Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Error “Cannot lock file ” while opening the MS Access database file

Microsoft Access database saved on a server can be accessed by all the client computers connected in the network. These clients – with assigned privileges – can also modify the records saved in the database. However, there is a possibility that these clients may not be able to open the Access database file (ACCDB or MDB) due to various reasons like, Access database file damage, new locks implied, and more. In such situations, the data stored in the file becomes inaccessible. For absolute recovery of data in such situations, an easy way is to restore the data from an updated backup. However, if you have not maintained any database backup or backup is unable to restore the desired records, then you will need to use an advanced access repair software.

As a practical instance, you have an Access database (Accounts) saved on the server. However, when you attempt to open the database file, the below error message pops up:

“Cannot lock file”

The error message does not allow you to open the Accounts database file and further makes all the records inaccessible. Additionally, you receive the same error message each time you attempt to open the database file.


Few main causes for the above error message are discussed below:

Accounts database crashed out (corrupted)
You have no read/write privileges on the Accounts database


In case of no read/write privileges, you will need to request the administrator to assign you the privileges. However, in case of Access database corruption, you will need to use an inbuilt repair utility known as “Compact and Repair.” You will need to take the below steps to use the repair utility:

1.Select Database Utilities under Tools drop down list. Click Compact and Repair Database.
2.Click Compact after searching and selecting the database in the ‘Database to Compact From’ dialog box.
3.Select a new folder location for the file in the ‘Compact Database Into’ dialog box.
4.Provide a unique name to the file. Click on Save.

In case, the Accounts database remains corrupted even after using the repair utility, then you will need to use a powerful Access Recovery software. Such access database repair tools are built with rich graphical user interface and use high end scanning methods to repair the corrupted Access database files (.accdb and .mdb).

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