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Recover SQL Data From A Dropped Table Without backups

Megha Sharma
Megha Sharma Published On - 04 Jun 2020

Read this article to handle the situation where you as an SQL Server administrator has accidently run the DROP operation on a table and want to recover it now.

SQL Server is a relational database management system which stores and manages data from various applications in the form of database records, tables, triggers, etc. While performing different SQL operations on these database objects by running SQL scripts, sometimes SQL Server administrators delete important tables using DROP TABLE statement as given below:

DROP TABLE <Table name>

Now, when you realize you have done a mistake by dropping that table, what can be your first task to get back that table information back? We suggest you to look for a full database backup of your SQL Server. If available, make sure that it is the latest backup and there are no changes performed once the table is dropped in the SQL database. If all these conditions are met, you can simply restore this dropped table back by restoring the database from full database backup using SQL Server Management Studio.

Read also: Restore Master Database in SQL Server

There are situations where SQL administrators do not have regular full database backups. In that case, you have to recover dropped SQL table data without any database backup.

Is it possible to recover SQL data from a dropped table without backups?

Fortunately Yes. But it is possible only if your SQL Server database is in FULL Recovery mode. For that, the transaction with the DROP operation must be active.

Recover SQL data from a dropped table without backups

SQL Server administrators should know that for every DROP or other SQL operation, a logged transaction log is generated which stores the information about the dropped table.

If a user has executed DROP TABLE operation and the transaction is not committed yet, then table information can be rolled back.

The commands which you can run as an SQL administrator to Roll Back the transaction is:

BEGIN TRAN
DROP TABLE <Table name>

ROLLBACK
SELECT *
FROM <Table name>

It would roll back the table information to its original location with the help of the active transaction log containing the DROP operation.

Shortcomings of the Roll Back operation

There are some drawbacks to the above procedure of running commands in SQL Server. One cannot perform the above procedure successfully if the transaction log containing information of the dropped table is committed. That transaction log must be in active state to accomplish the recovery of the table, otherwise the data stored within that table will get deleted. The user must have administrative rights to perform this method and also a certain level of technical proficiency is needed.

Best option to recover SQL data from a dropped table without backups

If you do not have a full database backup for restore, we have the best option for you. Use a professional SQL database recovery tool. This method doesn’t have the risk of data loss too.

Kernel for SQL Database Recovery tool explicitly recovers complete database objects including deleted/dropped tables from the SQL database file. It performs automatic scanning and recovery operation on the MDF file to retrieve the lost or deleted SQL database objects. Users can even recover deleted records in SQL Server using this advanced tool. It allows users to view database objects before saving to destinations like SQL Server and Batch file. The tool supports all versions of SQL Server for corrupt database recovery.

SQL database recovery tool