How to Recover Missing or Deleted MS Access Database Objects?

Microsoft Access database objects such as tables, forms, reports, and modules tend to get corrupted over time and constant use, especially when the database is not well maintained. Objects can often disappear, or become unusable. These objects, such as tables, forms, and reports, could be disconnected from the Access database, but still, be floating in some files. These orphaned objects, or pieces of isolated data that previously belonged to tables, forms, reports, or Visual Basic modules but now are detached from the database structure, are remains of a previous state. In this article, we will explore some methods to recover missing or deleted MS Access database objects.

How Are Orphan Objects Generated in Microsoft Access?

Orphan objects are detached from MS Access databases in the following scenarios.

  • When tables, forms, reports, or Visual Basic modules have been deleted, the objects might no longer be available in the database’s internal index, but they might still be recoverable.
  • Some objects might get damaged and become inaccessible, with or without error. The object remains in the file even when the data is inconsistent with the internal structure of the database.
  • Access .ACCDB or .MDB files could be partially destroyed and the index data might be lost, leaving objects inaccessible.

Access databases use internal indexes with objects that can be seen in the navigation plane in addition to the hidden ones. Each entry contains the object name and its reference data. When objects are deleted, the space occupied by them is often not released immediately. Consequently, these objects could be lost or get corrupted while performing certain actions, such as executing queries or creating records or temporary tables that could impact these objects.

How Can Missing or Deleted MS Access Database Objects Be Recovered?

Access database objects can be restored by importing backup copies of the database into the missing object’s database. Follow the steps below to manually restore and repair Access databases.

  • The first step is to try and restore the Access database from the backup copy. This can be done by copying the backup copy from the File Explorer and moving it to the same location in which the corrupt database file is saved.
  • If the Access database is used in a multi-user environment, a .LDB file is created in the same name as that of the Access database to keep track of active users. While the lock on the .MDB file is automatically removed when the last user closes the database file, it might not happen if the user does not have delete permissions to the Access database (.MDB) file or the database is corrupt. The .LDB file should be manually deleted to remove the lock on .MDB file to recover the data from that file.
  • Use the compact utility tool to try and resolve minor issues. Remove the compiled Visual Basic for Application (VBA) codes from the database using this command line switch.
  • The last option is to import objects into a blank database. Use the “Import tables, queries, forms, reports, macros, and modules into the current database” option to import the backup database.

Apps4Rent Can Help in Securing Access Databases

While the built-in Jet compact utility in Access can help in auto-fixing minor database issues, the importance of backing up databases, especially in the multi-user mode cannot be understated. Installing Access on personal computers can leave databases susceptible to attacks and corruption. As a Microsoft Gold Partner in several specializations, including Cloud Platform and Cloud Productivity, Apps4Rent offers hosted desktops for Access databases that are automatically backed up and protected with cutting-edge technology. Call, chat, or email our Access virtualization specialists, available round-the-clock for assistance.


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