Special Database Recovery Overview

John Logue Updated by John Logue

This procedure is used when access to the payroll program fails because the database (.MDB) file has been corrupted/damaged.  The plan is to create a new empty database file. Then restore into it whatever data can be recovered.  To make recovery possible, the payroll system creates a number of backup copies of the database (MDB) file.  If you view the database folder in details view you can see a number of files with the root name PR20nnDT.  If none have the extention “MDB” then you must go to Folder Options (on the Tools menu or in Control Panel” and remove the check for the box for “Hide extensions for known file types.”

The files with the extension AB1, AB2, AB3, AB4 are backup copies which were created when the payroll program was closed.  It is a push down stack - the AB1 is the latest and any older than the AB4 have been deleted.

A file with the extension ABK is a backup made in the last seven days, created at the time the payroll program was brought up on the date indicated in properties. The files with extention ABKnn were generated earlier in the year in the month indicated by the nn.

In the details view of the folder it is easy to look at the date, time, and file size of each of these files.  What you are looking for is the largest file with the most recent date.

The steps, described in the Special Database Recovery Detail Instructions topic are:

Rename the database folder from …DB to …DI. 

Then on bringing up the program either automatically or manually create a new DB folder. 

Restore from the DI folder into the DB folder in multiple passes (first one client, and then the rest).

Sometimes the MDB file in the DI folder is not usable for the restore operation. 

By doing renames, try the other files. 

Rename the MDB file to BAD. 

Then in turn, try the ABK as the MDB, and maybe the AB1, AB2, AB3. 

Keep trying until one of them works, using the file size and the date to determine which file to try next.

How did we do?

Special Database Recovery Detail Instructions