Microsoft SQL Server, the most preferred database application by business organizations because of its high scalability, consistency, and familiarity with users. SQL database server stores millions of records whose size keeps increasing every day you work. Also, Microsoft’s SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is mostly used for managing database server where Non-UNICODE data types like char, varchar, etc. are used. When the SSMS is used for querying the character data, you may not receive the accurate character data rather you may come across a problem like:
“The character data you receive is in the form of question marks.”
The characters are received in some unrecognizable (corrupted) format. This problem generally occurs when characters are not properly translated into their actual format. Moreover, if the characters of one code page are stored in any other code page in Non-UNICODE column then you may also face this problem.
Due to the aforementioned issue, the MDF database file can be damaged resulting in data loss. Once the MDF file gets damaged, SQL Server is unable to access the file. Therefore, repairing corrupted MDF file must be considered on priority. However, before recovering data from the damaged MDF file, reasons behind the corruption should be known.
Reasons behind Corruption of MDF file:
- The code page of client computer differs from the database code page.
- The non-Unicode data type has been updated or inserted in the database before querying the character data.
- Character data of one code page has been stored in the code page of other non-Unicode character data.
Suggested Measures to Prevent MDF File from Corruption:
Following precautionary steps can be taken to save the MDF file from corruption:
- Try using a binary data type
- Be active while storing character data in the database using non-Unicode data type
- Avoid using non-Unicode data type rather use the Unicode data type
- Prefer using diverse tool for storing and accessing data
- Disable data translate parameter
How to deal with Corrupt SQL database MDF File?
Preceding measures can help you prevent MDF file from damage but cannot help you repair it and recover data from a damaged file. Therefore, to repair corrupt SQL database MDF File and retrieving SQL database objects smoothly, you can take into consideration the two well-known and doable methods.
- Repair MDF File Corruption via DBCC CHECKDB
- Repair MDF File Corruption via SQL Database Recovery Software
Method 1: Repair MDF File Corruption via DBCC CHECKDB
Here are the steps that you need to follow to run DBCC CHECKDB for fixing minor corruptions in a SQL server database:
Step 1: Run DBCC CHECKDB on your corrupt SQL database with the help of following command
DBCC CHECKDB (Name of the corrupt Database)
Step 2: Further, check the index ID and consider the following two cases accordingly.
- Case 1: If Index ID > 1, drop and create it once again.
- Case 2: If Index ID is 0 or 1, run DBCC CHECKDB again and use the repair options like:
repair_rebuild, repair_fast, or repair_allow_data_loss
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)
Step 3: Lastly, you must run DBCC CHECKDB once again to ensure corruption is resolved or zero corruption. You will receive a message saying DBCC CHECKDB display 0 allocation errors and 0 consistency error in XYZ (database name)
Method 2: Repair MDF File Corruption via SQL Database Recovery Software
It might sound awkward but manual methods are not trustworthy solutions all the time as they have certain limitations. And if they fail, you might find yourself in the most worst situation ever. Besides, you need all the technical expertise to handle and resolve SQL database server issues manually. Thus, the perfect way to handle SQL database corruption and recover it is with the help of a third-party SQL database recovery software specifically programmed to handle SQL database corruption issues. The best and most trusted software for this purpose is the Kernel for SQL Database Recovery software.
You can simply download the free version of the software for feature experience, user-interface and finding a resolution to your SQL database issue. Later, you can register for a licensed version for the recovery of full database objects.
Data recovery experts have designed the software by keeping various reasons for the MDF file damage in mind. The software uses QFSCI algorithms to recover data from the damaged MDF file. Moreover, the software supports MS SQL versions 2000 and 2005.