Dealing with a Suspect Database in MS SQL Server – A Primer

The MS image001SQL Server database has a strong set of error checking and management features inbuilt in it. At times when it diagnoses a database as corrupt it may attempt to run a recovery on it. If it does not achieve its desired goals and seems to fail, the SQL Server would mark the database as suspect. Now this scenario can be caused due to several situations which will look in detail and explore options to rectify the issue.


Possible Causes for Database to be placed in Suspect state

Database corruption is often the primary cause behind a database in SQL Server getting placed in a suspect state. That apart the scenario can occur if files for specific database are being accessed and captured by some process that you are unaware off. In rare scenarios the issue can occur due to space shortage or even if a logical error occurs due to power outage. In some cases the issue can occur if the physical files for the database has got altered or their location has got changed. For example if the disk drive letter has been modified, the server can make the database suspect.


Dealing with a suspect Database

Now there are several options that you can try to take once a database has been marked as suspect. To start with you can go into the Emergency mode and try to save all possible data records stored in the database. Next if you believe that the database is in fine shape you can just check the integrity of the database by running the relevant script. If it works you can place the database back in its previous state and check it works perfectly in order. Moving ahead you should also consider if the physical location of the file has been moved. If that is the case you should first detach the database and go ahead and attach it with the fresh location, say a new drive partition, where the files are currently present.


Going in for a complete database recovery with a specialized tool

While the steps listed above may help you and locate the issue which is causing the database to be marked as suspect, in many cases you would need to perform a complete recovery for the corrupted database. To achieve the same you would need a specialized  sql recovery tool like the sophisticated DataNumen SQL Recovery application. Primed with a class leading recovery technique, this tool can get back everything that was ever stored in the database without losing out on a shred of data. The application can be used across distinct storage scenarios, from removable media drives to virtual disk drives with equal ease. If that was not all the tool lends itself quite well for figuring out data from compromised sparse columns and is equally responsive in digging out data from NDF files without a hassle.


Author Introduction:

Alan Chen is President & Chairman of DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including access recovery and sql recovery software products. For more information visit

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