Compact and Repair Database


Capable 21C relies on the Microsoft Jet Database technology to store patient information. This engine stores data in a single file, that can become fragmented under normal use of Capable 21C, and can become damaged in the event of an unexpected shutdown (or loss of connection in a network). This article describes how to use Microsoft Office Access™ to compact and repair the database to reduce fragmentation and repair any potential data damage.

Underlying challenge

This knowledgebase article describes steps using Microsoft’s Office application known as Microsoft Access. This application is essential to perform the steps below, but is only required on one PC in the office.


To compact and repair the Capable 21C database:

  • Close all copies of Capable 21C in the office.
  • Go to the PC that has Microsoft Office Access installed.
  • Double click on the My Computer icon on the desktop, or select My Computer from the Start menu.
  • Double click on the Local Disk (C:). This icon may have different names on some systems. For example, on HP computers, it may be known as HP Pavillion (C:).
  • Double click on the Capable folder.
  • Double click on the Capable.MDB file.
  • Microsoft Access will start, and attempt to open the file.
  • Microsoft Access may generate several warnings:
  • It may warn that unsafe expressions are not blocked, and ask if they should be blocked or not. If Microsoft Access asks this question, click No.
  • It may ask if you want to open this file as it may contain code that is intended to harm your computer. If Microsoft Access asks this question, click Open.
  • It may warn that you cannot make changes to database objects. If Microsoft Access offers this warning, click Ok.
  • It may ask if you want to Convert or Open the file. If Microsoft Access asks this question, choose Open, and click Ok.
  • Activating the Compact and Repair functionality requires different steps for different versions of Microsoft Access:
  • In Microsoft Access versions 95-2003, go to the Tools menu, choose Database Utilities and then choose Compact and Repair database.
  • In Microsoft Access version 2007, go to the Office button, choose Manage Project, and then choose Compact and Repair.
  • When Microsoft Access has completed its repair, it may show one or more of the same messages described in step 8. Once the database file has been re-opened, close Microsoft Access altogether.

Detailed Information

Microsoft has produced several different versions of Microsoft Access. In general, the older versions cannot open databases created with the newer versions of Microsoft Access – but the newer versions CAN open databases created with an older version of Microsoft Access. For this reason, Capable 21C is shipped with a database that is formatted for the oldest version of Microsoft Access that Capable Software supports. This is Microsoft Access version 97. However, at times in the past, Capable Software supported Microsoft Access 95, so it is possible that a Capable 21C database may still be in Microsoft Access 95 format if it has never been upgraded.

Generally, Microsoft recommends that when a newer version of Microsoft Access is installed, that all databases should be upgraded (eg converted) to the format consistent with that version of Microsoft Access.

Also, Microsoft regularly releases service packs and upgrades to the core Windows components that handle these databases. Microsoft recommends installing the patches, service packs and upgrades to minimize the risk of database damage as a result of network drop-outs or system failures.

To upgrade the Capable 21C database to match the version of Microsoft Access installed, follow the same procedure, but in Step 9, substitute the following steps:

  • Activate the Microsoft Access feature to convert the database. The steps to do this are different on different versions of Microsoft Access:
  • In Microsoft Access 95-2003, go to the Tools menu, choose Database Utilities and choose convert. If offered the option to choose different versions of Microsoft Access, choose the one that matches the version of Microsoft Access that is installed.
  • In Microsoft Access 2007, click the Office button, click Save As, and then choose Office 2007 format.
  • Regardless of the version of Microsoft Access, you will now be prompted for a filename for the database to be saved to. If the Save window is not already navigating the C:\Capable folder, navigate to that folder. Save the file as DB1.mdb.
  • Close Microsoft Access altogether.
  • On the My Computer window, right click on the Capable.MDB file, and choose Rename.
  • Rename the file to CapableOLD.mdb.
  • Right click on the DB1.mdb file, and choose Rename.
  • Rename the file to Capable.mdb

Note that in steps 12-15, the filename may not display the .mdb extension. For some installations of Windows, this is normal behaviour, but can be modified by:

  • Open a My Computer window.
  • Go to the Tools menu, and choose Folder options.
  • Go to the View tab, and untick the box entitled Hide Extensions for Known File Types.
  • Click Ok.

See also how to Repair a Read Only Database if a compact and repair does not remove database damage.

This knowledge resource is designed for use on a Windows (tm) XP system operating at a screen resolution of 1024x768 or better. Windows Media Player must be installed for this training resource to operate correctly.

Copyright 2008 Capable Software Pty Ltd

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