Complete Guide to Use an MDF File Recovery Software

Technical Tips

MS SQL Server is one of the most seamlessly reliable databases that facilitate companies, especially law enforcement, intelligence, and investigative agencies, with advanced internal structure. The core concern of every agency is to safely keep the information and data from abrupt shutdowns, viruses, and other operating system failures.

MDF recovery software aids in restoring SQL Server database objects, including tables, files, indexes, functions, etc., becoming a utility for every small and large-scale organization. 

SQL Server has two types of data files in its default directory known as Master Database File (MDF) and Log Database File (LDF). MDF plays a pivotal role in holding and storing critical database information. MDF file, being the primary database file, stores and holds all the tables, functions, triggers, and much more data and information. Therefore, corruption of MDF files causes serious systematic errors for users.

How Do You Identify an MDF File?

SQL Server holds and stores all the data in two file extensions automatically created at the database creation time. These two files, named MDF and LDF are vital for data recovery and backup. The corruption of MDF files makes it difficult to access SQL Server databases. To find out where the critical database files are stored, it is vital to identify the location of the MDF file. The user can access the data file by running the following T-SQL command:

  • USE master;
  • name ‘Logical Name’,
  • physical_name ‘File Location’
  • FROM sys.master_files; 
identify the location of the MDF file
This command gives all the details about log files and data files. SQL Server has 2014, 2016, and 2017 versions, and the user can navigate the location of the MDF file accordingly.

Why Do MDF Files Get Corrupted? 

SQL Server is a highly scalable and consistent database that stores and holds tons of data and information. The data is stored in some form of unrecognizable characters and corrupted. The problem arises when the characters are not translated into the actual format.

This issue damages the MDF database file and results in loss of data. MDF recovery is always considered a priority because it becomes difficult to access the SQL server when the MDF file is damaged. The core reasons behind the corruption of MDF files are:
  • The size of an MDF file exceeds the maximum storage limit.
  • The failure of hard disk, virus attack, or abrupt shutdown of the system.
  • The header file gets damaged, it will ultimately damage the MDF file.
  • A network failure arises while the SQL database is in use.
  • The database code page is different from the client’s computer code page.
  • The character data of a one-page code is stored into non-Unicode character data.
However, mentioned below are some tips and steps that can save MDF files from getting corrupt:
  • Always make sure to use non-Unicode data type rather than Unicode data type.
  • Make sure to use a binary data type.
  • Always prefer to use various tools for accessing and storing data.

How Do You Detect MDF File Corruption? 

To repair SQL database corruption, one needs to detect and identify corruption in the MDF file. Execute the following command for the database to work correctly and identify the reason behind SQL MDF file corruption.

1. SELECT * From msdb.dbo.suspect pages

msdb.dbo.suspect pages

Rows are displayed as a result of this command. When the server found no error in the database, there were no corruptions in data entries. However, this doesn’t necessitate that there is no damaged data in the file because the search query always goes for the entries that were damaged in the past.

2. DBCC CHECKDB is one of the most widely opted commands to identify and fix corrupt files.

DBCC incorporates multiple other commands like DBCC CHECKALLOC, DBCC CHECKCATALOG, and DBCC CHECKTABLE to fix files.

Follow the below-mentioned command to make sure that either the database is corrupted.

  • DBCC CHECKDB (Name_of_corrupt_database)


This command will check the memory, tables, consistency, quality and compile the results in a list. And if there is any inconsistency or defect, it will pop up in front of the user.

DBCC CHECKDB command is an inbuilt tool that helps fix corrupt MDF files. This tool fixes only a few errors but not every type of error and cannot fix heavy errors.

How Can You Repair a Corrupted MDF File?

SQL Server database recovery tool is an effective tool that is purposely designed to deal with the corruption of MDF files. This recovery tool enables the user to hassle-freely recover tables, triggers, stored procedures, indexes, default values, primary keys, foreign keys, and unique keys from corrupt database SQL files.

When the SQL server database shows corruption, it is high time to repair the file using MDF recovery software to access the data. SQL recovery software repairs corrupt MDF files, sincerely performs the SQL database corruption repair process, and prepares backup.

