Alternative Solution To Repair Corrupt Microsoft Access Database

Summary: The blog explains MS Access database and defines both MDB and ACCDB file formats being used by various versions of the application. It describes the reasons that make the MS Access database files corrupt along with the process to recover database from the state of corruption.

MS Access offers a highly productive platform for advanced security and control over data. It is a DBMS (Database Management System) provided by Microsoft that correlates relational Microsoft JET Database Engine with GUI (Graphical User Interface) and software development tools. The application is integrated within Professional or Premium version of MS Office Suite or sold separately; hence, a user can opt for either option.

Access database repair

It does not demand any complicated programming to create a database in MS Access, and this makes it one of the most leading options for business professionals and data managers. It is also quite popular among data architects and software developers for developing application software. MS Access is relatively compatible with SQL. Tables, Forms, Queries, and Reports can be created and connected with Macros.

To understand MS Access database thoroughly, let’s understand the concept of MDB and ACCDB, the data files being used by the respective database.

What is MDB & ACCDB Files?

MDB: Earlier versions of MS Access such as Access 2000, 2002 and 2003 saves data in MDB file. It is a single database file that stores the entire data, and, therefore, it is important to fix Access database file if it turns unreadable. Likewise, other database applications, MS Access database file is also prone to turning corrupt: hence, backing up the MDB file and periodic compacting is recommended to prevent data loss. However, to make the MDB file read by other applications such as SharePoint, Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, it is important to convert the file for making the integrated data compatible with MS Access.

ACCDB: All latest versions, including MS Access 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 use ACCDB as its proprietary file format. This file format offers advanced features with improved and optimised functionality. It allows including attachments in the database and using multivalued fields. With improved database security model, it supports the security validation of DB files with the major advantage being, both MS Outlook and SharePoint trust this validation. In Access 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016, it is quite easier to save the database contents to MDB file with or without using the Classic menu. To convert MDB to ACCDB, click on the File menu, click on Save As and just select the ACCDB format and save it.

Despite using MDB and ACCDB files with immense consideration, they, however, are not immune to turning corrupt; therefore, it becomes imperative to repair MS Access database file, irrespective of the version.

Causes for MS Access Database File Corruption

One of the major reasons for MS Access database file corruption is the improper shutdown of the Windows machine. Several reasons lead to an abrupt system shutdown which are as follows:

  • Improper system shutdown without closing MS Access database.
  • Windows freezes when MS Access database is open, and any of the related tasks such as editing, saving, or deleting data is in process
  • When you reboot the computer while it displays “Access is not responding” error message on the screen
  • System shuts down abruptly due to frequent power failures and surges
  • Less free space (less than 50 MB) on the hard disk. If there is inadequate space available on the storage media, the system will fail without any warning

Apart from the improper shutdown, there are other reasons as well that makes ACCDB and MDB files inaccessible; this calls upon the need to employ an Access database repair tool. Some of these reasons are illustrated below:

  • Database file can turn unreadable due to failure of storage media
  • Any hardware inconsistencies can lead to loss of MS Access data
  • A faulty network device such as data card, router, cables, network cards, hubs, etc.
  • Virus attack or malware can make MS Access database corrupt
  • File system corruption leads to missing contents from the database file and makes it unreadable

In the case of any of the scenario as mentioned above, it is important to retrieve data from corrupt ACCDB or MDB files. You can use Stellar Repair for Access to recover data from unreadable MS Access ACCDB or MDB files.

The third-party Access database repair tool can be used to preview the tables, indexes, queries, and relations from inaccessible database files using a simple procedure. The method to repair corrupt Access database is mentioned below.


How to repair MS Access ACCDB & MDB Files?

Here, Stellar Repair for Access tool would serve the purpose. The tool offers three different ways to upload a file in cases when:

  1. The exact storage location is known, and
  2. When the exact storage location is unknown.

Let’s look at each:

When the exact location of ACCDB/ MDB Files is known –

Click the Browse button to select the corrupt Access database file from a known location.

Repair Access Database

When the exact location of ACCDB/ MDB File is unknown 

Select the drive from the drop-down list and click Search.

Search Access Database File

The tool will display all the files stored in the selected folder within the preview section. Now, select the files that need to be repaired and click on the Repair button.

Repair Access file

Note: The trial version allows executing free Access database repair operation on Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, 2003 and Windows XP. It provides the benefit to preview all recoverable database objects within the tool panel.


When MS Access ACCDB or MDB files turns corrupt, there is no straightforward process available to salvage data from the state of corruption. However, Stellar Repair for Access offers a simple way to repair corrupt database files, irrespective of the level of corruption. The tool integrates powerful scan algorithms that successfully recovers high volume database files from all types of corruption. It works on all the versions of the application including MS Access  2019, 2016, 2013, 2010 and lower versions.

Suggested Article: How to repair corrupt MDB file?

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