Online help system for Access Recovery Toolbox

The Access Recovery Toolbox (download) allows recovering of corrupted Microsoft Access Database (*.mdb) files. The current version of the application provides you with the following actions:

  • Recovering of the table structure (columns and indexes).
  • Recovering of the table data.
  • Recovering of queries (except for ones from forms and reports).
  • Recovering of relations (except for ones created for viewing only).

There are few simple steps of the database recovering:

  1. Select the file with the corrupted database.
  2. Browse the data structure to be recovered.
  3. Select the file to save the target database.
  4. View the recovering process journal.

You can exit from the Access Recovery Toolbox at any step by selecting the File | Exit menu item, pressing the Exit button or by closing the application window. If the application was closed on the Steps 1-3, the recovery process would not be completed. Also you can press the Back button to return to the previous step for viewing or changing the parameters set before.

Access database Recovering steps

1. - Selecting the file with the corrupted database

Figure 1. - File opening

Once the application is started the dialog will appear asking you to select the database to be recovered (Figure 1). Filename and path can be entered in the drop-down list using your keyboard or selected in the standard Open dialog called by pressing the button . Also you can select one of the previously opened files from the list. Press the Next button to proceed to the next step of the database recovering.

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2. - Browsing the data structure to be recovered

When the database file is opened, the application displays its structure as it will be saved later (Figure 2).

Left part of the window contains the database structure tree where you can browse properties of each database object. This tree includes three root items: Tables, Queries and Relations.

If one of the Tables is selected, the window will look like one on the Figure 2. The left pane displays name of the table and its columns while the top right pane displays the table records. You can mark the bottom right pane to display all of the table records.

Figure 2. - Viewing the table structure

All tables have the item Indexes which contains the Primary key and indexed columns displayed by their names. The column parameters (top right pane) show the Index name and included columns. Also the parameters indicate whether the column is Required, Primary or Unique. If there are no indexes created in the table, the item Indexes will be empty. When an index is selected the table records are not displayed.

If one of the Queries is selected, the bottom right is absent while the top right pane displays name of the selected Query and its SQL-code.

If one of the Relations is selected, the top right pane displays name of the Relation, references and related columns.

Press the Next button to continue database recovering.

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3. - Selecting the file to save the target database

Figure 3. - File saving

After reviewing the database structure, the application will ask you to specify path and filename to save recovered database (Figure 3). Default path will be identical to the source database path as well as default filename will be the same as source filename with the _repaired suffix. To save the recovered database you should enter path and filename to the drop-down list. Also you can use standard Save dialog called by pressing the button . To start database recovering press the Recover button. If the specified file already exists the warning message will appear. You can return to the previous dialog and specify different filename or directory.

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4. - Viewing the recovering process journal

Figure 4. - Journal

Here the recovering process is in progress now.

The application will display different messages during the recovery process. These messages will be stored in the Err.log file at the Access Recovery Toolbox work directory as well. If the log-file exists at the start of database recovering, all messages will be appended to the end of file. Besides the information each file record will contain date and time.

There are 3 types of messages:

  • Data group recovering messages (marked with bold font). These messages are displayed at the start of recovering of single-type items group, for example queries or table records.
  • Single element recovering messages (not marked). These messages show the recovering of a single item, for example a single query or a single table structure. To simplify journal reading the recovering of table records is not displayed.
  • Error messages (marked with red). If data recovering is not possible or in case of other errors, the corresponding message will be displayed. In the log-file these messages will be marked with the $Error$ string.

Current version of the application does not support recovering of the encrypted files. At the same time the password protected but not encrypted files can be recovered without password keeping. Also recovering of the following items is not supported: macroses, reports, pages, modules, references to other databases and reference columns, form entry restrictions and Microsoft Access specific options used for displaying elements in the editor window.

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Complete the Work

After viewing of the journal you can complete the work by pressing the Exit button or by selecting File | Exit menu item. Also you can press the Back button to return to the Step 1 and select other file for recovering. Note that in this case filename and path of recovered database will no be changed automatically during the Step 3. You will need to enter these values manually or use the standard Save dialog.

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