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we have only like 4 databases on this server. one of them is very crucial. i would like to know what should we do regarding backups for the master db? we dont really do many "master" type of transactions. currently we are doing a full back up daily on the master. should we be doing differential and logs?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You master db contains...

  • Logins (sys.server_principals)
  • sysmessages
  • sys.configures
  • +other good stuff

It is essential for a quick recovery when SHTF. If you have this info scripted, then it's not so critical, but treat it like you would user data.

Full back up daily, and after any changes to server-level stuff (logins for example)

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time for a haircut....... – l--''''''---------'''''''''''' Oct 27 '10 at 19:45

I would recommend a separate database backup plan be setup to backup the 'System DBs' which would include the master, model & msdb. Daily full backup for these should do the trick.

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I perform a full backup daily as well and keep more than 1 day available at the backup location.

Something to consider would also be to take a copy of the master.mdf file when the service is shut down and store this. This can be very valuable to recover the sql server if something becomes corrupt or the sql server will not start.

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