Best Way to Attach MDF Without LDF File in SQL Server

Written By Ashwani Tiwari
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On March 29th, 2024
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading

SQL Server attach database without Log file

Sometimes users may encounter a condition where they do not have a full database backup and the LDF file also becomes corrupted due to abrupt power loss. Or, someone intentionally deleted the secondary database file and now, users are left with only a master database file. Now, the question is can we attach MDF without LDF file? If so, then how?

SQL Server Attach Database without Log File – Overview

To understand the attach database without log task, before directly proceeding to the solution section, let us take a real example:

Database Name: Testdata

Data File:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL11.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\testdata.mdf

Log File: Not Available

SQL database is one of the most common databases used for every type of business and customer accounting. It is in use by business platforms widely for the purpose of data analysis, processing of the components and data integration. The database of SQL server comprises three file types:

1. Primary Database File (MDF): Master Database Files (MDF) are primary database files, where all the information of database is stored. Data created by the user is saved in ‘Tables’, which has 2-dimensional structures (Rows and Columns). Users can create many MDF files in the database of SQL server. Extension of MDF files is .mdf which is why learning to restore database from MDF file without LDF is crucial.

2. Secondary Database File (NDF): These files are user-defined and optional for store data. It can be used to spread data along multiple disks by putting each file in the different disk drive. When MDF database exceeds its maximum size, then users can use NDF files. The extension of Secondary database file is .ndf extention.

3. Log File (LDF): The transaction log files stores all transactional information of SQL database. There must be at least one log file in each database. Moreover, The log information hold by LDF file, help to recover log information. The file extension of LDF file is .ldf.

Techniques to Attach MDF File Without LDF File

We can attach SQL MDF without Log file and there are multiple manual ways to do so. Therefore, the manual ways as well as the automated ways are mentioned below for users to get the desired results. Using these solutions, users can easily execute SQL Server attach database without Log file task.

Method 1. Attach MDF File Using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)

Follow the steps mentioned below for attaching the database without LDF File:

  • Launch MS SQL Management Studio
Attach MDF File
  • Now, in the Object Explorer tab, hit a right-click on the Databases option. Highlight Attach option from the drop-down menu list.
Attach MDF without LDF File
  • Doing this will appear Attach Databases wizard. Here, hit Add button.
Attach SQL MDF File
  • Select the MDF file from Locate Database Files window and click OK.
Attach MDF File
  • You will get the database details in Attach Database wizard. From here, choose the LDF file from list and hit Remove button. Next, click OK for attaching MDF file without LDF.
Attach MDF
  • After this, while you will try to attach the database, SQL Server will generate a new Log file.
  • To check the attachment of MDF with DB, check database in databases folder.

Method 2. Attach MDF File without LDF File Using T-SQL Script

One can run a T-SQL Script on SQL Query to attach the Master Database file and recreate the log file. For this:

  • In Server Management Studio toolbar, click on New Query
  • Then, execute the following query:
Attach MDF File

(FILENAME = 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\testdata.mdf')

Note: Here, testdb is the name of database and it can be varied according to the name of your database.

After executing the query successfully, users can check your database from the database folder.

Method 3. What if MDF File Catches Corruption? The Automated Tool

SQL Database Recovery Tool is an expert utility to fix damaged MDF & NDF data of SQL Database. It has the capability to attach database without Log file including tables, stored procedure, views, functions, triggers, keys. Also, it supports both ANSII and UNICODE XML data types and recovers MDF files data affected by Wallet Ransomware. One can scan and resolve multiple NDF files as well using this software.

Step-1. Launch Tool & Click on Open to Add MDF or NDF files.
click open to add .mdf
Step-2. Select the Scan Mode as Quick scan or Advanced scan.
select scan mode
Step-3. Choose the Destination Platform with other settings.
set destination
Step-4. Finally, Hit the Export button to finish off the task.
hit export

Closing Words

After taking an overview on SQL Server database files, we have discussed the methods to attach MDF file without LDF file. Users can execute this task in two different manners if their MDF file is in healthy condition as mentioned above. Otherwise, users should trust the reliable third-party software in case if MDF file catches corruption. In a nutshell, there are plenty of ways to attach MDF without LDF but not all of them are ideal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q-1. Can I attach SQL Database which is full of corruption?

Ans: No, you can only attach the SQL Server database if the database file is in a healthy state. You need to fix the database first to complete this task.

Q-2. What is the best way to fix MDF file with corruption in it?

Ans: Well, you can take the help of the CHECKDB command to fix the MDF file. But it won’t be able to solve major corruption problems. To fix this problem, you can use any automated tool like mentioned above to repair MDF file with ease.


By Ashwani Tiwari

Being a Chief Technical Analyst, I am aware of the technicalities faced by the user while working with multiple technologies. So, through my blogs and articles, I love to help all the users who face various challenges while dealing with technology.