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Constant "Unregonized database format" error on a MSFT Access DB no matter how many recovery has been done to it.

Posted on 2007-07-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
We keep running into a problem with a particular Microsoft Access database. It would give us the following error:

"Unrecognized database format"

We would recover the tables, start a new database. After any user opens and closes the database for the first time, the second user will run into that same error.

The file is encrypted using PGP NetShare. I would usually blame the encryption, but we have more than 3 databases that are encrypted with PGP NetShare and only one of them would give us this problem. Any idea why?

Question by:nakedconsulting
  • 2
  • 2
LVL 75
ID: 19569788
A **DeCompile** may help here ...

But first, if you have not already:
Check for any **Missing References via the VBA Editor>>Tools>>References ....

Then, follow this procedure:

0) **Backup your MDB**
1) Compact and Repair the MDB, as follows:
Hold down the Shift key and open the MDB, then from the menu >>Tools>>Database Utilities>>Compact and Repair ...
2) Execute the Decompile (See example syntax below) >> after which, your database will reopen.
3) Close the mdb
4) Open the mdb and do a Compact and Repair (#1 above).
5) Open the mdb:
    a) Right click over a 'blank' area of the database window (container) and select Visual Basic Editor. A new window will open with the title 'Microsoft Visual Basic' ... followed by then name of your MDB.
    b) From the VBA Editor Menu at the top of the window:
        Note ... after the word Compile ...you will see the name of your 'Project' - just an fyi.

6) Close the mdb
7) Compact and Repair one more time.

*** Executing the DeCompile:
Here is an example of the command line syntax  (adjust your path and file name accordingly) for executing the


Run this from Start>>Run, enter the following command line ...

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Msaccess.exe" /decompile


For more detail on the Decompile subject ... visit the Master on the subject (and other great stuff) Michael Kaplan:


LVL 85

Accepted Solution

Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 375 total points
ID: 19570079
If your database networked? One of the more common issues with Access/Jet databases is faulty network hardware. Dropped or glitched connections will eventually kill a Jet database.

You're not running this over a WAN, are you (i.e. a VPN or other WAN-type connections)? I'm familiar with PGP but not NetShare ... I'd assume this is just some server-based encryption business?
LVL 85
ID: 19680161
Have to ask - why the "B" grade? You asked no followup questions, and the answers that mx and I gave were pretty thorough ...
LVL 75
ID: 19680214
I was wondering the same thing?


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