Summary: In this post, you’ll find some manual steps on ‘how to repair Microsoft Access database file and recover data’. In addition, the post will help you understand the common reasons behind MS Access database corruption. Also, you’ll find an automated solution to repair corrupt Access database by using a specialized Access Repair software.
MS Access is a Microsoft’s proprietary Database Management System (DBMS) that is efficient and user-friendly. The ease of use makes it a preferred choice for many organizations. However, Access database files are often plagued by corruption, which can pose a threat to the extremely vital data present in them.
TIP! Don’t forget to check out thisMDB repairarticle if you are using MS Access 2003 or lower versions.
What Causes Access Database Corruption?
Corruption in Access database usually occurs when errors are found in the underlying binary file format of the database. When that happens, you may face random errors or difficulty in using the database. Some other reasons behind Access database corruption are as follows:
1. Frequently Editing Data in Memo Fields
Frequent editing of data in Memo fields increases the chances of Access database corruption. It mostly results from a problem with a VBA module and does not pose a risk of data loss. However, it does pose a risk of database design damage.
2. Interruption when Changing Data
Interruption when making changes to data may cause corruption in the Access database file. You can repair the Access database file, but some data may be missing after the repair is complete.
3. Virus Infection
If a Virus infects a file needed by the Access database and once that file is used when the database opens, the infection will spread to the database and corrupts it.
Hardware failure such as lost packets on network cards and bad sectors on hard drives can cause Microsoft Access application to crash, which may also lead to data loss.
5. Improperly Designed Plug-ins
Installing third-party plug-ins in Access can also corrupt the db, if they are not properly designed. Essentially, plug-ins run in the same memory space as Microsoft Access does. And so, a plug-in crash can also cause the application to crash, leading to database corruption.
6. Jet Database Engine Version Conflicts
If multiple users of the same database have different Jet service packs and updates installed, minor differences in the mdb file format and file-locking mechanisms can cause database corruption.
7. Software Bugs
A few bugs in Access and Jet software are, sometimes themselves, responsible for corruption.
8. Abrupt System Shutdown
Though it happens very rarely, improper shutdown of the system while some activity is being performed on the database can lead to its corruption.
Step 2: Delete Microsoft Access Lock Information (.ldb) Files
An .LDB file gets created when an Access db is opened or accessed for shared use (i.e. in a multi-user environment). The file has same name as that of the Access database, but is saved with an .ldb extension. The file helps in keeping track of all active users accessing the database.
When a user who last uses the database closes the database file, the lock file is deleted automatically. But, it might not get deleted if the user doesn’t have delete permissions to the Access database (.mdf) file or the database is corrupt.
Deleting the .ldb file is important to remove the lock on .mdb file if you want to try to recover the data from that file.
Step 3: Use Jet Compact Utility
Using the Jet Database Engine of Access helps auto-fix minor issues that crop up in the database from time-to-time, while reading and writing data. Due to this, in most cases, you may never even find out that something went wrong. This is both good and bad. Good because your work is not interrupted, bad because corruption can become worse if not treated on time and may cause data loss.
Step 4:Remove all Compiled VBA Codefrom the Database
This can be done using this command line switch from Microsoft:
Stellar Repair for Access is a powerful DIY software that you can use to repair and recover .mdb/.accdb file in a few simple steps.
Follow these steps to repair corrupt access database file by using the software:
1. Download, install and run Stellar Repair for Access software.
2. In the window that pops-up, Browse and select the corrupt file.
You can also search the corrupted MDB or ACCDB files from the appropriate drive by selecting the drive and click on the ‘Search’ button.
Check the “Scan for deleted records” checkbox to include the deleted records for recovery.
3. Click Repair to start the repairing process.
4. After completion of the repair process, a confirmation message will appear on the screen. Click OK.
5. A preview of recoverable Access database objects will be displayed in a tree-like structure. In the left pane, all the recovered database objects will be listed. Click on an object to see its preview in the right pane of the Preview window.
6. To save the repaired data, click Save Database on File menu.
7. Select the destination to save the repaired database file.
8. The file will be saved at the desired location.
Hopefully, this post will help you to repair corrupt Access database. Troubleshooting corruption in the database manually requires effort and time. Also, manual techniques can help fix minor corruption in an Access database. You can use Stellar Repair for Access to repair even severely corrupt Access database, quickly and efficiently. You can free download Stellar Repair for Access software and preview your repaired MS access database before saving it.