Understanding the Role of Proper Backups

Since critical data is stored in Microsoft Access database, it is important that one takes all the steps necessary to protect the data from hardware and software problems as well as other disasters. Taking regular backups and being ready with recovery tools is one important way of protecting the data.

Most Microsoft Access users are not aware of the best ways of preventing corruption and protecting their data. There are many steps that users can take to prevent corruption and damage to the MDB file as also to repair the file once corruption has been detected. Since it is not always possible to recover all the data, the best solution is to have a regular backup strategy in place to replace data that cannot be recovered. Access provides built-in functionality to take regular backups and to restore data in case of corruption in the database. It is also a good idea to be aware of third-party solutions that are more capable of carrying out a quick MDB recovery of highly damaged Access databases.

The popularity of the Access database arises from the extensibility of the database as well as its extreme flexibility. However, this also means that the numerous plug-ins, macros and VBA code that bring about this flexibility and increase the effectiveness of Access also cause corruption in the Access database. Further, Access typically carries out a check of the database during normal operations and also fixes minor corruption issues. This means that there is no way of knowing if there has been any corruption in the MDB file or if the error arising in a database is because of corruption in the MDB file or in the macros, plug-ins and so on. If the MDB file is corrupted, one can carry out an MDB recovery to restore the data in the file but the first step has to be to understand whether the error arising is due to corruption in the Access database or for some other reason.

  • If you are facing problems with your Access database while working on a local network, you might want to copy the MDB file from the network onto a local machine so that you can thoroughly test it. If the problems do not continue, you can look at problems in the network and consider upgrading the equipment so that the problems do not reappear.
  • You should test the database that is giving you trouble on another machine that has MS Access installed on it. If the problems do not arise on this machine, then it is possible that hardware or software problems on your particular machine are causing problems in the database. Try removing all unnecessary software as well as troubleshooting the hardware so that you can identify where the problem is and then resolve it.
  • You should check the kind of error message that you are getting against a very common list of corruption messages indicating what the symptoms are. Some common messages are – ‘Unrecognized Database Format’ or ‘This database is in an unrecognized format.’ Knowing the symptoms will help you resolve the problem.

Sometimes despite taking all precautions and regular backups, it is not possible to restore the data of a corrupted MDB file. Faulty media could cause corruption in the backup files as well. In such cases, powerful third-party tools such as DataNumen Access Repair from DataNumen are very useful in carrying out an MDB recovery from highly damaged databases and even from faulty media.

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