Home » Blog » SQL Server » How to Repair SQL Server Database Corruption?

How to Repair SQL Server Database Corruption?

Published By Aswin Vijayan
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On October 4th, 2023
Reading Time 9 Minutes Reading
Category SQL Server
Repair SQL Database

Summary: It’s quite common for SQL users to witness corrupted MDF files in their SQL database. As not every user is aware of the right step to perform, it’s important for them to learn how repair SQL database corruption to prevent data loss. This article is going to explain the best solution for this problem in depth. Moreover, the challenges & user queries are mentioned as well for a deep understanding.

Now, the market is stacked up with false information & overhyped solutions. Therefore, expert suggestions & Microsoft MVPs recommendations are also considered in this blog. We are quite sure that with our SQL repair techniques, users can get the exact results desired if they use this tool. So, let’s begin with the manual solution.

Step-1. Repair SQL Database Using SSMS Platform

The most basic solution that users can opt for is the SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio) method. This platform is available for users by Microsoft to manage the database. Therefore, it offers some of the capabilities for SQL repair tasks as well. The only catch here is that it is not 100% reliable. However, in case of minor corruption issues, users can trust this solution with simple precautions.

Let’s understand the basics of this method for MSSQL repair database task through the easy steps mentioned below:

First users need to set their database into Emergency Mode state. They need to launch their SQL Server Management Studio & run the below command:


Once, their database is set in emergency mode, they need to check the database for corruption & all types of errors. For this, they must run the DBCC CHECKDB command as shown below:


Now, based on the report that users get after the above command, it’s time to start repair SQL database task.  Here user can perform any one of the mentioned three commands:


This command works fine & even repairs the corrupted files. However, as per the name, it deletes some of the highly corrupted pages & data objects that are difficult for it to repair.


The repair_Fast command is only for users having very minor issues with their files. It can not repair highly corrupted files. It performs a quick repair for solving basic issues.


The repair_Rebuild command is the most reliable among all three. Despite being the best among all three, it’s not that great when compared to other solutions.

After recovery do not forget to put the database in Multi_User_Mode:


Also Read: How to Fix SQL Error 26 without Data loss?

Step-2. Select Tool for SQL Server Repair Database Task

Now, to get a better experience, Mircosoft MVPs & even all IT experts recommend using automated software for such tasks. The reason is the ease of work, better user experience, enhanced data safety, etc.

Therefore, a question arises in users’ minds, which solution is best for them? To understand this, it’s good to go through the below checklist:

  • The solution must be within the budget of the user.
  • Compatibility with the SQL Server version is also crucial here.
  • There should be smooth connectivity with servers & networks.
  • Tool’s Operating System support is equally important in this task.
  • The software must have features & capability to execute repair in time.

The solution that fits perfectly to users as per the checklist is what users need. Some of the most reliable ones are SysTools, PCVITA & BitRecover.

Step-3. Download & Install Software for SQL Database Repair

Now, once users select the ideal tool, it’s time to download & install it on their systems. We are going with the most reliable SysTools SQL Database Recovery Software for the task. As it is recommended by Microsoft’s MVPs & experts. This software is user-trusted, expert-recommended & feature loaded. As we mentioned feature-loaded, let’s have a look at the features of this tool:

Download Now Purchase Now

  • Repair & Recover Corrupted tables, indexes, stored procedures, rules, views, triggers, functions, etc database objects.
  • Recovers even the deleted data files as well & highlights them in Red color. This way, users do not miss them.
  • Users can repair SQL database data files & export them to either an existing database or can create a new one in the destination SQL Server.
  • There are scenarios when users do not have an SQL database in the system. Therefore, they can export healthy files in SQL scripts or CSV files.
  • The software supports SQL Server 2000, 2005, 2008/2008 R2, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2022 versions along with Windows OS & Windows Server.
  • SysTools also provides a demo or trial version that can help users for testing the capabilities of the tool for free.

There are definitely more features present in this tool but only a few of them are mentioned here. Let’s have a look at the repair & recovery process now.

Step-4. Run Tool for SQL Repair & Scan Files

As soon as a user installs the software, they must launch it & then the real repair task starts. Below each & every action is described in chronological order for users’ ease.

