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How to Repair a MySQL Database

How to Repair a MySQL Database
Reading time: 5 min
Hostman Team
Technical writer

MySQL provides various methods for database analysis and repair. There are several reasons why errors and deviations occur. The procedures used to fix mistakes when restoring tables and looking for corrupted data rely on the database engine being used, the type of fault, the state of the database server, and how to connect to the database. 

The steps described in this guide will work for MySQL as well as MariaDB.

In order to minimize the chance of data loss and ensure a successful and seamless operation, preparation is crucial for MySQL database repair. The following instructions will help you get ready for the database repair: 

  1. Database Backup

Make a backup of MySQL database before starting any repair work. This ensures that backup data is accessible in case something goes wrong during the repair process. 

  1. Identify the issue 

Analyze what kind of MySQL issue that is occurring. Some of the possible issues could be related to storage engine, corruption or something else. Choose the best repair technique to identify the underlying cause. 

  1. Review system logs

Check MySQL error logs to see if there’s any indication of issues

  1. Verify available disk space and free up disk space

Make sure there is adequate space on the disk for temporary files and logs that will be created during the repair process. 

  1. Run diagnostics

Check for corruption mistakes. Use the command CHECK TABLE to verify the integrity of the table structure and indexes.

You can reduce risks and increase the efficacy of your MySQL database repair efforts by adhering to these preparation measures, which will guarantee a more seamless recovery process and less downtime for your users and applications. 

How to Check MySQL Table for Errors

The first step in troubleshooting the issue is to run diagnostics. Below are the 2 ways on how to check a MySQL table for errors: 

  • MySQL CHECK TABLE command

  • Using mysqlcheck command

Check MySQL table using CHECK TABLE


CHECK TABLE <table name>;

Ex: The table name is wp_commentmeta. An informative table regarding the check results will be displayed in the CHECK TABLE query's output. 


Here are the available options when checking a MySQL table for errors: 

  • FOR UPGRADE – used during the upgrade process. This command verifies that the data and table structure are compatible with the most recent version of MySQL. 




  • QUICK – this command attempts to repair the table without rebuilding the index, which can significantly reduce the repair time.


CHECK TABLE <table name> QUICK;


  • FAST – this command does a fast check on the table without modifying the data.


CHECK TABLE <table name> FAST;


  • EXTENDED – conducts a more thorough checking of the table’s structure and data. In comparison with QUICK or FAST, this choice is slower but more comprehensive. 



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Check MySQL table using mysqlcheck

The command-line equivalent of CHECK TABLE is called mysqlcheck, and it operates in the terminal as long as the MySQL service is up.

To perform this: 

  1. Login as root user:

sudo su -


  1. Navigate to the directory of the database, in this example it is /var/lib

cd /var/lib/mysql

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  1. Check the whole database: 

mysqlcheck <database name>


  1. Specific table within the database can also be checked by providing the table name also: 

mysqlcheck <database name> <table name>

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How to Repair a MySQL Database

MySQL databases can be repaired using a variety of ways. If the database table often gets corrupted, determine the underlying reason for the occurrence.  

Here are the steps on how to repair MySQL database using the REPAIR TABLE query. 

  1. Make a copy of the database directory location: 

cp -rfv /var/lib/mysql /var/lib/mysql_backup
  1. Once identified the database and table with issues, run the CHECK TABLE query using the command:

CHECK TABLE <table name>;

In this example, the corrupted table is TEST_TABLE.

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  1. Repair it using the command:

REPAIR TABLE <table name>;

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  1. Verify if the repair was a success.

CHECK TABLE <table name>;

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Alternatively, use mysqlcheck command to repair database tables in the terminal: 

  1. Go to the MySQL database directory: 

cd /var/lib/mysql
  1. Run the mysqlcheck command with the -r option to repair. 

mysqlcheck -r <database name> <table name>


Another method of repairing the MySQL database is by using the ALTER TABLE query. This example is using a MyISAM table. Run:

 ALTER TABLE <table name> ENGINE = MyISAM;


To find out if the storage engine is using MyISAM, run the query:

SHOW CREATE TABLE <table name>; 

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If a different storage engine is used, replace the query with the name of the engine.

ALTER TABLE <tablename> ENGINE = <engine name>;


In conclusion, fixing a MySQL database is essential to maintaining the system's general health and ensuring data integrity. There are several ways to fix MySQL databases, and each has advantages and things to keep in mind.

Whatever solution is selected, it is imperative to prioritize data backup over any other task when it comes to database restoration and to proceed cautiously with any modifications. To make sure that the data integrity has been maintained and that the database continues to work as intended after repair, extensive testing and validation of the repaired database are also essential.