bad components and then replacing them, one can avoid damage due to hardware problems.
- If faulty hardware can cause problems, so can faulty software. Poorly designed applications can crash very often resulting in corruption in the MDB files. If you are having trouble with any software, try installing the latest service pack so that all the latest bugs are fixed. Further you should try and remove all the unnecessary software.
- When you share a single MDB file amongst users, there is always a greater risk that the integrity of the data could be compromised. It is better to split the database into a front-end containing object such as forms and reports as well as a back-end containing the actual data. This way, you can focus more on protecting the vital data. Even if this data gets corrupted, tools such as DataNumen Access Repair from DataNumen can easily carry out an MDB recovery and restore the data in the same structure as in the original file.