How to Tackle SQL Server Database Corruption – A Short Guide for Entrepreneurs

SQL Server Database Corruption

Last Updated on July 16, 2024 by Team Experts

As a busy entrepreneur setting up a business can be exhausting and full of unanticipated complications. However, in addition to your strategies for marketing and sales, finance, human resource, and product development, you must also do the groundwork for implementing a robust database management system. More than anything else, efficient collection of data and the ability to analyze it paves the way for business success. Choosing the database can be tough, but you may like to opt for the market leader, Microsoft SQL Server. According to Datanyze, it leads the pack with a market share of 15.31%. However, you must also be on your guard to prevent database corruption and know how to respond to it to avoid business operations from going into a tailspin. 

SQL Server Database Corruption – What Is It?

SQL Server is ordinarily a stable database platform, however, like other databases, it can become corrupt for several reasons, and you may be unable to access vital data. While it usually happens because of hardware issues, many times, the reason may also be the software. Whenever the binary code gets disturbed for any reason, the file does not function as it should or even open, making it completely unreadable. Data corruption may happen due to aging hardware and extremes of temperature. It may also happen due to the overheating of the drive and viruses or malware. Issues in the software, including glitches during the writing or overwriting of a file in an application, may also cause corruption. It can also happen if the software updates don’t work well with the existing version. You can also experience data corruption if certain parts of the software operate independently and do not recognize errors or other modules being corrected.

Things to Check When There Are Instances of Database Corruption

Two of the most important things database administrators have to keep in mind when implementing and maintaining SQL Server is that all the data should be available to authorized people and no access should be provided to people without the necessary authorization. One should also be able to access the data promptly on demand. In case, you suspect there is some instance of database corruption, you need to locate where the problem is. You should know that regardless of the version of the SQL Server you are using, the file format is identical. There are three types of file formats in use. The MDF file refers to the master database file created to contain the schema with the data. The NDF file format is considered a secondary data file since it is optional and also defined by the user to expand the size of the database. It is possible to have multiple NDF files in a single database. The LDF file, also called the log data file contains the details of the transactions performed in the database.

Reasons for Database Corruption in SQL Server

There are several reasons for the corruption of the database in SQL Server. However, the most common reason is the improper functioning of drivers, controllers, and drives due to which there is a problem at the Input/output subsystem level. In addition to hardware failure due to the age, power fluctuation, improper system shutdown, malware or virus, incompatible SQL Server upgrade, etc., are the most common reasons for corruption of the database.

What to Do After Encountering MS SQL Server Database Corruption

In the event of database corruption in SQL Server, users need to keep calm and execute recovery procedures in order to improve the chances of data recovery and reduce downtime that can disrupt business operations. The various kinds of SQL Server database corruption include corruption at the page level, of the indexes that help access the database, and the key pages that map the data in the server system. Some of the things you need to keep in mind include:

Avoid rebooting the SQL Server: If you encounter database corruption never try to reboot it in the hope that the problem will get resolved. You may, instead, aggravate the problem as the SQL Server may go offline and not allow you to access the database. 

Detach/Reattach Database: Like rebooting the server, detaching and reattaching the database can also make it more difficult to recover the corrupt database.

Identify the cause of corruption: Before attempting to repair the database, it is important to identify the reason for the corruption. The server may show several error messages, and you must act appropriately. In some cases, when the corruption is minor, running the DBCCCHECKDB twice may resolve the problem.


Despite taking all care, you may still encounter instances of database corruption on SQL Server. You must make a copy of the database before attempting to resolve the problem. You will still be safe if the repair goes wrong and additional corruption takes place. If you cannot resolve the problem quickly, you should restore your database from the last backup you have taken.

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Anil is an enthusiastic, self-motivated, reliable person who is a Technology evangelist. He's always been fascinated at work especially at innovation that causes benefit to the students, working professionals or the companies. Being unique and thinking Innovative is what he loves the most, supporting his thoughts he will be ahead for any change valuing social responsibility with a reprising innovation. His interest in various fields and the urge to explore, led him to find places to put himself to work and design things than just learning. Follow him on LinkedIn

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