Database Maintenance

Database Corruption & Repair

Without a database server, each copy of Access works directly on the database file. If there is some interruption while it's working - such as a crash - then the program might not have written all the changes it was working on. The result is a database that contains errors, and cannot necessarily be opened. This is described in the Microsoft Knowledge base - see Article Q303519.

The likelihood of a database becoming corrupt depends on a number of factors: the number of users, the type of updates and the chance of an interruption. It can also depend on how the software writing to the database has been structured.

Why Doesn't Microsoft Fix This?

Cynics would say that Microsoft benefits from this problem, as users are more likely to upgrade to SQL Server. This is almost certainly an exaggeration - the corruption problem is probably fundamental to the design of Access, and is unlikely to be fixed easily.

However, this is not to say that the situation hasn't improved: Access 2000 certainly introduced features to help with data integrity, and this product is definitely better than Access 97.

Repairing Databases

Repairing Access databases can be difficult. Although Microsoft provide tools for compact and repair, these often fail to work. There are programs on the market that can help, but we have found that there is no single tool that will repair all types of database corruption. We individually assess each database and it's problems before establishing the best route to repair and we find that this approach delivers much better results. We are also more capable than the repair tools of identifying potential record losses and therefore preventing loss of data.

If you are having problems with your database, we can repair it and help you to minimise the possibility of data corruption in the future.