Repair Access Database with Compact and Repair Utility

repair Access databaseAre you looking for a solution to repair Access database or to recover data from it? You’ve come to the right place at the right time. I’m sharing useful information to repair Access database manually. This means you have no need to use any such paid tool that may cost you up to $100. You should consider a professional tool only when manual tricks fail to repair Access database. Keep reading this article for more information.

Microsoft is a leading software developer in this world that provides a wide range of products and services related to computing. Microsoft Office is one of the most popular software programs designed by Microsoft. MS Office suite contains several desktop applications and Access is one of them. Microsoft Access is a database management system, and also known as a database management tool. The database management tools are commonly used in corporate sectors, businesses and other private organizations where a large amount of data is stored and managed in a regular manner.

What is Database Management?

database management systemA database is a computer file that stores a large amount of data and information. The process of manipulation of stored data and information according to the requirements is called database management. Generally, database management involves storing, managing and organizing a large amount of data and information, and you can easily edit or modify it whenever required. Hence, for all these functions of database management, Microsoft Access is one of the best applications for database users.

Access allows you to build tables, queries, forms, reports,  tables, queries, forms, reports, macros and VBA modules which cover both front-end (load/entry) and back-end (reporting/maintenance). In a database file if there are thousands of records, then it may take enough time to search a single piece of information. But Access helps you obtain any information very quickly by just providing a few commands.

Access Database Types

Generally, MS Access saves all your data and information under two file formats: MDB (.mdb) and ACCDB (.accdb).

access database file

  1. MDB (.mdb) or Microsoft Access Database: MDB is the old database file format used by older versions of Microsoft Access (MS Access 2003 and earlier).
  2. ACCDB (.accdb) or Access Database: ACCDB is the new database file format introduced in MS Access 2007 and its later versions. Basically, it’s similar to MDB format, but it offers some additional features like storing file attachments. You can only view or edit an ACCDB file in MS Access 2007 and its later versions.

Factors Responsible for Access Database Corruption

As no computer file is immune to corruption, so as the Access database. Since Access database is prone to corruption, numerous reasons can cause Access database corruption. An Access database can become corrupt at any point of time without any warning. Some of the most common reasons which play an important role in Access database corruption are:

#1 Virus Attack 

This is one of the most common reasons for data and file corruption. A virus can easily harm your computer data stored on any drive on the system. It can easily delete some part of the file or overwrite the file. In such case, the file becomes inaccessible or corrupted.

#2 Improperly Cancellation of Access Program 

Suppose you are working on a database file in MS Access. All of a sudden you close the program in an improper manner or it gets terminated unexpectedly due to system power failure, then the opened database file may become corrupted and lost forever.

#3 Unexpected System Shut Down 

An unexpected system shutdown is another main reason for file corruption. A computer system should be properly terminated or shut down. If not, then it may damage or corrupt all the data saved on the system drives. It doesn’t affect any hardware device but can easily damage the stored content.

#4 System Crash 

A system crash is a situation in which your computer or a program doesn’t work properly or stops working. It often gets existed after encountering errors. Due to system crash, a particular computer program may appear to be frozen or hang. A system crash may result in corruption, and sometimes you may lose your data forever.

#5 Hard Disk Failure 

There are two types of hard disk failure: physical and logical. And both are really very harmful to your computer data. Physical failure means the damage in the hardware parts of the drive and it could be either mechanical or electrical. Logical failure can damage the previously recorded information or make it inaccessible.

#6 Improper Data Synchronisation 

Data synchronization is a process to synchronize a single set of data between two or more devices. It’s very helpful in establishing consistency among data from a source to target data storage and vice versa. But if perform data synchronization process improperly, then the database file may get corrupt.

Common Error Messages

corrupt access database error

These are some of the most common reasons of database corruption. There are several error messages you can receive at the time of database corruption. Some of the most common error messages are:

  • Unrecognised database format ‘path/filename.mdb’.
  • The database ‘filename.mdb’ needs to be repaired or isn’t a database file.
  • Microsoft Access has detected corruption in this file.
  • Microsoft jet database engine stopped the process because you and another user are attempting to change the same data at the same time.
  • The database is in an unexpected state.
  • Record(s) cannot be read; no read permission on ‘xxxx’.

