How to Repair Corrupt MDF File in SQL Server?

Rollins Duke   
Published: October 5th, 2023 • 9 Min Read

This blog post assists you to repair corrupted MDF file of SQL Server using 2 different ways manual and automated. After reading this blog post, anyone can easily repair MDF file without facing difficulties.

Nowadays, several businesses use SQL Server to manage their crucial data in an automated way. But sometimes when MDF files get corrupted due to various reasons it is a big challenge to repair corrupt MDF files.

You can easily resolve queries like how to repair corrupted MDF files in SQL Server by one of the following ways:

  • By using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)
  • By using MDF File Repair Tool

Due to its vast array of features and significantly cheaper price than its other counterparts, SQL Server is the go-to choice of database administrators globally to manage the automation data of their organizations. However, Microsoft SQL Server still suffers from a few glitches from time to time, which makes the everyday life of administrators more stressful. One such issue is the MDF file corruption in SQL Server.

But before we dive into methods through which you can knock out this error and repair corrupted MDF file, let’s have a quick look at what causes the corruption of SQL Server MDF files. This will help you take the necessary precautions to avoid corruption in the first place.

5 Quick Steps to Repair MDF File

  • Step 1: Install and start MDF Repair Tool.
  • Step 2: Add damaged MDF files to software.
  • Step 3: Select a mode to repair MDF file.
  • Step 4: Browse destination path to store output.
  • Step 5: Click Export to get a healthy MDF file.

What Is MDF File in SQL Server?

Microsoft SQL Server users are aware of MDF (Master Database File) file as this is a primary database file. An MDF file is associated with SQL Server for storing automated data including schema information. MS SQL Server also generates a secondary database file known as NDF, which stores data without schema.

An MDF file is considered as the most crucial file as it stores all the important data in SQL tables. If your SQL MDF file got damaged due to any reason, then your whole database will be corrupted. Before finding the solution to repair SQL Server master database, let’s know about the reasons behind MDF file corruption.

Top Reasons for MDF File Corruption in SQL Server

An SQL Server MDF file can get corrupted due to any of the following reasons:

  • Abrupt Shutdown: Due to a sudden power loss, the MDF & NDF files in SQL Server might end up deleted or corrupted.
  • Human Error: Sometimes, DBA might run an SQL command that they shouldn’t have, and thus lead to the corruption of MDF files.
  • Software Bugs and Glitches: SQL Server software bugs, glitches, or compatibility issues can result in incorrect data handling or file manipulation, potentially causing MDF file corruption.
  • Virus Attack: SQL MDF & NDF files are also susceptible to virus attacks. If your SQL Server files have become infected, it could lead to the corruption of MDF files.
  • Storage Media Issues: Physical errors on storage media where the MDF file is located, such as bad sectors, can result in data inconsistencies and corruption.
  • Hardware Problems: MDF files can also get corrupted due to problems in the system hardware.
  • Insufficient Disk Space: Running out of disk space during database operations can cause write failures, leading to incomplete or inconsistent data in the MDF file.
  • Other Reasons: If someone stores MDF file in a compressed folder, or makes some changes in the SQL account, then also your MDF file may get corrupted.

Methods to Repair Corrupted MDF File in SQL Server

There are only 2 methods to repair corrupted MDF file in SQL Servers. First, you can use the manual recovery method, i.e., by using a SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and the second method is through using a professional MDF File Repair Wizard. First, we will cover how to repair MDF files using SSMS.

Repair MDF Files by DBCC CHECKDB Command

Follow the steps below to repair corrupted MDF files in SQL Server by running the DBCC CHECKDB command as follows:

DBCC CHECKDB (Name_of _corrupt _database)

Next, check if the Index ID > 1. If it is, then drop it and create it again. If, however, the Index ID is 0 or 1, then run DBCC CHECKDB like this:

DBCC CHECK (name_of_corrupt_database, repair_fast)

DBCC CHECK (name_of_corrupt_database, repair_rebuild)

DBCC CHECK (name_of_corrupt_database, repair_allow_data_loss)

In most cases, this method should work, and you’ll be able to repair corrupted MDF file without any hassles.

