I am trying to view a copy of a SQL Server 2000 database I received, but I cannot find a way to 'attach' the database to my instance of SQL Server.

I have fairly limited experience working with SQL Server, but for the most part the databases I've worked with were contained in one .MDF file. This database however is fairly large(10GB) and consits of a few thousand files. Most of the files have no extension.

So my first question is is this in fact a valid SQL Server database and the second question is how would I go about accessing the data in this database.

EDIT The file structure of the database consists of a several sub-folders, with names such as SH.Hist, SH.Adm and SH.Ret. I believe SH corresponds to the database name. Several of the sub-folders contain a &SavedLists& subfolder.

  • 1
    sounds like MySQL files no MSSQL files can you post a election of the file names?
    – Zypher
    Feb 11 '11 at 11:31
  • That might well, but I don't know enough about SQL Server, especially SQL Server 2000, to definitively state that this is definitely not a valid database.
    – jakdep
    Feb 11 '11 at 12:34
  • Should a MySQL database contain .frm files? I found no .frm files in any of the subfolders.
    – jakdep
    Feb 11 '11 at 12:41
  • @Jakedep If it turned out that this was all just a misunderstanding, it is perfectly acceptable to add an answer to your own question describing what resolved it and marking it as accepted. It won't earn rep, but it does mark the question as resolved in the system.
    – sysadmin1138
    Apr 6 '11 at 13:57

The best thing to do is to have the other person backup the database and send that to you. If neither of you knows how to backup (or restore) the database then see here:


  • Yes, it looks like that is my only option, though I was hoping to avoid that. :( Thanks for your suggestion.
    – jakdep
    Feb 11 '11 at 12:29

Ok, it turns out the files weren't the SQL Server data files, but something else entirely, I'm not sure exactly what, but the actual SQL Server database was, in fact, stored in a .MDF file.


Ask the person who sent it to you what it is.

  • Unfortunately the person who sent me the database has only worked there a short while and isn't familiar with SQL Server 2000 either.
    – jakdep
    Feb 11 '11 at 8:39
  • So how did he get it? What did he do to create this thing? Feb 11 '11 at 8:40
  • I am not sure. He probably copied the files he thought was being used to store the database.
    – jakdep
    Feb 11 '11 at 8:47

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