How to fix Access Database Error 2239

Summary: This post will talk about different occurrences of Access Database Error 2239 and reasons behind the error. Also, it discusses solutions to fix Access Database Error 2239.

It is common for Access database users to encounter Access Database Error 2239. However, the error message can differ depending upon the version of your Access database.

Understanding version-specific Occurrences of Access Database Error 2239

Two different occurrences of the Access Database Error 2239 are as follows:

  • Occurrence 1: MS Access 2003 users may encounter error code 2239 along with the message “the database ‘filename.mdb’ can’t be repaired or isn’t a Microsoft Office Access database file’.
  • Occurrence 2: MS Access 2007 and 2010 users may receive 2239 error code with a message that says “database is in an inconsistent state”.

TIP: Prevent database downtime by quickly repairing Access db files using a specialized Access repair tool such as Stellar Repair for Access. The tool can fix database inconsistencies, repair it and restore the database back to its normal state. It supports MS Access 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 & older versions.

Now lets look at both these occurrences:

Occurrence 1 (Access 2003) – In Microsoft Access 2003, you may encounter 2239 error code, with a message that says:

The database ‘filename.mdb’ needs to be repaired or isn’t a database file.

What Causes ‘the database ‘filename.mdb’ needs to be repaired or isn’t a database file’ error?

This particular error occurs when the Access Jet Database Engine cannot recognize the basic structure and definition of an Access database (.mdb) file, but finds some corruption in the table data or its definition.

Essentially, corruption in the MDB file may result in the ‘the database ‘filename.mdb’ needs to be repaired or isn’t a database file’ error.

There may be different reasons that can turn the MDB file corrupt, some of them are listed as below:

Cause 1: Interruption during database writes

If the Access database is abruptly shut down while you are writing to it, the Jet database engine may mark that database as corrupt. Essentially, Microsoft Jet sets a flag while beginning a write operation, and it resets the flag once the operation is complete. The flag remains set in case the write operation is interrupted.

When you try to open the database again, the Jet database engine determines whether the flag is set and reports that the database is corrupt.

Cause 2: Network connectivity issues

The problem in the network or the server getting locked for a few seconds can corrupt the records in the Access table, thereby resulting in .mdb file corruption.

Cause 3: Using Access Jet Database in multi-user environment

Any modification made to the database can be temporarily stored in a transaction log, which can be committed (i.e. updated) to the database at a later stage. Without the transaction log, having multiple users reading and writing to the same database can result in corruption.

Considering that the Access Jet database engine does not use a transaction log, and allows users to read and write to the same database in a multi-user environment, there’s potential risk of .mdb file corruption.

Cause 4: Access Lock Information (.ldb) file

Microsoft automatically creates a lock file (.ldb) file when an Access database is opened by a user in shared mode. Although, the .ldb file also gets automatically deleted once the last user exits the shared database, but there are a few exceptions that may prevent the file from getting deleted.

The lock file keeps a track of the users who have logged on, and at times, the file may create issues if not deleted. Essentially, the .ldb file may prevent renaming, opening or compacting the .mdb file, assuming someone is logged on to the database.

How to fix Error 2239: ‘the database ‘filename.mdb’ needs to be repaired or isn’t a database file’ error?

Here’s a step-by-step process, following which may help you fix the ‘database needs to be repaired’ error:

Step 1: Create a Backup

Besides your regular backup strategy, make sure to create a backup of the corrupt or damaged (.mdb) file. This is because during the repair process, Access may truncate some data from damaged tables. You can restore the truncated data from the backup.

Step 2: Delete the .ldb file

  1. Create a copy of the Access database (.mdb) file.
  2. Delete the original database file, and then delete the .ldb file.
  3. Rename the copy of the .mdb file to the name of the original one.

Step 3: Use ‘Compact and Repair’ Method

Try using the Access built-in ‘Compact and Repair’ method to fix 2239 error, and here’s how:

NOTE: Make sure to close the database before running the ‘Compact and Repair’ utility.

  1. Open MS Access application on your system
  2. Click the ‘File’ tab, and then click ‘Info’
  3. From the ‘Info’ dialog box, click the ‘Compact & Repair Database’ button

Step 4: Try importing the objects from corrupt database to a new one

If the above steps do not succeed in fixing the error, try importing the objects from the corrupt Access database (.mdb) file to a new one. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. In the Database window, click the ‘Access’ option under the External Data tab.
  2. In the ‘Get External Data – Access Database’ dialog box, type the name of the source database or browse the database
  3. Next, select the ‘Import tables, queries, forms, reports, macros, and modules into the current database’ option
  1. Click ‘OK’
  2. In the ‘Import Objects’ dialog box that appears, select the desired objects you want to import.

