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Summary: At times, after executing a query, your MS Access database might become corrupted. From virus intrusions, bad sectors on hard drives to software failure, there can be many reasons for corruption. To counter such issues, this article details a few manual fixes that troubleshoot your corruption issues with ease. Along with these manual fixes, check out a high-end automated utility, Kernel for Access Database Repair, that offers quicker and more effective resolution.

Microsoft Access Database is a widely used and powerful database management system across various industries, including banking, human resources, manufacturing, payroll systems, and airlines, to name a few. Developed and maintained by Microsoft, MS Access is a vital component of the MS Office Suite.

MS Access features a relational MS Jet Database Engine and integrated development tools, making it a preferred choice for corporate professionals. However, like other database files, MS Access files are susceptible to corruption, jeopardizing critical data. Before delving into the causes and prevention of corruption, let’s explore how MS Access is utilized for database creation and management.

MS Access – relational Database management system

With MS Access queries, users can preview, consolidate, and modify data stored in database tables to meet specific needs. Queries essentially combine various tables and commands like insert, delete, select, create, and remove. While these queries may appear straightforward during database creation in MS Access, even minor adjustments can lead to significant issues. Hence, it’s essential to handle MS Access database queries with care and precision.

Updated queries, which modify field values based on specified conditions, provide a powerful capability within relational database management systems. They enable the simultaneous modification of multiple records, optimizing application performance. However, these queries, often comprising numerous conditional statements, can be delicate, with minor adjustments risking database damage. In cases of Access database corruption, the primary recourse is to restore data from an updated backup copy. But what if there’s no available backup or the backup utility fails to restore the corrupted data?

Corruption in MS Access files can stem from various causes, with one of the most prominent being errors within the binary file format of the database. When such issues arise, users may encounter unexpected errors when accessing or working with the database file. While the Jet Database Engine of Access can auto-correct minor problems within the database, it may leave the root cause of these errors unresolved, potentially leading to future corruption. Below, we’ve outlined some common yet significant reasons for Access Database corruption.

Reasons behind the Access Database corruption

Here are some major reasons for Access Database corruption issues.

  1. Updating the data in the Memo fields frequently increases the chances of Access database corruption. The problem starts taking place when the VBA module gets affected by frequent edits. However, it doesn’t pose a risk of data loss at all, but it may damage the database design.
  2. External threats like Virus Intrusions can also affect Access database files. And in severe conditions, it may affect your Windows as well.
  3. Bad sectors on hard drives, including lost packets on network cards, affect the workflow of applications, which may result in the corruption of database files.
  4. In case multiple users are operating on the same database platform along with different Jet Service packs and updates installed, differences in the .mdb file may lead to database corruption.
  5. Software failure or, in simple terms, bugs within the application are also a root cause of corruption.
  6. Sometimes sudden closure of the application interface while performing some specific operation on the database can lead to corruption in files as well as the application itself.
Repair corrupt Access Database – manual fixes

Rather than seeking assistance from experts or organizations to address database file corruption, you can employ some manual techniques for minor-level corruption resolution on your own.

Manual fix 1: Clear Name AutoCorrect options

Clearing all Name AutoCorrect options will resolve minor level corruption issues in your database files. To do that, follow the steps given below:

  1. Go to File >> Options.
  2. Once the Access Options dialog box appears, click on the Current Database tab.
  3. Click to clear the below checkboxes under the Name AutoCorrect option:
    • Track name AutoCorrect into
    • Perform name AutoCorrect
    • Log name AutoCorrect changes
  4. Click OK.
Manual fix 2: Use built-in Access ‘Compact & Repair’ feature

The built-in utility ‘Compact & Repair Database’ provided by Access 2010 and later versions can be used to rectify minor level corruption issues. Follow the steps given below to use this feature.

  1. Launch MS Access
  2. Go to File >> Open Other Files
  3. Browse to locate the corrupted database file and click Open
  4. Click on the Database Tools tab from the menu bar options.
    Click on the Database Tools tab
  5. Click on the Compact and Repair Database option.
    Compact and Repair Database option
Manual fix 3: Import corrupt objects to a new database

When faced with corruption in MS Access after executing or modifying a query, you can look to import the corrupt objects to a new database. Here is how.

Open MS Access and go to the File menu. Tap on New and then Blank Database to create a new database file.

  • From the External Data tab, click on Access.
    External Data tab
  • Tap on Browse and locate the corrupt database file to import.
  • Choose the option within ‘Specify how and where you want to store the data in the current database.’ Hit OK.
    Select the source and destination of the data
  • Choose all database objects you need to import and tap OK to finish.
Manual fix 4: Changing the database location

In case your Access database is not stored at a secured location then you can face the corruption issues after executing the query. Considering such a situation, you can change the location of your database file to a trusted location. Follow the below steps:

  • Open MS Access and go to the File menu. Click on Options.
  • Within Access Options, select Trust Center and go to Trust Center Settings.
    Trust Center Settings
  • Tap on Trusted Locations. Select Allow Trusted Locations on my network and add the network location.
    add the network location
  • Click on Add New Location.
  • Tap on Browse option to browse to your destination location.
  • Checkmark the option “Subfolders of this location are also trusted”. Tap on OK.
  • You can now move your database to this new location and database corruption must be fixed by now.

While the solutions mentioned above often resolve the issue and restore data accessibility, in cases of persistent corruption, the next step is to utilize advanced MS Access recovery software. Kernel for Access Database Repair stands out as a powerful tool, employing sophisticated scanning algorithms to efficiently repair corrupted or damaged Access databases. With two repair modes for effective recovery and the ability to preview and select specific items from the retrieved database objects, this advanced tool is not limited by file size and offers compatibility with all widely used MS Access versions.

  1. Launch Kernel for Access Repair on your Windows platform.
  2. Click ‘Select File’ to navigate to the directory containing the corrupted Access database files.
    Select File
  3. Select the Mode to repair the corrupt Access file and click on the Repair button.
  4. Wait until the scan and repair process gets completed, this may take a while depending on the actual database file size.
  5. Once the process gets completed, you can preview the recovered file in the next window (View File). The left panel of the interface displays the number of tables contained inside the database file, and the right panel shows the records/data of the table specified in the left panel. Click Save to save the required file.
    Note: For demo purpose, we have taken a sample Access database file that has no entries (table or data) created within. Therefore, the screenshot below doesn’t show any data in both the panels.
  6. Provide a destination path to save the recovered file and click Save.
  7. The repaired database file will be saved at the specified location.

Wrapping up

While manual methods are suitable for addressing minor database corruption resulting from query modifications or executions, severe corruption demands the assistance of a dependable third-party tool. In this context, the advanced Kernel for Access Database Repair tool stands out, offering the ability to preview recovered data items before saving them to local directories. With the capability to effectively tackle various MS Access database corruption issues, it is a valuable asset for data recovery.

Kernel for Access Database Repair