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We run a Windows Small Business Server 2003 with SQL Server 2005 Express on it. The server is configured to do a daily backup of system state and all files. Today I need to restore a single database from the back-up, but the back-up is corrupt.

I thought I'd use the shadow copy that is created as part of the backup process, SQL Server indicates that a backup has been made of the database (using SQL Server Management Studio Express the database properties windows shows a Last Database Backup property).

Using the vssadmin.exe tool I see that there is a SqlServerWriter registered. Is it possible to restore the database file from the shadow copy? I can only see a command to restore the complete disk to a previous version.


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i read your question a few days ago & stumbled across this blog by a computer forensics guy who is using robocopy to pull files out of shadow copy volumes & remembered your question!

No idea if this will work for you, you can try copying out the data/log files & see how it goes!

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Thanks for the link! I tried to do that, but it's a Windows Server 2003 machine, so I can't use mklink. I tried it using junction.exe from SysInternals. Unfortunately it can't create a link to a shadow copy volume (error "the data present in the reparse point is invalid"). – Michiel van Oosterhout Aug 6 '10 at 7:41

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