Useually if a record or table is locked and I try to open the table in design mode it offers to open as a ReadOnly ("snapShot" effectivly read only) and so I can view the data but not do much else.
In code it would be
Dim rs As Object
Set rs = Me.Recordset.Clone
this allows you to programmaticly do things with the data without actually doing it to the record set.
I lost data to corruption of an Access 2K database once. What we did was close the DB, restart the comupter and create a new database. Then we used the import data method to get all the data and tables and queries etc back.
Try these ideas and tells us what happens
BTW: have you installed the latest updates from MicroSoft?