Corrupt Microsoft Access MDBs FAQ

(Updated 2010/10/23)

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 Make a backup! Before doing anything else. Preferably on another computer or CDR as a there is a slight possibility the hard drive in question is failing.

A successful repair isn't sufficient to ensure your data is clean.  I've personally seen a 120 Mb backend MDB repair just fine but both compacting and importing caused Access to puke on the same table.  We had to restore from last nights backup.  So you must compact it after repairing to ensure it's clean. Importing all the objects, the relationships and the relationships window layout into a new MDB would be even better.  Also see After successful repair import into new MDB

Stupid Question - "Unrecognized database format"

Do you have multiple versions of Access installed on your system?  If so you might be opening a newer format of Access MDB in an older version of Access.  For example you are attempting to open an Access 2000 format MDB using Windows Explorer.  But if you last used Access 97 it will attempt to open the MDB.

If this is the situation then open Access 2000 first and use it to open the MDB.  Alternatively you can use Aylott Computing's excellent AccVer.  Which I use all the time and highly recommend.   Or you can tell Access to stop reregistering the file extension by visiting Subject: INFO: Avoiding the default system.mdw loss when re-registering Access 97.

More info

Some corruption symptoms
Determining the workstation which caused the corruption
Corruption causes
To retrieve your data

Corrupt objects, such as forms or reports One symptom can be Access crashes when you open a form or report in either form/report view or design view.


When all else fails - MDB repair companies


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