Step-by-step Approach to Recovering from MDB Corruption

Since many of us use Microsoft Access for storing important data that are more easily stored and retrieved from Access than Excel, it is also important that we understand the steps we need to take if we fear corruption in the MDB databases. The following article provides a step-by-step approach to recovering from MDB corruption.

Though Microsoft Access is a powerful database, there is no doubt that there are many causes for corruption in the MDB databases used to store all the data. One needs to understand what are the specific symptoms that indicate corruption in the Access database so that it can be fixed and the data retrieved. On the other hand, there are some standard steps that should be taken once corruption in the Access database is suspected. When you believe that there are problems with the database and that these may be caused by corruption, you should immediately take these steps. These steps will remain common for most common forms of symptoms and avoid any data loss during Access recovery.

The step-by-step approach to recovering from MDB corruption is as follows –

  • Start with a Backup – Once you suspect that the Access database you are dealing with is corrupt in any manner, you should immediately make a backup coy of the database ensuring that you do not overwrite over any existing backups. There have been occasions when an attempt at fixing corruption has led to greater corruption in the MDB files. If there has been no backup of the latest data file then quite a bit of the latest data and changes to the data would have been lost, making an Access recovery almost impossible. Anyhow, by taking a backup before starting the repair process you will ensure that you have the necessary files to recover data from.
  • Run the Compact and Repair Database Tool – Only after you have taken a proper backup of the database that you are having problems should you run the Compact and Repair Database Tool. A very powerful Access repair tool, this should help you fix the problems in the database and then compact the database to make sure that all the empty space is made proper use of.
  • Use the Decompile option – It is also worth decompiling the Access database. For this, you can locate the msaccess.exe file and then decompile the database that has been giving you trouble. This will ensure that the Access recovery is indeed effective.
  • Compact again – Very often, compacting the database only once does not work and space created by the deletion of records or moving them around, is not made use of efficiently. When you run the compact tool again, you are ensuring that the Access file can run fairly fast.

Typically, these steps should help you resolve problems like Name-AutoCorrect errors in the database, resolve inconsistencies if any between the text- and compiled-versions of the code and repair indexes.

Though this might sound like a very simple approach, most of the time it does work and many of the minor inconsistencies and errors are fixed. When the Compact and Repair Database tool does not work, there is another simple approach that you might want to adopt while fixing corruption problems in the Access database and that is to try a specialized tool such as DataNumen Access Repair from DataNumen. This tool quickly identifies all the errors in the corrupt database and works towards recovering all the data from it, easily and swiftly.

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