Data Management

Warning: Access 2007 may delete instead of compact a database

You can compact an Access database using the same name -- ordinarily. Access 2007 seems to have a serious problem, deleting the database entirely. Fortunately, the fix is in.

When you compact a database and use the same name, Access is supposed to create a new compacted database and delete the original. Access 2007 has a huge bug, though. Instead of the above, Access deletes the old database without creating the new one — nice.

If you try to compact a database,  and Access 2007 displays a warning that it can't delete name.accdb after compacting it and suggests that you remove the read-only status and try again, do not click OK. If you do, Access will most likely destroy your database. I put off writing about this for a while because I couldn't re-create the compact/delete problem myself.

An April hotfix supposedly fixes the problem, but since I couldn't re-create the bug, I couldn't test the hotfix with any certainty. The good news is that I've not heard any horror stories about the hotfix. In addition, the word is that it does indeed fix the compact bug.

I'm wondering just how big a problem this bug was — did anyone run into it before the hotfix was available?


Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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