The Quick User Guide to Open Corrupted MDF File - Best Approach

Feb 13, 2024 - 16:38
The Quick User Guide to Open Corrupted MDF File - Best Approach

In this article, we have elaborated on all the supposed methods to open corrupted MDF file. Manual and professional methods are described in detail.  

There are many cases we have seen in which user tries to open their corrupted MDF file but fail to open it. We understand that problem. If you also have a query “How to open inaccessible .mdf file in SQL server?” Don’t worry, we bring with us a complete solution to open corrupted MDF file. Here we are going to discuss every supposed solution to resolve your query.

We will share with you two different methods to open And View MDF Files. Before going for the further process first we need to know why the user faces this situation.

Reasons Behind the Error

SQL Server provides us the facility to perform various tasks, But some activities need permission to work efficiently. There are some reasons behind the error that makes the .mdf file inaccessible.

     Space Optimization: Space optimization is a common issue in the error. Not enough space can create issues with accessing the MDF file.

     MDF File Error: If the user tries to attach a completely isolated MDF file, it might create some errors.

     Folder Location Errors: If the user provides the wrong location where he wants to save the file. It can be a matter of problem.

     Security Reasons: Might be MDF file is blocked for security reasons. Make sure that the file is fresh if you want to access it.

     Bugs and Virus Attacks: Check if the file gets affected by the viruses.

These were some points of reasons that must be checked before opening corrupted MDF file. Now we are going to see the methods to Open And View MDF Files.

Manual Approach to Open Corrupted MDF File

In this approach, you will find a free way to solve your problem. We will discuss two solutions in the manual method.

     Allow Permissions to resolve to error.

     Run SSMS through administrator rights.

Allow permissions to resolve your problem

If you are sure that the error is generated due to security permissions conflicts. Then only you can go with this approach.

     Go to the folder where MDF files are stored.

     Now choose the file and right-click on it. And then click on properties.

     Allow permissions to the file for logged-in user security.

     Click on the OK Button.

Once you have completed all the steps. You can easily attach files from any location of the system to the SQL server and your files are ready to read and view MDF File. Now we will see the second solution to Read and View the MDF File.

Open SSMS Through Administrator Rights

If users use SQL Server Management Studio with administrator rights. Then you should avoid the above solution. You can still attach your file from any location of the system. To run the SQL Server with an administrator you need to apply the mentioned steps.

     Log off your system or close your SQL Management Studio.

     Run your SSMS with the administrator.

     Attempt to attach the file or restore it.

You should follow these simple steps carefully to read and view the MDF file. We have shared two manual processes to resolve the problem. Now we will see the Professional method.

Professional Method to Open Corrupted MDF File

We strongly recommend you use the DRS SQL Viewer Tool. It is an MDF file viewer that allows you to open inaccessible SQL database files such as .mdf and .ndf files. This utility can read and view MDF file and display the file content. Users can also access .mdf files in Windows OS. This tool consists of various functionalities for an excellent user experience. Moreover, this tool is compatible with all the versions of Windows. Follow these points to  View Orphan & Corrupt MDF File.

     Launch the DRS SQL Viewer Tool after download.

     Click on the Open option to add a file.

     Browse the corrupted MDF file and choose other options.

     Press OK to open the SQL Database.

And that’s all you have successfully access the database through this best tool.


We hope your query “How do I open an old MDF file?” will be removed now. We have shared the best methods to open corrupted MDF file. We recommend you go with the third-party tool because it is designed with the simplest UI. You don’t need extra technical expertise. However, you can go with the manual approach. But it has limited functionalities and is a time-consuming process. The risk of data loss is always maintained in the manual method.

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