Repair Access Database File using Access Compact and Repair Utility

There can be various reasons that lead in to the damage of Access database (.mdb) file. Some of the reasons are – abrupt system shut down, virus attack, interrupted read/write operation, network issues, and opening the .mdb file with another program. After the .mdb file is damaged, users start getting error messages when they try to access the data stored in the database. To troubleshoot corruption in MS Access and perform Access file recovery, Microsoft provides Access Compact and Repair utility.

What is Access Compact and Repair Utility?

Access Compact and Repair utility comes as built-in MS Access tool using which the user can compact the large sized .mdb file to free up the unused space in the file. In addition, the tool repairs the .mdb file against minor corruptions.

Points to be considered before using Access Compact and Repair Utility

Following are the points that you must consider before using the Access Compact and Repair utility:

  • Access Compact and Repair tool creates a new database at the destined location and copies data from old .mdb file to new .mdb file; therefore, you must ensure that you have enough space on hard disk to hold the new .mdb file along with the .mdb file.

  • Backup the old .mdb file before starting the repairing process. This will be helpful in case the repairing process gets aborted leading into severe corruption of the .mdb file. Access Compact and Repair utility cannot repair the severely damaged .mdb file.

  • Make sure that the Access database is not in use. If the database will be in use then Access Compact and Repair utility will not work.

  • Make sure that the database property is not set as read only.

How to use Access Compact and Repair Utility

Execute the following steps to perform Access file recovery using Access Compact and Repair utility:

  1. Start MS Access.

  2. Select Tools > Database Utilities.

  3. Click the Compact and Repair Database button. The “Database to Compact From” dialog box appears.

  4. Select the file that you want to repair and click the Compact button. The “Compact Database Info” dialog box appears.

  5. Specify a new name for .mdb file.

  6. Click the Save button.

This way you can successfully perform Access file recovery. However, the process described above will work only when the corruption in the database is less. In case, the database is highly corrupted, Access Compact and Repair utility throws a message indicating that the database cannot be repaired.

At that time, you need to use a third party Access file recovery software. A good quality Access file recovery software enables you to repair the majorly corrupted .mdb file without any problem and in less time.