MS Access corruption and the consequences that follow suit are quite known toall of us. Thus it is important to stay on guard and exercise caution while dealing with them. Ascertaining whether an access database has suffered corruption or not is in itself a tedious task as there are no definitive ways to find out if an error occurring in Access is due to corruption or not.

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Nevertheless, investigating the binary structure of the file does help in discerning whether its corruption or some other system faults that’s wreaking the damage. When errors start occurring randomly or specially during a compact/repair its indication enough that its corruption for sure.

When corruption hits fragmented and mutilated data follows as a natural corollary but if the corruption level is treated immediately, the destruction it wreaks is relatively less and minor. Occasions where the corruption is left untreated and allowed to breed, things get worse and often assume magnanimous proportions.

Error messages that get reflected on the screen are mere indicators that prove inconsistent behavior in the database. MS Access fixes minor corruption issues in the databases during the normal use of reading/writing table data but instances of gross corruption spells disaster and override MS Access capacity to retrieve data.

Provided below is one such error message that hints towards a probable database corruption. “The Microsoft Jet database engine stopped the process because you and another user are attempting to change the same data at the same time� error message flashes on the screen when one attempts to open the database. This particular error message occurs when a table has long value columns which are stored off-row.

In general corruption in the database can be caused by
* Software conflicts like plug-ins
* VBA code and macros
* Faulty hardware like network cards that lose packets and hard drives that have bad sectors (drive or network failure) Power surges or fluctuation
* System crash due to abrupt or incorrect system shutdown
* Inefficient Database Design
* JET Software conflicts
* Multi user access
* Access and Jet Bugs

Best possible workarounds available:-
* Backing up the corrupt file
* Deleting the .LDB file
* Attempting to restore the database from a recent backup
* Using the built-in Access ‘Compact & Repair’ utility
* Using the Microsoft Jet Compact Utility
* Decompiling the Microsoft Access VBA code
* Importing the objects into a new database by replacing the existing file
* Link to the data in the table from another database

If you are confronted with difficulties while executing these tasks and the error message is impeding the process of import or for that matter hindering the database from opening, you are in for trouble because it’s a sheer case of gross corruption which can have a telling effect on your dat

If you have still not reached this stage and the utilities have served their purpose by invalidating the corruption you were suffering from, try these tips to keep your database corruption free.
* Refrain from running or opening your database over inherently volatile networks such as Wi-fi/Bluetooth
* Try to run the same version of Access on all machines
* Avoid installing unnecessary software/plug-ins.
* Consider splitting the front end GUI from the back end database to minimize network usage if you are operating in a multi-user environment
* Run ScanDisk/CheckDisk regularly on every machine connecting to the database and replace bad drives instead of just marking them inactive.

If gross corruption has already set in and you are on the look out for a software that can retrieve your precious data, try Stellar’s Access Recovery software

Stellar Information Systems Ltd, a pioneer in the data recovery industry with 15 years of experince has devised a data recovery utility for recovering and repairing lost .mdb files. Stellar’s Access Recovery software effectively repairs and restores the corrupted access database. It is equipped to deal with any problems that might entail repair of any of the components of the Access database including tables, forms, reports, queries and macros.

The specialty of Stellar Phoenix Access Recovery lies in the fact that it restores the repaired file in its original format that too in its original location. It is capable of effectively handling challenges relating to all possible cases of database corruption.

Stellar has made available a demo version of the software along with a preview facility that enables the user to access the number of files that are recoverable. The access repair software is compatible with all file versions of MS Access including Access 7, 2000, XP, 2003 and 2007.