Steps to Attach a SQL Server database without Transaction Log File

If the SQL Server administrator only has MDF files and wants to restore the SQL Server database. This user has the database’s MDF file and no transaction log file; they also don’t have a backup database. This article will teach you how to attach a SQL Server database without using transaction log files.

This article will go through the steps for restoring and connecting a SQL Server database when you have the MDF file. The instructions below support SQL Server 2005 and later versions.

How to Attach a SQL Database Without a Transaction Log File?

The following are three techniques for attaching a Microsoft SQL database without utilizing the transaction log:

Note: To attach the database to SQL Server, you must be a member of the db owner role.

  1. In SQL Server, you may use SQL Server Management Studio.
  2. Scripting with T-SQL
  3. Using Third-Party Software

Note: Methods 1 and 2 will only work if the database was shut down cleanly (i.e., no active transactions occurred while the database was shut down) and the MDF file is in good condition.

Method #1. Using SQL Server Management Studio

SQL Server Management Studio is a tool that allows you to manage your SQL Server database, including the following steps:-

  1. Launch SQL Server Management Studio and connect to a SQL Server instance.
  2. In Object Explorer, right-click the Databases node and choose “Attach…” from the drop-down menu, as shown in the excerpt below.
  3. This will open the Attach Databases window, as illustrated in the excerpt below.
  4. In the Attach Databases window, select the “Add…” button indicated in the preceding excerpt to open the Locate Databases Files window, as shown below.
  5. In the Locate Databases Files box, navigate to and choose the MDF file that corresponds to the database you wish to attach, then click OK. In our example, I’m going to use the “ProductsDB.mdf” file.
  6. In the Attach Databases window, you’ll notice that SQL Server notifies us that the log file is missing; in our instance, the missing file is “ProductsDB Log.LDF.” To attach the database without the ProductsDB Log.LDF transaction log file, select it as shown in the following excerpt, and click the “Remove” button. Because the log file may not be mentioned with the “Not Found” notice, the delete step can be skipped. Finally, click OK to attach the ProductsDB database without including the transaction log file.
  7. Congratulations, you have successfully linked a database without the need of a transaction log file. SQL Server will generate a new transaction log file and store it in the exact location as the data file.

Method #2. Scripting with T-SQL

Attaching a SQL Server Database without a Transaction Log File Using T-SQL

  1. DBAs can also attach a SQL Server database that does not have a transaction log file by using the T-SQL code below.
  2. In this first script, we use the CREATE DATABASE with ATTACH option and give the name and location of the MDF file that we have for this database.
  3. When the preceding T-SQL code is successfully performed, you will receive the notice below informing you that SQL Server has generated a new transaction log file for the database.

Check the database’s logical and physical integrity.

  • DBAs can examine the logical and physical integrity of all database objects by running a DBCC CHECKDB command. In our situation, we’re making use of the “ProductsDB” database.

Method #3. Using Third-Party SQL Database Recovery Tool

If the MDF file you wish to attach is corrupted, none of the previous techniques will work. In such a situation, having an MDF database file repair software on hand, such as SQL Database Recovery, can assist you in scanning and repairing the MDF file.

Once the master database file has been restored, you may use it to attach the SQL database without a transaction log file using SSMS or by running a Transact-SQL query. If you want to recover SQL Server Database without a Backup file, this software helps restore the SQL database from the MDF file and save them into a live SQL Server database or new healthy .mdf file without any data loss.


This blog explored several methods for attaching the MS SQL Server database without a log file. First, attach a database without a transaction log file to a SQL Server instance using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). Alternatively, you can use Transact-SQL (T-SQL) to connect the database to the server. However, if the MDF file is missing or corrupt, Aryson SQL Database Recovery software may be used to repair the file and restore the SQL database.

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