The recovery tool assists in rescuing and repairing several facilities as It also helps the user repair, restore, and recover lost or damaged records. One of the key benefits of opting for the recovery tool is that it enables recovering all the information quickly and protects the data.

Mentioned below are specific steps to recover data from a corrupt MDF file:
  • Step 1: Stop the MS SQL server running in the background. Now perform the repair task on the copy of the corrupt database. After that, click on ‘Recover’ to continue.

Recovery - DBR for SQLServer

  • Step 2: Choose the ‘Select Database’ button and click on the path of the corrupt MDF file. One can also search for a corrupt database file using the ‘File type’ and ‘Look in’ buttons. Now click on the ‘Scan file’ button to initiate the repairing process.

Select Database - DBR For SQLServer

  • Step 3: The recoverable objects from the database appear on the left side of the window in a tree view.

Recovered Objoect - DBR - SQLServer

  • Step 4: If someone is looking for a particular object, he can do it by using the option of ‘search keyword’. One needs to write the object name or part of the object name in the text box, perform ‘Match whole word’ or ‘Match case’, and then click on the Next button.

Filter - DBR - SQLServer

  • Step 5: Click on the ‘Export’ icon. Now fill in the name of the SQL server. If someone wants to save the repaired file in a specific location, he must click on the browse button to give a path to the desired file. Otherwise, the DBR will save it in the default SQL location. Now click on the OK button.

After you have installed the DBR for SQL Server on your computer, you will follow the procedure to select the database you need to restore. The software will recover all of your corrupted or accidentally deleted tables and entries. Select the important entries and click on the Export button to recover them successfully.

Benefits and Features of an MDF File Recovery Software

MDF file recovery tool is a window-based software compatible with every window version. Its advanced scanning features recover and restore all the data corrupted by severe virus infection. Here are some benefits of MDF file recovery software
  • The software enables the scanning of various .ndf files simultaneously.
  • It also provides recovery support for damaged or corrupted .mdf and .ndf files.
  • It offers two scanning modes to recover the files.
  • It automatically selects the version that best suits the SQL server for .mdf files.
  • The software also provides support for retrieving and exporting files to server databases or saving them in suitable SQL scripts.
  • When a user doesn’t know about the desired location, this software automatically selects the NDF files.
  • The software facilitates exporting schema only or both data and schema together.

Features of an MDF File Recovery Software 

MDF file recovery tool is laced with all the features that are sufficient in recovering the database quickly.

Scan Modes

The recovery tool is equipped with advanced algorithms to recover the files. The option of Scan Mode aids in recovering damaged or corrupted server database files.

Preview of Database Objects

Once the database files are restored, the file content is shown hierarchically. The software displays all the results, including tables, stored procedures, triggers, rules, functions, etc., in a structured way that is easy to view.

Restore Database Objects

Once the MDF file is recovered, the software provides two options: either the user wants to export the  SQL server database or export the file as SQL script or CSV file. If the user wants to export data into an SQL server, he needs to enter the credentials of the SQL server.

Compatibility with SQL Server

The software supports repairing damaged MDF files from 2000, 2005, 2008, 2014, and 2016 SQL servers. Meanwhile, the software would also automatically detects the SQL database file version for the users’ convenience.

Which MDF File Recovery Software is Right for You? 

SalvationData’s MDF recovery software secures, repairs, and restores corrupt SQL database, MDF, and NDF files with a 100% guarantee.

Our recovery software is equipped with a user-friendly interface that enables the user to recover the SQL database files without technical knowledge. 

DBR for SQLserver not only supports almost all versions of the SQL server and can quickly recover MDF files, but repair and restore every database regardless of its size.

Our DBR for SQL Server has the following benefits:

Benefits of DBR for SQLServer


Law enforcement, investigators, and intelligence agencies are more prone to cyber and virus attacks, system failures, and shutdowns that result in the loss of essential data.

For better practice in database recovery especially how to recover MDF files by MDF File Recovery Software, forensic analysts are able to restore, retrieve and repair their damaged database files effectively and efficiently after reading today’s post.