Along with knowing how to operate Microsoft Access properly, take regular backups of the Access data and how to repair damaged MDB files, as an Access user, you also need to be aware of what could cause corruption in the MDB file. This will help you take the vital steps needed to minimize corruption in an Access MDB file.
There are many factors that could affect the functioning of the Access database. Hardware problems such as network cable faults or problems in the network interface cards could result in the MDB file getting damaged. Similarly, virus attacks or software failures could also cause corruption in the MDB file. What may seem as a simple problem, such as a sudden power outage could result in the integrity of the data being affected and Access treating the MDB file as suspect. Similarly, not closing the Access file properly could corrupt the database file. One of the best tools to carry out an MDB recovery is of course the Compact and Repair tool that will help resolve many of the issues that can cause errors while working with the Access database.
Some of the lesser-known reasons for corruption in the MDB file are as follows.
- Some applications like Microsoft Word might allow you to open an MDB file and then save it. However, once you do that the file is effectively scrambled and you cannot recover the MDB file for use as an Access database. In fact, if you now try to open the MDB file, you will be prompted for a password while you may never have set one. When you save the MDB file in another application, the binary structure is scrambled. When Access reads the first corrupted byte, it believes the file is password protected and asks for the password to proceed further. Even if you were to find a way of getting past the password prompt, the database is corrupted for all practical purposes, and you may be in danger of losing all the data stored in the MDB file. The only way to carry out an MDB recovery would possibly be from a backup.
- You should also keep in mind that different versions of the Jet Database Engine write in different ways to the Access database. If you run different version of this Engine, you might end up corrupting the MDB file. You should therefore avoid running mismatched versions of the Jet Database Engine.
- Even if you have a single user who is not shutting down the database properly, this could cause problems for all the other users. At times, they may all be denied access to the database. Worse still, a single user who is improperly shutting down the Access database could corrupt the entire MDB file and all the users will start receiving corrupt data.
If you suspect that there is a corruption in the MDB file, you should immediately run the Compact and Repair utility to fix low levels of corruption and carry out an MDB recovery. However, if the corruption is severe, you may have no choice but to resort to powerful third-party tools such as DataNumen Access Repair from DataNumen to successfully recover all the data from the MDB file. This tool supports integration with Windows Explorer making it very easy for you to choose the file that needs fixing – just a click of the button will then start the recovery process. Despite, this simplicity, DataNumen Access Repair has many strong features and a recovery rate of well over 90%.