Useful Tips to Avoid Access Database Corruption 

Before I let you know few solutions to repair Access database, I would like to share some highly useful tips to avoid Access database corruption. Corruption is an inevitable occurrence, i.e. it’s certain to happen. In order to avoid corruption and prevent from data loss situation, you must follow the tips discussed below:

useful tips to avoid Access database corruption

Tip # 1: Take Regular Backup

Taking a regular backup of your database is always really very helpful. If you regularly maintain the backup of Access database, this means your database is always protected or secured. Having a valid backup file means you always have an option to restore data at the time of data loss due to accidental deletion as well as corruption.

Tip # 2: Close Access Program Properly 

Avoid canceling or terminating Microsoft Access application improperly. This may cause Access database corruption. Make sure you always close Access program properly by this way: click File tab > Exit in the option.

Tip # 3: Close all the Connections Safely 

Whenever you finish your work on an Access database, don’t forget to close all the active connection running in the Access database.

Tip # 4: Split Access Database

You must split Access database if two or multiple users are using or accessing it at the time. You can split your database into two parts: front end and back end. Front end stores queries, forms, reports, and data access pages while back-end stores the entire table along with data stored in it.

Tip # 5: Collision of Mac and Windows Users

If Windows and Mac users are sharing the same network, then the chances for Access database corruption become higher than ever. Unlike Windows, Mac system creates a heavy traffic during the process of transferring and printing graphic files. Therefore, make sure you don’t allow Windows and Mac users to work on the same network at the same time.

Tip # 6: Use “Compact and Repair” Utility in a Regular Manner 

One of the best ways to avoid Access database corruption is using Compact and Repair utility. It comes as a built-in tool with MS Access application which can help you boost up the performance. Also, it’s helpful in fixing Access database corruption. You should regularly use Compact and Repair utility.

Fix Access Database Corruption Manually 

Before you can use any 3rd party Access Database Recovery software, you should try repair Access database manually. Microsoft provides a built-in repair feature in its Access program, called Compact and Repair Database. It can fix Access database corruption and repair Access database. Also, it’s very useful when a database file becomes large and causes slow performance in Access program. It safely reduces the size of the file without causing any damage. However, you should create a backup of the Access database file you’re going to compact.

Compact and Repair Access Database

Step 1: Launch Microsoft Access program on your system.
how to compact and repair Access database?

Step 2: Don’t open the database file. Just click the Database Tools tab shown on the top.
how to compact and repair Access database?

Step 3: Now click Compact and Repair Database above Tools section.
how to compact and repair Access database?

Step 4: In the “Database to Compact From” dialog box, browse the database file.
how to compact and repair Access database?
Click it once to select it. Now click Compact.

Step 5: On Compact Database Into dialog box, you need to create a new database.
how to compact and repair Access database?
Give a name to the file and click Save to save the file.

Note: If any other user is using the database file that you’re about to Compact and Repair, then you can’t do so. Make sure no other user is currently using the same database file. And always create a backup of the database file before performing any manual tricks.

Other than using Compact and Repair Database, you can also try to import corrupt Access database to a new database file. Before importing your corrupt Access database to a new database, you should create a new blank database file. We’ll discuss it later. Before that, let’s see below how to use JetComp.exe to repair Access database.

Repair Access Database using JetComp.exe

Microsoft provides a freeware utility, JetComp.exe, to repair Access database which is created with Microsoft Jet database engine 3.x. If Compact and Repair utility fails to repair Access database, you must try JetComp.exe.

How to use JetComp.exe?

Follow the steps to repair Access database using JetComp.exe

Note: Before running JetComp.exe, rename the Master Client database to PROB.mdb.

Now you can run JetComp.exe from the MonTel Application/support directory.

Step 1: Enter the full path (MonTel Datadirectory/CLIENTDB) and name to PROB.mdb in Database to Compact From (Source): field.

Step 2: Enter the full path (MonTel Datadirectory/CLIENTDB) and name ([ClientDB] section ClientDatabaseName + “.MDB”) which is likely to be CLIENT32.MDB.

