Microsoft Access: Is this file recoverable?

I have a Microsoft Access file that, for some reason, stopped working. When I try to open it, the Disclaimer Form appears with the “Click Here to Enter” button. But now, the button no longer does anything when I click it. The file is still almost 20MB, so I assume there is still information in the database. I just can’t get into the damn thing to access the data base. I can’t get past the initial log in screen. And I don’t know enough about Microsoft Access to do anything about it.

Please help.

Make a copy of the file and do all your experimental attempts to recover on the copy.

(even though the following steps should be pretty safe, working on a copy is the best idea anyway).

Is it an MDB/ACCDB file, or is the extension MDE/ACCDE? If the latter, it’s a published version of the DB that won’t let you directly work on the contents - in this case, you need to find the original MDB/ACCDB file and use that (the steps below won’t help if it’s an MDE/ACCDE)

Try holding down the <shift> key when you open it (hold it down before you double-click the file and keep it pressed until it is fully opened - this should bypass any startup forms and let you straight into the DB.

Try creating a new, blank database and importing objects from the damaged one into it - full instructions on that process here:

Also, do you have the full version of Microsoft Access on your machine, or are you opening this DB using the free runtime engine? - if the latter, it’s pretty much the same outcomes as if it were an MDE/ACCDE - you won’t be able to open the DB to view the objects in it directly.

To determine whether you have the full version of Access on your machine, locate it in the Start Menu (or apps list if you are on Win8.x) - the full version will be listed as ‘Access 2013’ (or similar) - the runtime version should either be explicitly described as ‘Microsoft Access Runtime’, or may not appear at all in Start.

The OP requested that this be moved to GQ where he originally intended it to go. So it shall be done.

What Mangetout said.

Do you have a recent backup? You should always have a recent backup stored on another drive or CD/DVD or something.

Also is a great forum for Access problems. You can even upload a copy of your database and have someone like me attempt to recover it. Of course you may not want to upload it if there’s any sensitive data inside of it.

Thanks, guys! With the “hold shift” trick, I was able to pull up the four tables I needed. I exported them to Excel. From there, I took an older copy of the .mdb file with all the working forms and everything, and imported the four tables. Now I have a working copy with all the updated information.
I will probably take you up on your offer in the near future, JerrySTL. There are some things about the .mdb file that I would like to change. For one, it’s set up to have a Front End and a Backend. But I don’t need or want it to be split like that. I also want to get rid of a bunch of prompts that keep coming up.
Thanks again, everyone. Oh, and it’s the full MS Access. At work I have Office 2010 I think. At home I have Office 2013.

To recombine a split DB, it should just be as simple as opening the back end DB, then importing everything from the front end DB into it. Work on copies of the originals.