    1. Click on the Open button & add the corrupted MDF files from your system.
      launch tool to repair SQL database
    2. After adding the files, the software asks two scan modes for repair:
      select scan mode
    3. Quick Scan: Quick scan is for general users & minor-level corruption issues in the database.
    4. Advanced Scan: For high-level corruption in SQL files, users should select the advanced scan mode.
    5. The software also scans the corresponding NDF files if stored in the same location as the MDF file to repair SQL database corruption issues.
      auto detect NDf files
    6. After scanning the files, all the database objects & deleted objects can be seen in the dashboard. Moreover, Users can view all the files that they want to export to the desired location.
    7. Click on the Export button to proceed further.
      export data

Note: Whale scanning the files, the software asks which SQL Server version are they using. Users can either select the version manually or there is an auto-detect feature as well. 

Now, the files are repaired, all that users need is to export them to the desired destination path.

Step-5. Repair SQL Database & Export Healthy Files

After the scanning, if anything is left to do, then it’s just the export of these files. Evidently, there are multiple options present in this tool for such a task.

Here, first of all, users need to find the location where they want to export their repaired database. There are a tidal of three options. Either, directly to a live SQL server, SQL Script file, or CSV file. Select anyone as shown in the image:

set destination

After selecting the destination, if users want to export files to a live SQL database, then they can select if they want to export files to a new database or to an existing one.

create new database

Select the database objects to export & then Set the Schema only mode or Schema with data mode.

with only schema

Finally, by Clicking on the Export button, transfer all files to the desired location.

Hit export to repair SQL database

MSSQL Repair Database – Manual Method Common Challenges

There are several challenges that users face while SQL repair tasks. However, these challenges are only in the manual command line method. The automated tool is free from all hassles. However, it’s important to know these challenges prior to entering the repair task.

  • Lack of Technical Knowledge: Users must be technically proficient in order to repair SQL database manually. Without technical knowledge, it’s almost near to impossible; for beginners. 
  • Complex Procedure: Undoubtedly, the manual solution is quite complex & time taking. It does not provide users with a pleasant experience. Instead, it mostly annoys new users.
  • Chances of Data Loss: There is a high possibility of data loss for users with manual solutions. One single mistake in the command may result in data loss or any unwanted reaction.
  • Time-Consuming: Last but not least, manual solutions are not fast. With heavy databases, they can take a period long enough to irritate users while repairing the database files.

Frequent Database Corruption

Frequent occurrences of database crashes are likely to persist until the underlying cause of corruption is effectively addressed. Common factors leading to the need of SQL database repair task include:

  • Corruption of file headers.
  • Unexpected system shutdowns.
  • The infliction by malware attacks.
  • Hardware malfunctions or failures.
  • Modifications to the SQL account settings.
  • Transitioning from an older SQL version to a newer release.

Myth Busted:

Rebooting the SQL server is not a practical solution. Restarting the server will only trigger crash recovery without resolving the root issues.

Clearing the procedure cache will only exacerbate the problem. This is not atal the right solution for SQL Server repair database operation.

The suggested repair of attaching/detaching the SQL database is a misconception that will only compound the issues. Evidently, this action can cause irreparable damage and worsen corruption.

MVP Review for the Automated Tool

The Final Say

Finally, users are well aware of all the solutions, it’s time we come to a conclusion. In a nutshell, we can say that it’s not hard to repair SQL database but users must know the right way. The automated solution is the right choice for SQL repair without a doubt.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q-1. How many states of SQL server does it repair?

Ans: The software can fix SQL Server Recovery Pending state, Suspect state, & Emergency state with ease.

Q-2. Can I execute SQL Server repair database in 20 minutes with this tool?

Ans: The repair time depends on the size of the database. The higher the size, the more time it will take. Although it’s much faster than the commands.

Q-3. Will this solution work if I get an access denied error message in SQL?

Ans: Yes, the software works well in case of SQL Server does not exist or access denied error.

Q-4. How much does SQL repair automated software for cost?

Ans: Although there are some brands selling such software at more than $350, the above-mentioned SysTools solution is for $250 only.