When you read this, you just might cry...

We wrote a SharePoint intranet app for the one of our clients that keeps track of files and manages them through various levels of approval. Several files containing important data were accidentally deleted between December 11 – 15. They noticed the files were missing and called us. They have a local company that is responsible for managing their servers so we contacted them and asked for the most recent backup. There was a deafening silence in the room when they told us that they had meticulously configured the nightly backups exactly according to the disaster recovery plan but only now realized that they'd never actually started the process! Wow...

I'm trying to recover the data if possible. The last backup was done manually at the end of October prior to installing an extra feature that the client had requested. We've rolled back to then and recovered some of the data, but everything done since October is still missing.

When SQL was configured, database recovery mode was set to FULL. I've got a 4GB .MDF file and a log file (.LDF) that is about 20GB. I do not have a .TRN backup. When I try to restore to Dec 10, it rolls all the way back to the October backup. The server is Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard running MOSS 2007 and SQL 2008. As I said above, I'm a little out of my element here. I've asked around and most people I've spoken with think that it is possible to recover the missing data from the log file but nobody I've talked to actually knows how. Help me ServerFault, you're my only hope!

Is it possible to do a point-in-time restore with only the log file? If yes, how?


I believe the people you've been talking to are referring to restoring the database from a transaction log backup, not from the transaction log itself. AFAIK, it's not possible to restore a database from just the transaction log. What you could try (until someone here with more in depth SQL knowledged chimes in) is to shut down SQL Server, make a copy of the mdf and ldf files and put the copies in a safe location, restart SQL Server, perform a transaction log backup and attempt to restore the database from this backup, using the last database backup and this log backup. If the transaction log has never been backed up then the transaction log backup you create should contain all the data that's missing between the last database backup until now.


  • Thanks for your guidance. Creating the transaction log backup from the log file was the step I was missing. Really appreciate your help! – user31530 Jan 21 '10 at 18:00
  • Glad to help... – joeqwerty Jan 21 '10 at 18:34

I've never used it but Apex SQL Log has a free download and might fix your issue.

  • I used the free download once. It only restores every 6th record or something, and the paid version is thousands of dollars, but I believe it DOES work. – Mark Henderson Jan 12 '10 at 22:40

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