How to Repair and Recover Data from Corrupt MDB Files?

By Srikanth
6 Min Read
How to Repair and Recover Data from Corrupt MDB Files? 1

MDB is a database file format that is used in MS Access 2003 and previous versions. Like any other files, it is also prone to corruption and other data-related issues. In the case of MDB file corruption, you can face various random errors and other issues while accessing and opening the file. To resolve such issues, you need to repair the corrupt or damaged MDB file. In this article, we will discuss the causes of corruption in the MDB file and some simple ways to repair and recover data from the corrupt file.


Causes of Corruption in MDB Files

MDB files can get corrupted due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • Incompatible JET Engine service packs
  • Virus and malware attack
  • Hardware failure
  • Incorrect system shutdown
  • Faulty hard disk where the .mdb file is stored

Methods to Repair and Recover Data from Corrupt MDB Files

Here are a few simple methods that you can try to repair and recover corrupt MDB files.

Method 1 – Restore from Backup

You can restore the MDB file from the backup and replace it with the corrupt file. If you have a healthy backup of the MDB file, then follow the below steps to restore it.

  • Open the File Explorer on your system.
  • Find and copy the backup file.
  • Next, move the copied file to the same location where the affected database file is saved.
  • A prompt is displayed, asking you to replace the existing file with the backup file.
  • Click OK.

Method 2 – Delete .LDB Files

MS Access generates lock information files (.LDB), every time you access the database file in a multi-user environment. It automatically gets deleted once you close the file. Sometimes, this file might not get deleted, resulting in issues. In such a case, you can try to manually delete the .LDB files.

Method 3 – Import Data into a New Database File

You can try importing the objects from the corrupt MDB file into a new database file. This helps you to recover data from the corrupt MDB file. Follow the below-given steps:

  • In the MS Access application, click Blank Desktop Database to create a new database file.
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  • Click on the External Data tab and then click on the Access option.
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  • The Get External Data – Access Database window appears. Click on Browse to choose the affected database file.
  • Click the “Import tables, queries, forms, reports, macros, and modules into the current database” option and then click OK.
  • In the Import Objects window, click the Select All option to restore all the objects. Then, click OK.

Method 4 – Run Compact and Repair Tool

Microsoft Access has a built-in Compact and Repair utility that is used to repair corrupted database files. This utility helps resolve common corruption-related issues in the database file. Here are the steps to use this Access inbuilt utility:

  • Open the Microsoft Access application.
  • Double-click on the Blank desktop database option.
  • Click File > Close.
  • The Blank Database window opens up. Click on the File ribbon.
  • Under Database Tools, click Compact and Repair Database.
  • Choose the affected .MDB file and click Compact.
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After the process is complete, a compacted and repaired copy of the .MDB file will be saved at the same location where the file is stored.

Method 5 – Use a Third-Party Professional Access Database Repair Tool

If the Compact and Repair tool fails to repair the MDB file, then you can try a professional Access database repair tool, like Stellar Repair for Access. This tool deeply scan and repair the corrupted Access database (MDB/ACCDB) files. It can recover all the database components, like tables, reports, macros, forms, etc., with complete integrity. The tool can also repair multiple database files at once, thus helps save time and efforts. It supports MS Access 2019, 2016, and earlier versions.


You may fail to access or open the MDB file, if it is corrupt. In this case, you can try to restore the file from backup or import the data into a new database file, as discussed in this article. If nothing works, then the only option is to use a professional Access database repair tool, like Stellar Repair for Access. This tool can repair and recover data from MDB files without changing the original structure. You can check the tool’s functionality by downloading its demo version. It lets you preview all the repairable objects of the corrupted database file.

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