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Chapter 3. Navigating Within Access > Using the Database Utilities

Using the Database Utilities

Access 2000 offers five utility functions, which you access by choosing Database Utilities from the Tools menu. You can perform four of these functions (Convert Database, To Prior Access Version; Compact and Repair Database; Switchboard Manager; and Make MDE File) with or without a database open; the fifth utility function (Convert Database, To Current Access Database Version) can be performed only when no database is open. If you have a large database, convert and compact operations take a considerable amount of time. If you select one of the utility operations described in the following sections when you don't already have a database open, the operation involves two dialogs. In the first dialog, you select the database in which Access is to perform the operation; in the second dialog, you type the name of the file that the operation is to create. Default file names for new files are Db#.mdb, where # is a sequential number, beginning with 1, assigned by Access. For the three utility operations you can perform with an open database, only the Make MDE File option displays a dialog. When compacting or repairing an open database, Access assumes that you want to operate on the open database and want the resulting compacted or repaired database to replace the currently open database.

Compacting and Repairing Databases

After you make numerous additions and changes to objects within a database file—especially additions and deletions of data in tables—the database file can become disorganized. When you delete a record, you don't automatically regain the space in the file that the deleted data occupied. You must compact the database to optimize its file size and the organization of data within the tables that the file contains. When you pack an Access file, you regain space only in 32K increments.


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