NOTE: To select all the objects from the ‘Import Objects’ screen, click Select all.

  1. Click ‘OK’ to initiate the import process.

Step 5: Recover data from the corrupt table

If there is damage in the database file table, try exporting the table to another Access database, by following these steps

  1. In your MS Access database application, export the table to an ASCII (delimited text) file.
  2. Delete any relationships associated with the Access database table
  3. Delete the corrupt table from the database, and then compact the database.
  4. Next, re-create the table and associated relationships.
  5. Open the ASCII file in a word processor, and remove bad or strange data from the file.
  6. Save the file in ASCII text file format.
  7. Re-import the ASCII text file into the newly created table.
  8. Re-enter any records from the table you were forced to delete.

Step 6: Use a Professional Access Repair Software

If the previous steps fail to fix ‘Access Database Error 2239’ and recover the data, the database is probably severely corrupt. If this is the case, using a specialized Access Repair software such as Stellar Repair for Access may come in handy.


The software is specifically built to address Access database issues and errors arising due to severe corruption or any other reason.  Most importantly, Stellar Repair for Access software makes the task of repairing corrupt database hassle-free, because of its rich and intuitive GUI – that can be easily operated by any user. Further, the software helps:

  • Repair all of the database objects, including tables, queries, reports, forms and indexes.
  • Recover macros, modules and relational databases.
  • Restore deleted records to a new database
  • Provide free preview of recoverable objects before saving and more.

To use the software follow these steps:

  1. Download, install and launch the trial* version of Stellar Repair for Access on your system
  2. Run the Stellar Repair for Access software. This will open the main user interface of the software.
  1. In the ‘Select Database’ dialog box, click ‘Browse’ or ‘Search’ to select or locate the Access database file
  1. Click ‘Repair’ to begin the repair process
  2. Once the repair process is complete, a list of recoverable objects is displayed on the left pane.
  1. Save the repaired database, by clicking on the ‘Save Database File’ button.
  2. Choose the desired location to save the repaired Access database file
  1. Click ‘OK’.

You can view the repaired database file at the specified location.

*The trial version of the software scans the Access database and shows preview of all the recoverable objects. Once you are able to ascertain the software’s effectiveness, you can save the recoverable objects by activating the software.

Occurrence 2 (Access 2007 and 2010) – In Microsoft Access 2007 and 2010 versions, you may receive Access Database Error 2239 with a message that reads:

<Database Name> has detected that this database is in an inconsistent state, and cannot attempt to recover the database because the file is read-only. To allow Access to recover the database, close the database and set the field to read/write, and then open the database.

Probable Causes Resulting in Error 2239, and its Solutions

There could be several reasons behind this error, let’s have a look at the most plausible causes:

Cause 1: The Read-only attribute of the .mdb file may be set

When you are using a compact disc-recordable (CD-R) or a compact disc-rewritable (CD-RW) for moving the .mdb file, the read-only only attribute of the file may be set.

Solution: Clear the Read-only attribute by following these steps:

  1. Click ‘This PC’, and locate the Access database file that you moved.
  2. Right-click on the database file, and then click ‘Properties’.
  3. In the ‘Properties’ dialog box, uncheck the Read-only attribute.
  4. Click ‘OK’.

Cause 2: Lack of necessary permissions to use the database file.

The administrator or individual who has created the Access database, might not have created appropriate permissions for you required to access the database file.

Solution: Contact the database administrator to get sufficient permissions needed to use the Access database file.

Cause 3: Database in the shared folder is locked.

Sometimes, the database may get locked to read-only mode, if some user without necessary permissions attempts to perform write function in the database file in the shared folder.

Solution: Make sure that all the users who open the Access database file have the necessary – read, write and create – permissions for the folder in which the database file is located.


This post highlighted version-specific occurrences of Access Database Error 2239, and plausible causes behind the error. It also outlined manual solutions such as ‘Compact & Repair’ and a few others that can be used to fix the error. But, keep in mind, implementing these solutions requires significant time and efforts. Besides, implementing some manual methods without technical competence involves the risk of data loss. In that case, Access Repair Software such as Stellar Repair for Access can serve as a faster and more convenient solution to your problem.

  1. Neil Mailburn January 30, 2020
    • Eric Simson February 5, 2020

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