How to Repair Corrupted Access Database File

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  • Updated on November 15th, 2022

Microsoft! The word itself means reliability. If you are a common computer user, when you hear this word, the first thing that strikes your mind is Microsoft Windows (it could be any version). If you are a user having more than average computer skills, you may complete it by saying Microsoft Office. When we talk to Microsoft Professionals, they get deep into other productive programs of MS Office like MS Access.

You are right! I am talking about Microsoft Access in this article and will try to explain why we use MS Access, its common errors if corrupted and solutions to repair corrupt MS Access databases.

Note – This is an in-depth article (lengthy article) to serve the solution to repair corrupt Access Database file. Please read the article carefully and till end, for the best solution.

Why do we use Microsoft Access?

MS Access, which is also known as MS Office Access, is a database management system introduced by Microsoft. It combines a graphical user interface (GUI) and other software development tools with the relational Microsoft Jet Database Engine. It is widely used as a Database Management System in most MNCs and big organizations.

What is Database Management System?

High-level corporate industries and organizations deal with a huge amount of data every day. They have thousands of employees reporting daily and millions of reports and transactions flow. All such data have to be managed in such a manner that users can fetch any form of data or detail from that cluster easily. MS Access provides a Data management System that gives users the flexibility to update, remove or edit any information, whenever required. It also allows users to create queries, tables, reports, forms, macros, and VBA modules which cover the front-end (load/entry) and back-end (reporting/maintenance). It also provides security to the data as the data is saved in an encrypted form which can only be decrypted by authorized personal.

MS Access is also used by software developers and data architects to develop application software. When a user works on MS Access, the database is created into two formats.

  • ACCDB (.accdb) or Access Database – In the current versions of Microsoft Access, the database file created is in the form of .accdb format. ACCDB Access Database file format is readable only in Access 2007 and higher versions.
  • MDB (.mdb) or Microsoft Access Database –  In MS Access 2003 and previous versions, the above Database Management System was compiled with a .mdb file or MDB format file.

Corrupted Access Database

I have also mentioned in my previous articles that whenever we deal with computers and where crucial data is a major concern, corruption often occurs if we neglect minor issues or sometimes without our knowledge. No computer file is immune to data corruption, and there have been several reasons why an access database may get corrupted.

Virus: This is the most common reason behind any file corruption. You may not realize that a virus transmitted from any external storage media or an infected website could replicate in the background and makes changes in the file attributes, and formats or even deletes the file from the computer. When you run any program like MS Access, the crucial file that supports the linking of the database or the database itself is corrupted.

Improper Shutdown: It is very rare that a computer that is used to manage such a huge database management system, runs without a power backup (Online UPS). But sometimes if the power backup fails, all the devices including the Access Database server will lead to improper shutdown. During this failure, if there was any work being performed on the database, the whole Access database may get corrupted and inaccessible.

Program Force-Exit: Due to multiple programs running on the computer at the same time, your computer might get hung or unusable for a while. During this session, if you forcefully exit MS Office Access, your database might get corrupted, and then you’ll require to repair access database file.

If you had an accidental loss of data, the Access database is usually corrupt after you perform data recovery using any data recovery software. Other issues like disk failure, Improper data synchronization can also be a reason behind corruption, and therefore we need a trusted solution to repair MS Access Database.

Most Common Errors when Access Database file is Corrupted
  1. Error 3443 – Unrecognized database format ‘path/filename.mdb’
    • unrecognized database format accdb
    • unrecognized database format mdb
  2. The database ‘filename.mdb’ needs to be repaired or isn’t a database file.
  3. Microsoft Access has detected corruption in this file.
  4. Microsoft jet database engine stopped the process because you and another user are attempting to change the same data at the same time.
  5. The database is in an unexpected state.
  6. Record(s) cannot be read; no read permission on ‘XXXX’.
  7. Error 2239 – The database ‘filename.mdb’ needs to be repaired or isn’t a database file.
  8. Error 3011 – The Microsoft Jet database engine could not find the object ‘XXXX’. Make sure the object exists and that you spell its name and the path name correctly.
  9. Error 3022 – The changes you requested to the table were not successful because they would create duplicate values in the index, primary key, or relationship.
  10. Error 3033 – You do not have the necessary permissions to use the ‘filename.mdb’ object. Have your system administrator or the person who created the object establishes the appropriate permissions for you.
  11. (Error 3049 – Cannot open database ‘filename.mdb’. It may not be a database that your application recognizes, or the file may be corrupt.
  12. Unexpected error 35012
  13. Error 3112 –  Record(s) cannot be read; no read permission on ‘xxxx’
  14. Error 3259 – Invalid field data type
  15. You or another user may have unexpectedly quit Microsoft Office Access while a Microsoft Office Access database was open. Do you want Microsoft Office Access to attempt to repair the database?

So above is the list of common errors an MS access user faces during database corruption

Trusted Solution to Repair MS Access Database

There are a couple of solutions to repair Microsoft Access Database from severe corruption. Either you may go with a paid tool to save time and energy, or you may go with an inbuilt solution or a manual solution to repair Access Database file.

You can repair Access database using an Access Database Recovery tool which is developed by one of the finest software developers in the email and database management industry. I am recommending this tool as SysInfoTools also specializes in after-sales service whereas many other software providers fail.

They also provide a Command Line Interface (CLI) version to repair corrupt Access Database file. This version is provided on demand and you may contact them for the same.

Besides this, if you want to recover from Access Database corruption, you may use the built-in Compact and Repair feature by MS Access. You may also use this feature if your Access Database file becomes large as it can compact or reduce the size of the database safely and the content in the database remains intact.

How to Repair Access Database using Compact and Repair Feature (Access 2010)

Access 2010 is my current version so the location might differ a bit if you are using any other version of Access.

  1. Open your MS Access program, (do not open your database file)
  2. Click on Database Tools Tab and than on Compact and Repair DatabaseLocate Compact and Repair Tool
  3. A dialog box “Database to Compact From” will pop up. Locate the corrupt database file that you want to compact and repair and click OK.Repair corrupt Access Database file
  4. The program will start the operation to rectify and recover corruption from the selected database file.

You can also perform compact and repair using a VB code and perform the operation in a single click, below is the VB code.

[code lang=css]
Application.CompactRepair SourceFile, DestinationFile [, LogFile]
‘SourceFile = File to be compacted/repaired
‘DestinationFile = the new compacted/repaired file
‘LogFile = Optional (boolean) whether a log file should be created

You have another option besides the Compact and Repair Database feature. You may also try to import your corrupted database file into a new database. To do this, you need to create a new blank database and follow the steps below.

Import a corrupt database into a fresh Database file in MS Access 2010

  1. Run the MS Access program
  2. Create a New Database fileCreate New Database
  3. Click on the External Data tab and further click on Access to import access databaseImport Access Database
  4. A window will pop up on the screen saying “Get External Data-Access Database”Get External Access Database
  5. Locate the database file from which you want to import data to this new database fileLocate the Corrupt Database file
  6. Specify how and where you want to store the data in the current database and click on OK.Import corrupt Database into a new one
  7. A dialogue box will popup. Select the objects and click on OK to import the data to the new file.Import Selected Objects

So this is how you can repair corrupt Access Database file using a third-party inexpensive tool and other manual techniques to recover from Access database Errors and restore the database to a healthy state.

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