Fixing MySQL Error 1034: Incorrect Key File for Table

When you encounter MySQL Error 1034, it indicates that there is an issue with the key file of a table, which could be due to corruption or a disk space problem. The full error message “Incorrect key file for table ‘%s’; try to repair it” identifies the table that has the problem and suggests an initial course of action. Let’s explore how to diagnose and address this issue, ensuring that your database remains robust and reliable.

Understanding the Error

Error 1034 in MySQL typically points to an issue with the MyISAM storage engine, where the .MYI (MyISAM Index) file could be corrupted or damaged. This can happen due to various reasons, such as an unexpected shutdown, hardware issues, or a full disk.

Diagnosing the Issue

To begin diagnosing the problem, note the table name given in the error message. This is the table you will need to focus on when attempting to repair.

Fixing the Error

Scenario 1: Repairing the Table

The first and most straightforward action is to attempt to repair the table using the REPAIR TABLE command:

REPAIR TABLE your_table_name;

Replace your_table_name with the actual name of the table you’re trying to repair.

Scenario 2: Repairing with myisamchk

If you have access to the server’s command line and the MySQL service can be stopped, consider using the myisamchk utility for a more thorough repair:

# Stop the MySQL server before running the command
service mysql stop

# Navigate to the MySQL data directory
cd /path/to/mysql/data/directory

# Run myisamchk on the .MYI file
myisamchk --recover --force your_table_name.MYI

# Restart the MySQL server after the repair
service mysql start

Scenario 3: Ensuring Sufficient Disk Space

Error 1034 can also be caused by insufficient disk space. Check the available space on the disk and free up space if necessary:

df -h

If the disk is full, remove unnecessary files or expand the disk size to provide more space for MySQL to operate.

Scenario 4: Checking File Permissions

Incorrect file permissions can prevent MySQL from accessing the key file. Ensure that the MySQL user has the appropriate permissions:

chown mysql:mysql /path/to/mysql/data/directory/your_table_name.*
chmod 660 /path/to/mysql/data/directory/your_table_name.*

Scenario 5: Handling Temporary File Issues

MySQL might encounter issues with temporary files during heavy operations. Check for and clear out old temporary files that might be interfering with the table:

ls -l /tmp | grep -i 'mysql'

Scenario 6: Addressing Filesystem Corruption

If the underlying filesystem is corrupted, it could affect the integrity of the MySQL files. Running a filesystem check (e.g., fsck on Linux) might be necessary. Ensure that the MySQL service is stopped before running such a check to avoid data loss.


Error 1034 in MySQL can be a signal of table corruption or environmental issues such as disk space and permissions. By methodically working through the potential causes and their solutions, you can repair the affected table and prevent the error from recurring. Remember to back up your data regularly to safeguard against data loss during such incidents.

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