Monday, November 21, 2011

Unrecognized Database Format

Possibility 1: You are opening a later Access database in an earlier version, such as trying to open an Access 2000 database from Access 97.
Open the database in the newer version of Access it was developed or convert the database to the older version.
How to Convert database to previous version in Access 2000/XP/2003
Converting a database in Access 2000 or above to a previous version, will allow a database to work with an older version of Access. Of course, there is a catch! You need to have the newer version of access in order to convert backwards i.e. you can convert back, but obviously not forwards!
The screenshot below shows the menu option in Access XP for converting databases to Access 97, 2000 or 2002. If you need to convert your database tables to Access Version 2.0, this is also possible but more difficult! See the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article Q141886 - 'How to Create a Version 2.0 Database Using Access 95/97'.
Possibility 2: Your Access database may be corrupt or damaged!
Access database corruption is unfortunately, very common. But even if you don't have a backup copy of your database there are companies like us that specialize in recovering your data back when all else fails.
If you suddenly get the 'Unrecognized Database Format' error message for no apparent reason, the chances are very high the database is actually corrupted. This error message will PREVENT you from opening Microsoft Access and invoking its built-in 'Compact and Repair Database' option (see screen shot above).
If at all possible, restore from a backup if this will not cause too much grief.
Don't have a backup? We recommend Downloading Access Autopilot now to Automatically Compact and Backup your Access database .... get a 30 day FREE trial and you'll never be in this position again! (N.B. Its also got a neat admin feature that will help identify the computers that may have caused the corruption).
So because you can't open the database, you can't run the built-in repair right? Correct, but there may be another solution. Check out the resources below for further tips on repairing corrupt access databases and we recommend lodging your database for a 3HR Free Recovery report.
DataRevive engineers spend all day recovering data from damaged Access databases like yours and in 92% of cases we can get the critical tables back!


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