Stellar Repair for Access in Office 2019 or 2016 or 2013 – Software Review


All critical applications and IT equipment have a Disaster Recovery Plan or DRP which enumerates the process of ‘backup and restore’ and helps recover from losses with minimal downtime. But, for successful planning, we need additional recovery measures.

For example, in case of relational database management system like Microsoft Access hosting a humungous database.

Backup and restore process is present in the DRP to resolve the incidences when Access database becomes inaccessible.

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But, besides the backup plan, a DRP also mentions usage of manual utility from Access. However, a few incidents are beyond such repair and need effective recovery methods.

The Access database in my organization faced such an event. The ACCDB file got corrupt and our team of Storage administrators resolved the issue by bringing back the database to its original accessible state.

The problem at hand – “Access Database not Opening Issue”

Sales and Marketing department registered an “Access Database not Opening” error which prevented the department from accessing their CRM application.

Root cause analysis of Access Database Not Opening Issue:

A root cause analysis of the issue ‘database not opening’ error revealed the following:

  • Multiple users were provided with full access and permissions to the database available on the network drive.
  • The team was not aware of the implications of not saving the file before closing.
  • When a user closed the file without saving the changes, the last few functions performed on the database were not registered in the backend.
  • The incomplete registration of the processes locked the available files on the network and resulted in “Access Database not Opening” error.

Plan of Action adopted to resolve Access database not opening error 

The only way to restore access to the database was by removing corruption from the affected database.

We realized that the backup files were obsolete, hence we had to rule-out the option of restoring the database from backup.

The next option was to repair the database by running the “Compact and Repair” utility. However, Access database was severely corrupted which limited the effectiveness of ‘Compact and Repair’ utility in repairing the database files.

The DRP did not provide a solution beyond ‘Compact and Repair’ utility, and the downtime could not be extended as it would mean loss of business hours.

During this crisis, we decided to try out the Access database repair software from Stellar. The software claimed of supporting the latest Access version 2019 which were using, with assurance of full recovery of all components including deleted records.

But before jumping on to using this tool, we took two precautionary measures–

  1. Created a copy of the corrupted data to avoid any further loss.
  2. Tested the software on another corrupt Access database to verify the results

The software resolved “Access Database not Opening Issue” 

Managing the software was somewhat similar to managing any other Microsoft application. This familiarity in software interface helped us onboard and use the software.

We opened the software and selected the corrupt ACCDB file. The software scanned the file and previewed the database components on the screen. It was comforting to see all the database objects come alive on the screen, besides helping us verify the database components.

After activating the software, it recovered all Tables, Queries, and Reports and the associated relationships – Macros, Modules and Relational Databases. To top it, Stellar Repair for Access also recovered the deleted records. All the entries in the repaired records were restored in the original language.

However, the repaired database was meant to be saved as a new database. Though it was good that saving the repaired ACCDB file as new database would reduce the chances of further corruption, it would need extra space.

Sales and Marketing department could resume working on their CRM application database within no time.

Database repair software saved our day…

Having a disaster recovery plan is mandatory for all the critical applications especially the database. That’s a given practice.

But relying too much on automated incremental and full backups may turn out deceitful in case the backup is not accurate or not available in the restorable state.

Consequently, data-restoration might not happen as expected, with the attached risk of data loss.

Further, repairing severely corrupted database is not successful by using ‘Compact and Repair’ utility, for instance, when “Access Database not Opening Issue” error strikes a large database.

Looking at these ‘eventualities’, it would help to have a software tool for Access database repair in addition to all other routine preparations. That’s what helped us get over the “Access Database not Opening Issue” error and recover the database objects.

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