Help! Tips to Prevent Ms Access Data Loss

Neha Gupta

MS Access databases are the most easily prone database to get corrupted. The Access database can get disconnected unexpectedly, it may be an error in the binary file format of any database which results into unusable database or a “corruption flag” in the .mdb file message indicating the database has been corrupted. In such cases when a user attempts to open the database, the flag message appears in front of him and he is asked to repair the database before it can be used.
If the user does not have the permission or if he does not knows the repairing procedure, he has to face the situation of loosing his data and problems of making the database available again. This result into loss of precious data leaving the user frustrated.
The most common causes of access database corruption are hardware failures, software crashes, JET software crash, virus attacks, multi-user access, inefficient database design, unexpected system shutdown, power failure, password protections and other unlimited reasons which lead to corruption and damage of databases.
If the following messages are displayed then it’s a warning towards the corruption or damage of the access database:
• “The database ‘name.mdb’ needs to be repaired or isn’t a Microsoft Access database file.”
• “Unrecognized database format ‘name.mdb’.”
• “The Microsoft Jet database engine could not find the object ‘name’. Make sure the object exists and that you spell its name and path name correctly.”
• “Record(s) can’t be read, no read permissions on ’name.mdb”
• “The database has been placed in a state by user “on machine” that prevents it from being opened or locked”
• “Unexpected Error 35012”
• “Disk Error — Reserved error (-1601)”
• “The Microsoft Jet database engine cannot find the input table or query ‘MSysAccessObjects’. Make sure it exists and that its name is spelled correctly.”
Following are some of the measures through which you can prevent major access database corruptions:
1. Perform regular Backups: Always perform backup of your work so that if the database file gets corrupt, you can still have data in the form of backup.
2. Close the Connections: Helpful to both programmers and users. As soon as you complete working on the database, make sure that you have closed all the connections in the database. If the connections are left open, the chances of “unexpected” dropped connections increase.
The MS Access application should always be closed when you finish working on it as it increases the chances of corruption if a network connection is lost.
3. Proper exit from the Database: Always close the Access database by selecting File > Exit option. This ensures secure and protected closing of the application as compared to pressing the “Ctrl+Alt+Del” keys or managing it through “End Task”.
4. Use of Compact and Repair feature: The in-built ‘Compact and Recovery’ feature in MS Access can be used to prevent corruption and increase performance of the application. Following are the steps to use the feature:
a. Open the new .mdb database.
Note: It is not necessary to open a new database; this feature can be accessed even if there is no database opened.
b. Click the Tools menu and select Database Utilities > Compact and Repair Database option.
c. The Database to Compact From dialogue box will be displayed, select the appropriate .mdb file and click the Compact button.
d. The corrupt Access database will be repaired.
Note: Always perform backup of the corrupt database file before applying this method as this recovery method at times can make the case more worsened.
5. Import tables in new Database: You can create a new database and transfer the entire data and table by implementing different methods:
a. Using the ‘Import Wizard’ to transfer all table structures to new database.
b. Recreation of the table structures in the new database manually – through SQL and VB coding
6. Use of MS Jet Utility: JetComp.exe has been developed to fix minor corruptions of the Access databases. This method of recovery is much secured than the in-built “Compact and Repair” feature of MS Access.
7. Choose Access Recovery Software: If all of the above-mentioned measures do not prove helpful in your case, then go for access recovery software. Many companies provide FREE demo version of the recovery software. Test and evaluate performance of the software whether it can recover back your data or not. If yes, then purchase the access database repair software.
Besides these preventive measures, regular backups should be performed to save your precious data. The described preventive measures can help you to prevent data loss situations in 95% of the cases. So you yourself have to take the first step towards securing and protecting your own data.
Back to more Microsoft Access Help Author Neha Gupta

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