Updated on August 5th, 2021
SQL stands for Sequential Query Language. It helps in the retrieval and management of data using relational databases. SQL Server database stores the data in an MDF file. It is the Master Database File that contains all the user data. The MDF file is stored in the relational database in the form of columns, rows, indexes, fields, tables, and views.
To view and open MDF files without SQL Server, we either need SQL Server Management Studio or any other third-party software. These MDF files are binary files that cannot be opened using Word, or Notepad. First of all, to open MDF files, we have to go to the location where the file is saved.
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL15.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\TechForums19.mdf
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL14.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\TechForums19.mdf
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL13.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\TechForums19.mdf
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\TechForums19.mdf
Some of the important reasons that lets MDF files be corrupted are as follows:
SQL Server database files are stored as MDF files. The related log files are LDF files. However, they cannot be “opened.” You must “connect” to them instead. After attaching, the database will be visible in SSMS’s object explorer.
If you’re wondering why the Backup and Restore procedure wasn’t utilized instead of sending these database files around, you’re not alone. It’s a good question, but it doesn’t assist the reader who is gazing at.MDF and.LDF files and has no idea how to open them. If you need to relocate a database, use your favorite search engine to look for “backup restore attach detach SQL server” (without the quotes). You’ll receive a variety of different perspectives to help you determine what’s best.
There are a few distinct approaches. I’ll show you the “simple” technique using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), and then direct you to additional methods that use T-SQL queries.
Steps to Open MS SQL Database MDF File
There are very few ways to open an MDF file without SQL Server. One such method is by using Aryson SQL Viewer. This software helps in opening, reading, and viewing MDF files. You can open corrupted, inaccessible, and encrypted SQL files in a very simple manner. Some of the features of SQL viewer are as follows:
The working of SQL MDF Viewer is described in few simple steps:
The above article describes ways to read or view MDF files without the use of SQL Server. There is no direct way of doing so hence a third-party tool is a must for viewing the files. Aryson SQL Viewer is one such tool available online for free that will help you to achieve your goal.
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