Access - Corrupt External File

Please offer if a corrupt external file can cause an Access db corruption. I had one db go corrupt - and recreated it. However, I used external files - and am finding that this recreated one may also have issues.

Please advise.

Thank you.
exp vgAsked:
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ste5anSenior DeveloperCommented:
The most common cause for database corruption is storing the database on a network share and having an instable network (defect NIC, switch, connection loss).
Also a problem is hibernation. This may kill even local front-ends quite regularly.

The only think I can imagine in your external file context: The retrieval is either a long running process and is killed by accident or it requires that much bandwidth that you have network troubles.

btw, you lucky one. Only one corrupt is a pretty cool number.
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exp vgAuthor Commented:
Thank you Ste5an

Oh my gosh - I am trying to explain this to people - and unless you know what this entails - it is not understood.

So - I take it that once you have had a corrupt db - that you had to restart a lot.

Also - I have asked others - but does not hurt to ask again - they indicated yes - but if I have a corrupt db - it could have been corrupt for a while before shutting down - and this would have affected queries, calculations, etc - long before it became inoperable.

In other words - if there was a corruption issue flowing through this - I cannot 100% trust any of the data/reports that were generated. Please confirm.

Thank you.
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
What exactly is a "corrupt external file" in regard to Access?

As ste5an mentions the most common cause of corruption is network-related - i.e. a dropped connection. If you're using Access across a WAN or wireless network, then you're much more likely to have troubles.

But without knowing what a "corrupt external file" is, we can't really comment further.
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
In other words - if there was a corruption issue flowing through this - I cannot 100% trust any of the data/reports that were generated. Please confirm.
That would be true on ANY system, not just Access. If your data is corrupt, then it's corrupt - and anything generated from corrupt data could very well be incorrect.

In my experience, a corrupt Access database typically shows it's colors very quickly - it doesn't go for days/weeks in a corrupt state until it finally shuts down. It's pretty quick. If you've had data anomalies for a while, then the more likely culprit is user or developer related - that is, the user is inserting invalid values, or the developer is not properly handling the data. Corruption can affect indexes and such, but typically that results in slowdowns. Data corruption can happen, but it's far less common (at least in my experience).

But - again - without knowing what a "corrupt external file" is, we really can't say more.
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exp vgAuthor Commented:
Thank you both.
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exp vgAuthor Commented:
By the way - I realize that I am on wireless a lot when I work on db.

Also, now that I look back, Access must have been giving me signs that it was not good - but I ignored to just regular mishaps.

What are some of the common signs that I should expect to indicate that the db is heading in a downward direction.

Thank you.
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ste5anSenior DeveloperCommented:
Well, I guess it's time to ask these:

Do you use a split architecture? Thus do you have a local front-end file and one or more remote back-end files?

Using a split architecture means: Create one database (.accdb) to store the "front-end" objects like queries, forms, reports and modules. And use the back-end database to store only the tables.

Then you can use Compact on Close on the front-end, which tells you when your UI goes corrupt. And making backups of your back-end database is also better, cause the database file is now much smaller.
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
By the way - I realize that I am on wireless a lot when I work on db.
Access does not work on a wireless network. It might work for a while, but you will inevitably corrupt the database (and it happens quite often).
What are some of the common signs that I should expect to indicate that the db is heading in a downward direction.
There's really not much warning, but there are quite a few symptoms that will let you know when corruption has occurred. Tony Toews has a good compilation here:

http://www.granite.ab.ca/access/corruption/symptoms.htm

But your focus should be on PREVENTING corruption, not recognizing it. I have a LOT of Access customers who never experience corruption, simply because (a) their application is properly designed, (b) their application is running on a solid infrastructure and (c) they've been trained in the correct way to use the system. If ANY of those 3 fail - and at the very least, you're failing on (b) - then you will almost certainly experience corruption, and sooner rather than later.

By the way, I'm not a big fan of Compact on Close. In a split architecture, it only compacts the Front End, and that's typically not a big issue to repair (you just deploy a new FE to the machine). It's the BackEnd (the part storing the data) that you need to be concerned with, and ConC has no impact on that.
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exp vgAuthor Commented:
Thank you so much for taking this time. I do create many access db for projects I am on - and am now leaning that it may that I am on wireless most the time. I have too much work invested - so do need to focus on preventing this.

Thanks so much.
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