How to Recover SQL Database MDF and NDF files?

MDF and NDF files are primary and secondary database files respectively. MDF files are the starting reference of database files that connects database with table, columns, index, etc. NDF files are files in continuation. These files are made if the MDF file is fully stored. NDF and MDF are the mains to Recover SQL Database files.

Now, Let’s focus on some reasons to recover database files.

Why Do We Need to Restore the MDF file and NDF files:

The systems are not fully secure these days that it can handle the impact of all unethical activities at once. We can resolve issues by downloading Anti-virus software, but that will work for the time being. We are going to look at some of the causes that might lead to SQL Database file corruption-

Virus– If the system gets prone to virus then the database files can corrupt abruptly. The virus can enter via the installation of software or downloading of media. It will tend to damage multiple system files.

System shutdown – If you are working on a SQL database and suddenly the system shutdown then the files can get corrupted and might also damage the database tables.

Bug– A bug is an error, fault or a technical flaw in the hardware system that might corrupt the database files. The presence of bugs in a system can make files react indifferently.

Steps to Recover SQL Database:

Follow the below steps to perform NDF and MDF file recovery:

  1. You can restore the contents of the database from the last backup, you created.
  2. Check the quality of the damaged database and find the issue by enabling repair mode. Do DBCC CHECKDB.
  3. By use of commands, you can reconstruct the database replicating its previous form.

  •   Method to Recover MDF File only:

Using SQL Server Management Studio(SSMS)

1) Open SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) application onto your system.

2) Now, connect the (SSMS) application to SQL Server.

3) Here, open Object Explorer and right-click on the Databases option. Furthermore, click on “Attach” to continue further.

4) Next, in Attach Database wizard, click Add button to attach the desired MDF file to it.

5)Now, browse the location of yours.MDF file and then hit the OK button.

6) Lastly, after following the above steps you can now view the MDF file you attached to the SQL server.

Now, we are going to look at some challenges users might face while applying the manual approach to recover SQL database files.

Drawbacks to restore MDF files:

  1. Administrator permission required to access full control of your MDF file.
  2. Make sure that the version you are uploading it in, is compatible with the MDF file.
  3. Technical experience is needed to apply the Manual approach.
  4. Data might be at risk during the recovery process of MDF File.

Here we have discussed both manual methods and limitations of NDFand MDF file recovery.

Last but not the least, let’s look at some other options too that might help you resolve the issue.

Automated Tool:

Users must always choose the option with fewer disadvantages for betterment. If you are not satisfied with the manual approach that recovers MDF and NDF files, then you can always opt for the automated tool. The SQL Database Recovery is a tested utility that promises many more benefits than the manual method. It promises full recovery, supports page compression, has preview options, and is compatible with SQL Server versions between 2000-2016.

Steps of  Software Installation:

  • First, Download and Install SQL Database Recovery software on your system.
  • Click the Open button on the taskbar and then click the Browse button to select the corrupted MDF file.
  •  Choose the corrupt MDF file from the given list. Click Open to finally give the confirmation.
  • Then, select from the recovery mode: either Standard or Advanced. Next, check the “Is SQL 2000” box to confirm whether your MDF file is created in MS SQL Server 2000.
  • Recovery of deleted records and collation type support:
  1. If you want to recover items from the deleted box, then check   Show Deleted Box.
  2. If you want to recover an advanced deleted record, then check the Show Advanced Deleted Records box.
  3. In the Collation option, click on the Auto Detect radio button.
  4. Select the Manual radio button to define the collation type manually.

         Click OK to start the scanning process.

  • The scanning process is being processed on your system. Please don’t stop or cancel it.
  • Now expand the MDF file in the hierarchy(tree structure) and double-check your data. After that, select the MDF file by clicking the Save button on the taskbar.
  • Next, select the saving mode as a SQL Server database or SQL Server compatible Scripts. Also, fill in the details in the required fields given below.
  • If you chose SQL Server Database for saving mode, don’t forget to test the credibility of database connections.
  • Hit OK to start the saving process.
  • Finally, the process will be completed and then click OK to close the software application.

Summing It Up:

We have discussed the reasons why databases get corrupted and how to recover SQL database files using NDF and MDF file recovery methods that solve the issue of database file corruption. I hope you find this blog useful.

You may also read – Recover and Repair Corrupt Exchange Database

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Aakshit is a blogger, writer, freelancer, publisher for the technology niche. Works as a content writer for many websites.