When you’re running your own database server at home, there are two things that can kill it: power outages and crashes. Let’s talk about what to do when your database crashes.

First, I’m going to assume that you already have backups of your data. If not, then this article is pointless and you should go back and read my article on backups.

1) Stop Your Application or Script

If you have a script or program that accesses the database, make sure you stop it while you try to fix the problem. Nothing should be written to the database while you’re trying to recover it. If the program automatically restarts, then you should kill it and restart it manually after everything is fixed. You can’t take a crash lightly. You have to prepare for the possibility that your data is corrupt and you might have to restore from backup.

2) Before Fixing Anything, Copy Your Database Files Elsewhere

If there’s a power outage or something else that causes a crash, then it might be better not to try and fix anything at all right away. The reason is that if there’s a hardware problem in your server, then trying to write things could make the problem worse. My advice is before doing any kind of troubleshooting or fixing, copy your .sdb files somewhere safe so you have them in case they get corrupted.

3) Try Performing a Quick Repair

Once you’re confident that nothing bad happened while the server was down, go ahead and try to do a quick repair on the files before trying anything else. Note that this can’t fix any corruption within your data, but if there’s corruption in the file itself then it should be able to recognize that and fix it automatically. If you don’t even have a quick repair available, check out my article on how to set up a personal toolkit for MySQL for instructions on setting one up.

4) See What Happened

When there is a crash or outage with your database server, it gives you an opportunity to see what was going on with your server immediately before the crash happened. My advice is to look at all of those logs from last night now while they’re still fresh in your mind instead of waiting until you have to do some kind of troubleshooting. You can also look at the log files after a crash, but if they get corrupted then you might not be able to read them and will need to repair your .sdb files as I described above.

5) What If It Still Doesn’t Work?

Your last option is that everything has failed and your database still doesn’t work properly. In this case, just restore from backup and go on with your life. If you don’t have backups, then you’ll either want to fix it yourself or hire someone who knows what they’re doing since it’s probably going to be expensive for them to help you out. Keep in mind though that restoring from backup means all of your changes since your last backup will be lost and it may take a long time depending on how big your database is.

Hopefully, this article helps you out the next time your MySQL server crashes or there’s an unexpected power outage. I hope you found this useful- if so, please share it with others using the buttons below! If you run into any problems following my advice above, be sure to leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help out as much as possible. Thanks for reading! Make sure to subscribe to my RSS feed or email newsletter (both links in the sidebar) if you aren’t already, and follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Plus, check out the free web design course over at Design School.


MySQL isn’t a user-friendly solution by default. It’s a very powerful tool, but it does take some effort to learn. If you don’t have much experience with databases, then I strongly advise that you start off by familiarizing yourself with MySQL basics and backup concepts before working with your own data. This article gave you useful advice for making recoveries as well as preventing failures in the first place. I hope you found this helpful! Please leave any feedback or questions in the comments section below! Thanks for reading, and make sure to check out my homepage for more tutorials and articles on web design and freelancing.