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How to Recover Corrupted Database Files

Corruption is a serious issue that requires immediate treatment. Here are a few tips for successfully recovering corrupt databases without risking media or file damage.


Database files often play an important role in day-to-day business activities, and sudden file corruption can greatly affect your team's productivity.

Corruption can occur due to operating system errors, RDBMS application crashes, sudden power losses or physical media failures. In any case, corruption is a serious issue that requires immediate treatment. Here are a few tips for successfully recovering corrupt databases without risking media or file damage.

Un-Mount the Device. Un-mounting a database file on a multi-user system will allow you to avoid additional file damage in many instances. If your database is on a single-user device or if unmounting is not an option, keep the device powered off until you can accurately determine the cause of corruption.

Restore From a Backup When Possible. If you have a backup, your best course of action is to check the older file to see whether you have lost any irreplaceable information. You can easily check your database's size and modification date to determine how to proceed.

To avoid serious data loss from file corruption, media damage and other dangers, we recommend keeping at least three up-to-date copies of important files including one copy in a separate physical location.

Check for Media Failure Symptoms. While you cannot always identify the exact cause of data loss, you can check for the major warning signs of a physical media failure.

If your media makes unusual noises or has trouble mounting, turn it off immediately and contact Secure Data Recovery Services. "Bad Sector" error messages are also a cause for concern on single-drive devices. Use system utilities to check the health of RAID arrays and other multi-drive devices.

Even if you do not notice obvious symptoms of physical or electronic damage, treat your media carefully. If you have lost access to a mission-critical database, we recommend immediately discontinuing file repair attempts and contacting our customer service department to schedule a media evaluation.

Make a Copy Before Using Repair Utilities. Most databases have built-in utilities that treat overwrites, but these utilities can contribute to file damage if your media has mechanical or electronic damage. Before attempting to open the database or using any type of file repair utility, copy your corrupt file to a separate device.

Ideally, you should run corruption utilities on this copy to minimize your risks. Do not run chkdsk, Scandisk or similar utilities to treat bad sectors on your original disk if physical media damage is a possibility. These utilities can contribute to corruption issues, greatly reducing the possibility of a full data recovery.

Choose an Experienced Data Recovery Provider. We do not recommend any third-party file utilities for corrupt databases. If your database's native corruption utility does not provide results, you should shut down your device and contact a qualified data recovery company to schedule a media analysis.

Look for a data recovery provider that has significant experience with your database format. To treat media damage, data recovery providers should also have RAID simulation equipment and a certified Cleanroom for physical repair procedures.

Secure Data Recovery Services' engineering teams have experience with Microsoft Access, SQL, MySQL, Oracle, dBase, Microsoft Exchange, DB2, Lotus Notes and all other popular database applications. We offer free diagnostics for corrupt databases and can quickly provide you with a working copy of mission-critical data. We offer the industry's best 24/7/365 emergency file repair and recovery services to give our clients the fastest possible results.

If you would like to schedule a free media evaluation for any type of corrupt database files, call Secure Data Recovery Services today at 1-800-388-1266.

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