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Data Corruption in SQL Server and MDF Recovery

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Microsoft SQL Server, the most preferred back-end (database) utility among organizations because of its scalability, consistency, and familiarity with users. A user of SQL Server uses SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) to query character data from the database where non-Unicode data types like char, varchar, etc. are used. When the SSMS is being used to query the character data, you may not receive the accurate character data rather you may come across the following problems:

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 aforementioned issues, the MDF database file can be damaged resulting in data loss. Once the MDF file gets damaged SQL Server finds it unable to access the file. Loosing important data can be a nightmare for you; therefore, recovering data from damaged MDF file must be considered on priority. However, before recovering data from the damaged MDF file, reasons behind the corruption should be known.


  • The code page of client computer differs from database code page.
  • The problem generally occurs when 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 code page of other non-Unicode character data.


Following precautionary steps can be taken to save the MDF file from corruption:

  • Try using 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 Unicode data type
  • Prefer using diverse tool for storing and accessing data
  • Disable data translate parameter

Preceding measures can help you prevent MDF file from damage but cannot help you repair it and recover data from damaged file. In order to repair damaged MDF file, you need to take help of Kernel for SQL- SQL recovery and SQL database recovery software.

Data recovery experts have designed the software by keeping various reasons behind the MDF file damage in mind. The software uses QFSCI algorithms to recover data from damaged MDF file. Moreover, the software supports MS SQL versions 2000 and 2005.

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