How to Recover Deleted or Corrupted Files from an MDF Database

How to Recover Deleted or Corrupted Files from an MDF Database

One of the most common problems faced by users of an MDF database is data loss due to either accidental deletion or corruption. While this can be extremely frustrating, there are ways to recover deleted or corrupted files from an MDF database. 

In this guide, we’ll explore 10 methods available for recovering data such as using third-party software, restoring previous versions of files and executing SQL queries. 

1. Use Third-Party Software: 

Most databases provide a backup feature that allows you to back up your data periodically in case something happens to the original source file. However, if this isn’t the case with your MDF database, you can use third-party software such as Stellar Data Recovery for Database Software to recover deleted or corrupted files. This software uses specialized algorithms to scan the MDF file and restore lost data in a simple process. 

2. Restore Previous Versions of Files: 

If you are lucky, then you can use Windows’ ‘Previous Versions’ feature to recover deleted files from an MDF database. To do this, go to the folder where your MDF file is located and right-click on it. Select ‘Restore previous versions’ and follow the instructions provided by the wizard. 

3. Execute SQL Queries:

This method requires expert knowledge of SQL commands as well as working with databases. If you’re knowledgeable enough, then execute an appropriate query for recovering deleted or corrupted files. 

4. Rebuild the Database: 

If the above methods don’t work, then you can rebuild your database from scratch. This requires good knowledge of SQL and is a laborious task as it involves manually creating tables and populating them with data.

5. Restore from Backup:

If you have a backup of your MDF database, then you can use it to restore the deleted or corrupted files. This is the safest method as it eliminates any chances of data loss due to human error. 

6. Access System Logs:

System logs can provide useful information on when and how the data was lost. You may be able to access these logs and recover valuable data that was previously thought to be lost forever. 

7. Run Disk Scanner Software: 

Disk scanner software such as Remo Recover can help you recover lost and corrupted MDF files from an external drive or memory card. The software searches for missing or corrupt files and tries to retrieve them in their original form without making any changes.

8. Check for Virus/Malware Infections: 

Viruses and malware can cause severe damage to your MDF database and lead to data loss. Therefore, it is important to scan your system with updated antivirus software before attempting any recovery measures.

9. Repair the Database File: 

If the above methods don’t yield results, then you can try repairing the MDF file using specialized software such as SQL Repair Toolbox or Stellar Phoenix SQL Database Repair Tool. This software repairs corrupt or damaged files and also recovers deleted records from them. 

10. Call a Professional: 

If all else fails, consider calling a professional who specializes in restoring lost MDF files from databases. They will have the tools and knowledge to get your data back in an efficient manner.


Data loss from MDF databases can be incredibly frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent problem. By following the steps outlined above, you should be able to recover deleted or corrupted files from an MDF database without any hassle. However, if none of these methods work then it is recommended that you call a professional for assistance. 

By following the four methods outlined in this guide, you will be able to recover deleted or corrupted files from an MDF database. While manual rebuilding of databases requires a great deal of technical expertise, using third-party software is a simpler and more efficient method for restoring lost data. So if you ever need to recover deleted or corrupted files from an MDF database, consider using one of these methods! 


Recovering deleted or corrupted files from an MDF database can be a difficult process, but with the right tools and knowledge it is possible. Whether you use third-party software, restore previous versions of files, or execute SQL queries, with some patience you should be able to recover your lost data.