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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    Unrecognized Format (2003)

    One of our main databases suddenly will not open. Any attempt results in the message "Unrecognized database format". Unfortunately, our latest backup of the database has the same problem. We have to go back a couple of weeks to get a clean one and it is missing lots of data. Any thoughts about how to recover this? Oddly enough, I had an outside client call this morning getting the same message. Turns out he has both 97 and 2003 on the same machine. When he tried to open from an icon on the desktop, it didn't know which version to use. When it picked 97 it couldn't open. However, my machine at work never had 97, although it was upgraded from 2000 to 2003 within the last six months. This is really a critical problem. All help is appreciated. Dave

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Unrecognized Format (2003)

    You can try several things to retrieve the data from the tables:
    - Create a new blank database and try to import the tables from the damaged database into it. If that succeeds, you can try to import other database objects (queries, forms, ...), but you can probably also retrieve those from the non-corrupt backup of a few weeks ago.
    - Try to import the tables into Excel. Excel uses another mechanism to get data from Access (ODBC), so it may succeed if the previous suggestion failed. You can't import other database objects into Excel, however, so you'll have to rely on a non-corrupt backup for those.

    Note: on the machine with both Access 97 and Access 2003, the client should start the correct version of Access and open the database from within Access (File | Open...).

  3. #3
    Lounger
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    Re: Unrecognized Format (2003)

    Hello, Hans. Good to hear from you. About a year since I've been here. Every attempt to get to the data, including Excel, which I hadn't thought about, gets the same Unrecognized Format response. My engineer apparently sent the file to a data recovery firm by e-mail. They said they can't get anything. I don't know this firm, but it seems very discouraging. I can't imagine what would have happened, and how we could prevent it in the future. Any other ideas anyone?
    Thanks, Dave

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Unrecognized Format (2003)

    If even a specialized data recovery firm can't retrieve any data from the database, it probably is damaged beyond hope.

    Do you us a local frontend/shared backend setup? If not, I strongly recommend it. You can use Tools | Database Utilities | Database Splitter to split the database in a backend that contains only tables, and a frontend that contains the queries, forms etc., plus links to the tables in the backend. You can put the backend in a shared folder on the network, and give each user his/her own copy of the frontend. If a frontend becomes corrupt, you only have to replace it by a clean copy, and the backend is less likely to become corrupt in this setup.

    Also see WendellB's tutorial: Why Split a Database?.

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