Overview of the Main Causes for Microsoft Access Database Corruption

While a single MDB file provides Microsoft Access database great flexibility and also makes it easier for users to start working on it, it also makes it more prone to corruption. The article below will help you understand the main causes for Access database corruption so that you can take all the necessary precautions to avoid damage to your database and prevent data loss.

Understanding the main causes of corruption will save you a lot of time if you do come across an Access database that you suspect of corruption. Since every Access database typically has just one MDB file – unless you are working with a split database – any damage caused to the main MDB file could result not only in damage to the interface objects such as the reports and forms but also to the valuable data stored in the file. If you have been taking regular backups, you might find it easy to simply replace the damaged forms and reports with ones from the backup. It is not so easy to recover the records or the tables they were stored in – you might have to resort to third-party tools to carry out an Access recovery. By knowing the causes of corruption in Access files, you could save yourself a lot of future hassles.

  • The correct way of shutting down Microsoft Access is by going to the main File menu and then selecting either Close – to close the particular database, or Exit – to exit Access completely. This allows Access to properly shut down all the open operations. Any other way of shutting down Access will result in some corruption of the file. For example, if the database is open and you have made some changes in the file, it could still be writing data in the background. If Access does not respond immediately to your request to close or exit, you might force it to shut down. This may result in the Jet Database Engine marking the file as corrupt or damaged. In some cases, you might not even be able to open the file the next time around and you will have to immediately carry out an Access recovery to start working on the file again. You should advise users on the best way of opening and closing Access database so that this problem does not recur.
  • Network interruptions too have the same effect as in the above case. If Access database is still writing data when you lose connection to the network, the file may be marked as corrupt. Typically, in such situations, the Compact and Repair utility should help you resolve some of the corruption issues and you should be able to continue working on the MDB file.
  • Corruption in the Access database caused by hardware problems is the hardest to resolve. There are many components in the chain that connects the workstation you are working on to the computer where the database actually resides such as network cabling, network interface cards, routers, hubs, etc. Hardware corruption cannot usually be restored by the Compact and Repair utility and one has to use more advanced software to carry out an Access recovery. For example, DataNumen Access Repair from DataNumen is a leading repair tool that manages to recover data from severely damaged Access databases. It works across a large number of Access versions and has an enviable data recovery record of well over 90%.

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