This Object was saved in an invalid format and cannot be read

Copper Contributor

Hello Everyone, 



I'm having a pretty concerning issue with my access database, was hoping to get some help (not sure if this is the right forum for this). I'm new to access, and in the last month I've spent quite a bit of time making a company access database for registering time sheets. I haven't split the database yet (I figured I'd wait until the database was more developed), The database is currently being opened by multiple computers over a shared network, one a time.



After making some formatting changes to one of the forms (a process I've done many times), the access forms (this issue is only present on  2 out of the 4 reports on the database) throw an error that says "This Object was saved in an invalid format and cannot be read". It doesnt matter if I chose design mode, report mode, or just try and generate the report I get the same error, and cant edit, or access the form.


What's especially weird is that when I check the database on other computers it opens just fine, the reports print out. but when I tried editing the form on another computer and saving, I get the same error and the computer I edit on is then incapable of opening or printing the report.


additionally, If I try and open an archived/older version of the database (i've been saving versions of the database) I get the same error. 


Im stumped


Thanks so much for your time



6 Replies


This is, unfortunately, not uncommon. Not frequent but certainly it does happen.

That form is corrupted. Fortunately, it sounds like only that one form is bad. And two reports I guess?


It could be the entire accdb! That happens also.


So, recovery. Your backups appear to have been saved with the corruption already present in the form(s) and report(s). Bad, but not the end of the world.


One approach is to start over with a clean, new accdb and import everything into it EXCEPT those objects that are corrupted. Then recreate them from scratch. A lot of frustrating work if you can't get the good versions from backups.


You can also try a couple of other trouble-shooting steps on a COPY of the accdb. Use a copy in case your trouble-shooting goes wrong. 

One common approach is outlined in this article  This is known as decompile/compile and many developers have rescued their applications that way. Not all, unfortunately, but some.

Note that FMS is a third-party vendor or Access tools, but I have no interest in the business other than respect for their competence.

Another approach is the undocumented, but often successful, Save As Text  method documented on Allen Browne's site. It's part of a series of things he discusses.

Good luck and please let us know if you are successful.


@George Hepworth Thank you so much for the reply! I've now tried to decompile and recompile, unfortunately that has not solved the issue, I'll try this save as a text file method. :smile:


I'm really not that experienced at access but I find it very curious that this error only happens on my main computer, when I launch the database on the data entry computer it prints the report just fine, Also I tried editing the reports on another 3rd computer and it worked until recently (now it throws the same error). 


Would you know if splitting the database will prevent this error? 


Again thank you so much for your time! I really appreciate the help :smile:, I'll keep the forum updated! 


Splitting the accdb probably wouldn't make that much difference but it's always a good idea to split every relational database application in any event.

The difference between behavior on different computers may be related to different version of Office. Is everyone working with the same version?



It looks like everyone is on Access 2016, would there be different software versions (like v1.01 or something of that sort?).


If everyone is on the same version of Office, and you are all receiving updates via the same channel, you shouldn't have a problem in that regard. There can be slight differences if some computers are on, say a monthly update and others on a longer schedule. I was more concerned here with versions like 2007 and 2016 or something. That's when issues like this could happen.


Given that some people's computers do not experience the problem while others do, I'd probably go ahead and give everyone a new copy of the accdb FE, one which you can confirm doesn't have this problem and go from there.

Depending on your IT policies, it would also be a good idea to repair the Office installations on all computers as well. 

Otherwise, the fact that there is a discrepancy is actually a good sign in one way. It suggests that the master copy of the accdb FE from which each user's copy was made is okay.





Hm. I just re-read your initial post. I forgot you had not yet split the accdb into the Interface components in a Front End and the data in tables in a Back End.


Do that now. Do it with a known good copy of the accdb. Put the BE in a shared location. Give every user their own copy of the known good FE. Keep a master copy of the known good FE away from any other user so you can recover from it if necessary. Never let two users open the same copy of an FE. 
And make sure your data is backed up regularly (daily or more often would be better.)