Note: Don’t change any of the other fields.

Step 3: Finally click Compact.

  • If this succeeds, allow the other users back into MonTel.
  • If this fails, you’ll need to restore CLIENT32.MDB (or whatever it’s named) from the backup.

You can now delete PROB.mdb.

Import Corrupt Access Database to a New One in MS Access 2007

You can also try to import data from a corrupt Access database to a new database. Though it doesn’t repair Access database, but you can recover your data from the corrupt file. Follow the steps shown below:

Step 1: Launch Microsoft Access on your system.

Step 2: Look at the right-hand side pane. You need to create a new database file.
how to import corrupt database to a new one?
Type a name for the file and select the location. Click Create to create a new database.

Step 3: This will create a new database file and open in Microsoft Access program.
how to import corrupt database to a new one?
Click External Data tab on the top.

Step 4: Now here click Access to import Access database.
how to import corrupt database to a new one?

Step 5: This will open the Get External Data – Access Database window. 
how to import corrupt database to a new one?
Click Browse… to select the Access database file which you want to import.

Step 6: In the File Open dialog box, browse the Access database file and select it by clicking it.
how to import corrupt database to a new one?
Click Open to confirm your selection.

Step 7: You can see the selected Access database file in the edit box.
how to import corrupt database to a new one?
Now click OK to continue the process.

Step 8: In the Import Objects dialog box, select the objects you want to import from the selected database file.
how to import corrupt database to a new one?
Once you select the objects, click OK.

Step 9: This will successfully import all the selected objects.
how to import corrupt database to a new one?
You may check Save import steps box (optional). Now click Close.

Note: The Import Objects feature will help you import all the file objects like Tables, Queries, Forms, Reports, Macros and Modules from a corrupt Access database to a new database file.

You may also read this article on Ways to Prevent Access Database Corruption

Professional Solution to Repair Access Database 

Sometimes both these solutions may fail to repair Access database files. In such situation, you can try Access Database Recovery Software to repair Access database files and to recover all the crucial database objects from them. It can repair ACCDB and MDB files created by all popular versions of MS Access program. It’s highly proficient to fix any level of corruption from corrupt Access database files. It can easily fix the issues of header corruption or misaligned header situation. It recovers each and every file objects including BLOB, OLE and MEMO data from corrupt Access database files and restores them into a new database file.

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12 thoughts on “Repair Access Database with Compact and Repair Utility

  1. Mathew O says:

    Hi,
    I read your blogs named “How to Repair Corrupt Access Database? | About N.Sem’s Blog” daily. You’re up the good work!

  2. Habibi says:

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  3. seetha says:

    Hai, original size of my access mdb is 565Mb. But after corruption, the mdb size is only 2kb. I have tried Repair & Compact Mdb in msoffice 2007. But it couldn’t repair mdb. Is any method for repairing this type of corrupted mdb?

    • Oops!
      The corruption is severe, I must tell you. Very rare chance for recovery or repair.
      However, I will suggest you to try demo version of SysInfoTools MS Access Database Recovery tool. Don’t buy its full version. First try to scan the corrupt database file with its demo version.
      Thanks.

  4. Nick Henderson says:

    Thanks for the information, has been very useful to me. I agree with Habibi about the web site taste is ideal, the articles is in reality superb 🙂

  5. J. Holk says:

    As soon as I found this internet site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

  6. Lokasi Outbound di Bogor says:

    My databases on MS Access still cannot be opened…. although I try your tips above… I don’t know why…?

  7. Martin Smith says:

    Hi many thanks for your tips. However, I have a 48Mb .mdb file that reports ‘The Microsoft Access Database engine could not find the object ‘Databases’. It hasn’t complained before, what/where is this missing ingredient?

  8. Regina says:

    Wow! You saved me a lot of time and effort re-creating the database. The database would not open and crashed Access.
    Thanks a bunch!

  9. Stephanie Taylor says:

    Hi,
    I believe this is among the most vital info for me. And i’m satisfied studying your write-up.

    Thanks.

  10. Jany Mariya says:

    Thank you so much for this post with the help of this information i can easily
    “Repair Corrupt Access Database” .

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