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Microsoft Access Backup and Restore

Backup and Restore Process In Microsoft Access 2010

Having a Closer Look at Backup and Restore Process in MS Access 2013

Performing regular backups is the best strategy against any type of data disaster. There is no definitive solution to avert data loss, however, backups are a medium to save business downtime if you anyhow happen to lose this vital asset. MS Access users also suffer from data loss due to intermittent corruption encountered in Access databases. If you have a backup of your database, it could save you precious time that would have been otherwise wasted in rebuilding the entire database from scratch.

Planning the Backup Process

When the Undo command fails to reverse an action or a mistake, you can restore the correct version of an object or the entire database from a backup. A typical example of this scenario is when running an action query to make changes to your database. The changes made by the action query to the data cannot be reversed using Undo.

In case your Access database is shared with other users, make sure that there are no active connections to this database before starting to back it up. Use the below mentioned tips to decide when to back up and how often to back up:

  • If your database is seldom used or modified, you can go for backups only when the data or design changes are implemented.
  • If changes are made to your database frequently, you should perform backups on a routine basis.
  • In case your database has multiple users, you should back it up after every design change.

Backing Up a Database

The job of performing database backups is a cinch with MS Access. During the backup process, all the currently opened objects are saved and closed by Access. Once this is done, the copy of your entire database file is saved at your specified location. When the backup is finished, all objects are reopened by reading the value of each object's Default View property.

Open the database you need to back up and perform the following steps:

  • Go to 'File' and select 'Save As'.
  • In the 'File Types' section, click 'Save Databases As'.
  • Below 'Advanced', click 'Back Up Database'. Next, click 'Save As'.
  • A 'Save As' dialog box appears. In this dialog, navigate to the 'File Name' box and check the name for your database backup file. You can choose a different name for the database backup.
  • In the 'Save as type' list, choose a file type in which you want to save your backup database. Click 'Save'.

Backing Up a Split Database

If you have split your database into back-end and front-end, you need to follow a different approach to backup. The back-end database contains all the database tables, whereas the front-end database comprises links to these tables and all interface objects.

If you go for backing up the two databases separately, it would be time consuming. Instead, you should opt for backing up your back-end database on a routine basis as it contains all data within your Access database. You should perform backups for the front-end database when you make design changes to this database.

Backing Up a Back-end Database

Before backing up your back-end database, you should inform all the users who have access to this database. During the backup process, users may not be able to access this database.

Follow the given steps to back up your back-end database:

  • Start MS Access
  • Click 'Open Other Files' » 'Computer' » 'Browse'. Locate and choose your back-end database
  • Click on the arrow to the right of 'Open' button and select 'Open Exclusive'

Follow the same method for backing up a database described in 'Backing Up a Database' section above.

Restoring a Database

For restoring a database, you require a good known backup copy of this database. A good known backup copy is the one that maintains data integrity and design. The restore process will wind up replacing the original copy of your database that has missing data or corruption in a few objects.

For restoring your database, you just need to copy the database backup to the location where your original database file is present. When you are asked to replace the existing file, click 'Yes'.

Restoring Objects in a Database

If you have the need to restore just a few objects in your database, import these objects from the backup database copy into the original database file.

To restore individual objects to your database, follow the given steps:

  • Open your Access database
  • For restoring an object that is missing from your database, skip this step. If you need to restore an object that is corrupt or has stopped working, do the following:

    If you wish to preserve the object that contains bad data, you should rename it before restoration.

    Delete the object you need to replace
  • Click 'External Data', navigate to the 'Import & Link' group, and click 'Access'
  • In the 'Get External Data-Access Database' dialog, locate your backup database and click 'Open'
  • Choose 'Import tables, queries, forms, reports, macros, and modules into the current database' and click 'OK'
  • An 'Import Object' dialog appears. In this dialog, select the tab that represents the type of object you are restoring. Select the database object in this tab. For restoring multiple objects, select all the objects
  • Click 'Options' in the 'Import Objects' dialog to verify your import options
  • Once you have verified the import setting options, click 'OK'

In case there are other programs and databases that refer to the objects you are restoring, you have to restore the database to the correct location in order for preserving the links of other databases to these objects.

The Author

Adam Gorge is an expert handler of Access Database errors, Access database corruption issues etc. He has written many articles on Third Party Access Database Recovery Software, Access database corruption issues, Compact/repair utility etc.