I'm asking for help understanding what happened in my situation or what and if I did something wrong.

I have production server running on a Windows 2003 server with MSSQL Express 2005 with an app (production server). I was told to prepare a test machine so we can test a new version of the application running in the production server.

Since the server is virtualized (vmware esxi 4.1), we took it down, cloned it and booted it again. For the cloned version, we changed the name and IP.

Since the new version required SQL Express 2008, I removed the 2005 version and installed the 2008.

When I was ready to restore the database, I went to the production server to create a backup of the database and restore it in the test server...

My surprise when I discovered that, on the production server, the database was gone... deleted and the application was not running giving errors...

How did the database get deleted in the SQL Server 2005? The SA account does not have the same password... the database is the same name, the user of that database is the same and the password is also the same...

When I removed the SQL Server 2005 in the test server, did it remove the database from the production server? How?

Can someone help me to understand what went wrong? Did I delete the database?


If you cloned the server and created a new one and were working on the new one nothing you did could have impacted the old server.

First lets work on getting the production server back up and running. So you still see the SQL Service installed? Go into the services list and see if "SQL Server Service" is there. You can also query for the service from the command line.


If using a named instance of SQL Server...

sc query MSSQL$*InstanceName*

If the service isn't there you'll need to reinstall the SQL Server. As you are using SQL Express either download and install the SQL Express package or use an installer that is already downloaded.

Next we need to see if the data files are still there. If all that happened was you uninstalled SQL from the wrong server the user database will still be there. You'll need to know what folder the database files were in then you can use SQL Server Management Studio to attach the database back to the SQL Server instance.

I would recommend that you use the vSphere UI to connect to the console to make sure that you are on the correct VM. My guess is that if you RDPed to the servers you just hit the wrong one by accident.

If the original VM got all screwed up maybe the clone is intact and you can use that as the production server.

  • Hi ! Well, working on the production server thinking it was the tests server i don't think so, because they've different names and IP's. I didn't check with the production server, after booting it up if everything was working - i should have done it, but i didin't, but it was working fine before cloning it. I remember when uninstalling SQL Express 2005 from the tests server the configurations were all from the production server (just the windows name and IP were changed at that point) and is it possible SQL was communicating with the production server... (next comment) – Feiticeir0 Sep 11 '11 at 11:51
  • when i removed the database, removing next SQL Express 2005, it could have removed the production database... The server was different, but SQL Express 2005 was configured with the production server settings, so i think this was my mistake... I should have stopped the network and worked in the vmware console... Thanks for your answer. I know now my mistake ! Cheers – Feiticeir0 Sep 11 '11 at 12:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.