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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    3

    Unanswered: How to view an MDF file for archive purposes

    Hi,

    I have an MDF file I really would like to be able to view. It has a lot of legacy office data on it that would just be handy to access.

    I have tried to install SQL Server 2008 r2 on a 32bit window 10 computer but I do not seem to be able to connect to ./SQLEXPRESS

    I have also tried a program that claims to be able to view and MDF file, but it could not.

    I don't know for sure but a third party software supplier setup the db for us originaly and they may have put a password in. I don't have access to this password as we now have a new software supplier so I can't exactly contact them. Hopefully this is not the case.

    Could someone please advise me of the best way to try and view the data?

    Thank You!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    on the wrong server
    Posts
    8,835
    Provided Answers: 6
    First things first. Let's get you connected. When you installed SQL Server, did you name the instance <your computer name>\SQLExpress ? I would try and choose Windows Authentication as your authentication and then simply place a period (.) in the servername and hit connect.

    If that does not work, go to Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services and make sure the SQL Server Service is running.
    “If one brings so much courage to this world the world has to kill them or break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” Earnest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    3

    SQL Database setup

    Hi Thrasymachus,

    You were right in that the SQL Server is not shown as a running service.

    How do I overcome this please?

    Thank You

    Paul

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    on the wrong server
    Posts
    8,835
    Provided Answers: 6
    Do you see a Service that is stopped or do you see no service whatsoever in the Services container?

    If you see a service but it is stopped, start it by right clicking and hitting start,

    If you do not see a SQLServer service, it is likely you did not install the Server Tools during the install. You need to reinstall with the server tools in this case.
    “If one brings so much courage to this world the world has to kill them or break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” Earnest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    3

    View MDF File with SQL Database

    Hi Thrasymachus,

    I got it sorted out.

    I needed to install SQL Express 2014 with Tools as 2008 r2 is not compatible with window 10.

    As soon as I got the install right and logged in with computername/SQLEXPRESS it worked fine and I was able to attached the database. There was no password needed.

    The data I was hoping to find seems to be hard to find.

    Is there a search I can run to find text in the whole database please?

    Thank You

    Paul

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    on the wrong server
    Posts
    8,835
    Provided Answers: 6
    Sounds like a job for Full Text Indexing. A clever sql programmer with more time than I have on my hands today could write you some dynamic sql query that would search every varchar and nvarchar field for a given sting. Windows 10? How is it? I am stuck on 7 at work.
    “If one brings so much courage to this world the world has to kill them or break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” Earnest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    5

    Thumbs up Restore MDF file to a database

    MDF files are not intended to be used directly. You may use them only through and with the help of SQL Server Engine. Hope this help you http://www.sqlserverlogexplorer.com/...to-a-database/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    5

    Red face SQL Log Analyzer to View Mdf File

    SQL Mdf viewer is the best tool to view an Mdf file

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    24
    Provided Answers: 1
    Manual Solution
    You can attach the database to your local SQLEXPRESS instance and view it.

    Alternative Solution
    The best freeware tool I’ve found to view and read MDF file data is a SQL Server MDF Viewer

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