What is happened? My client has lost the hard disk. He has to restore database.

  • He has the full backup of database 15 days old.
  • He has ldf (log) file of this database.
  • He has NOT mdf file (it was located on that hard disk).

Does it have enough components to restore SQL Server 2008 database, if he used standard options in SQL Management Studio when he did full backup 15 days ago (still database structure has changed)? Is it possible to restore at least database structure (it's possible to regenerate data from other source) that is was actual on crash moment?


1) Is it possible to restore all database (data+structure)

2) Is it possible to restore database structure

Thank you.

  • 1
    CUstomer needs to realize he lost 2 weeks of data. And in the future, if not going backrupt (70% chance per statistics, if that was important data) make regular (daily, hourls) LOG BACKUPS. Obviously whoever put the backup procedure in place did not read the manuals - which say log applicaton requires a log backup.
    – TomTom
    Jan 26, 2011 at 11:58
  • 1
    If the database has NEVER had a log backup, then the ldf is useless for your purposes, even if there was a way to mine the transactions out of the log Jan 26, 2011 at 12:32

1 Answer 1


You can only restore the 15 days old backup and get data from that point.

It comes down to something called Log Sequence Number: Your MDF expects a certain LSN, LDF knows what the LSN is, the information is in the backup. The current LDF is a later state than the MDF you'll restore and it can't be attached or used.

In simple terms, log itself is only used to track changes for rollback. There is no meaningful data as such. You are expected to back it up regularly to preserve the LSN and change chain for recovery purposes. This is why log restores are applied one after the other using a full restore as a baseline. If your database has a SIMPLE recovery model, then the log entries are discarded anyway.

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