The Random Hiccup: Can You Really Prevent Database Corruption?

Database Corruption ConceptNothing is more frustrating for organisations and database managers than a corrupted database.

Just a single missing entry can send the entire system in a downward spiral, and it’s an alarming scenario for organisations that end up spending so much time and effort in repairing and restoring the database.

So how can you prevent database corruption?

A Question of ‘When’

The simplest, honest and direct answer is this: You really can’t. Data corruption is an inevitable problem, and it happens at the disk subsystem level. No amount of effort can prevent it because the storage is extremely complicated, and is naturally subject to the random hiccup. There’s a reason every single operating system ships the product with CHKDSK.

Simply put, database corruption is not a question of ‘if’, but more a question of ‘when’.

Band Aid Solution vs. Long-Term Solution

With regular database performance tune-ups and a little help from an expert, you can repair the system or at least recover some data.

The immediate fix is to check and repair a specific table from the PhpMyadmin or cPanel. Businesses often repair databases from the web host manager, but this usually provides only a temporary relief.

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If multiple people will use the system, separate it into two: one will be a front end that contains forms and reports, while the other is a back-end that will contain the data. By making the split, it will be easier to replace the front end from a backup when a problem arises. This also eases changes to the implementation.

When an error exists in the system, size up the corruption. Wait for DBCC CHECKDB to conclude its evaluation before you proceed with other approaches. This way, you won’t destroy the data or prolong the downtime.

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but sometimes full prevention is impossible. In the case of database corruption, some proactive footing is worth it for your company, your company’s data, and your client’s relationships with the organisation.