Drawbacks to Fix Corrupted MDF Files Manually

There are, however, a few drawbacks that make manual repair a bit risky. They are:

  • The manual method to repair damaged MDF file in SQL Server does not provide 100% data integrity assurance. Sometimes, the repaired data might be missing crucial information, which can be a big headache for DBAs like you.
  • Successful execution of the manual DBCC CHECKDB method relies heavily on the skill level of the person performing the task. If users lack the necessary skills or experience, they might struggle to identify and rectify issues effectively.
  • If you are short on time, the manual method is not recommended as sometimes, it can take up a lot of your time.
  • The manual approach lacks real-time monitoring and alerts, meaning users might not be promptly informed of emerging issues or potential data threats while repair MDF file.
  • Manual technique is not effective to fix highly damaged MDF files. Even if you are planning to repair multiple MDF files, the manual method may fail.
  • With the absence of automation, the likelihood of human errors increases. A small mistake during the manual process could have severe consequences for the database and its contents. Hence, experts don’t recommend manual ways to repair corrupted MDF files.

Know How to Repair Damaged MDF File Using Software

If the manual method to repair corrupted MDF files did not work, do not lose hope. To tackle situations where manual MDF file repair fails, we have come up with a professional solution that you can use to repair SQL Server database. SQL Recovery Tool by BitRecover is an expert-recommended solution to fix corrupted MDF files in simple steps. The MDF repair tool is compatible with all latest and previous Windows OS.

Download Now Purchase Now

First, download and install the suggested MDF file repair tool on your machine. After that, just follow the simple steps, and you’ll be one step closer to getting your corrupted MDF files back:

  1. Start the MDF File Repair Tool and click Open to upload the damaged MDF file.
    MDF file repair tool
  2. Choose Quick or Advance Scan Mode according to the MDF corruption level.
    dual scan modes
  3. Thereafter, the tool will start scanning damaged MDF file for corruption.
    Scanning for MDF file corruption
  4. Now users can preview the corrupted MDF file database and press Export.
    repair corrupted MDF file
  5. Select either of these options: Create New Database or Export to Existing Database.
    fix MDF file
  6. You can choose to Export with Schema or Schema & data.
    how to repair damaged MDF
  7. Finally, click on Export to start the process.

This method helps you to repair your corrupted MDF files in a short while.

Key Takeaways

SQL database administrators across the world often face the problem of corrupted SQL Server MDF files. Although the causes of this corruption can be many, it is difficult to repair corrupted MDF file in SQL Server without losing the data integrity of your files. That is why experts always recommend using the Enterprise SQL MDF repair application in such cases.

MDF File Repair Tool Features

The following are some of the key features of this tool:

  • It repairs corrupted MDF file data and restores it from tables, functions, rules, triggers, views, stored procedures, etc.
  • It fixes MDF files created with Microsoft SQL Server 2019, 2017, 2014, 2012, 2008, 2005, and 2000.
  • It offers dual scanning modes as per the level of corruption, i.e., Quick Scanning and Advance Scanning.
  • It exports the recovered MDF files in reusable scripts and CSV files as per the data.
  • It fixes the corruption in the MDF file and exports repaired data with or without schema data as per the user’s choice.
Frequently Asked Questions

Ques 1: How to repair MDF files in SQL server without any data loss?

Ans: Using the MDF repair tool ensures 100% data integrity during the repair process. Just follow the steps listed below:

  1. Download & install the MDF Repair Tool.
  2. Check the “Auto-Detect SQL Server” File (.mdf) Version.
  3. Preview the SQL Server objects like Table, Views, etc.
  4. Click on “MS SQL Server version” and Collation Settings.
  5. Select “SQL Server Database”: New / Existing Database.
  6. Export data “With Only Schema” or “Schema with data” to repair corrupted MDF file.

Ques 2: Can I batch repair corrupted MDF file at once?

Ans 2: No, you cannot repair multiple corrupt MDF files at once. You can, however, repair multiple MDF files in a single go.

Ques 3: Can I fix SQL MDF files that have been affected by a Ransomware attack?

Ans 3: Yes, this utility has a special feature that carefully decrypts Ransomware affected files before repairing them.

Ques 4: Does your software permit to repair corrupted MDF files created with SQL Server 2019?

Ans: Yes, MDF file repair software is capable of repairing damaged MDF files of SQL Server 2019, 2017, 2014, 2012, and old versions.