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Monday, 8 March 2021

Stellar Toolkit for MS SQL - Software Review

As a SQL database administrator, I am responsible for maintaining our organization's SQL Server and databases. But despite implementing best database maintenance practices, including backups and performing DBCC CHECKDB integrity checks, I still run into database issues. Among these, corruption of SQL Server database is one of the most common issues that I've encountered as a DBA.

My recent experience with database corruption, which nearly made me lose my data due to corrupted database backup, made me think about an alternative approach. This was when I came across Stellar Toolkit for MS SQL, a software package comprising tools to repair corrupt SQL database, extract data from a corrupted backup file, and reset password of the database files.

Today, I'll be sharing my experience with Stellar Toolkit for MS SQL. For this review, follow the step-wise instructions below once you have downloaded and installed the software:

Stellar Repair for MS SQL

  • Launch Stellar Toolkit for MS SQL. This will open the following window:


  • Select 'Repair MS SQL Database.' The SQL repair software main interface opens with an instruction. The instruction suggests stopping the SQL server and creating a copy of the database (.mdf) file to be repaired. After creating the MDF file copy, you can restart the server and repair the db copy. 

  • Clicking OK opens a 'Select Database' window. Click on 'Browse' to select the corrupt MDF database file that you want to repair. If you're not aware of the file's location, click 'Search' to locate and select the file. After selecting the corrupt database file, click 'Repair' to begin repairing it.

  • Once the repair process is complete, a 'Repair complete' message box appears along with a preview of all recoverable database objects and the repair process's log report.


  • After verifying the recoverable data, clicking 'Save' on the File menu opens a Save Database dialog box with options to save the repaired file. The file can be saved in multiple file formats, such as MDF, CSV, HTML, or XLS. To proceed with saving the file, you'll need to connect to an instance of SQL Server to create a new database or overwrite an existing db. Finally, click the 'Save’ button for saving the repaired SQL Server database file to the selected location. 

Stellar Password Recovery for MS SQL

The toolkit's second tool is useful for admins who have lost or forgotten the password of their SQL database files. It helps in resetting the password of a protected database in just a few clicks; here’s how:

  • Select ‘Recover MS SQL Password’ from the main interface. This will open the Stellar Password Recovery for MS SQL interface as shown below:


  • Next, all you need to do is click ‘Browse’ to select your SQL database file (MDF), and then click the ‘Change Password’ button. This will reset the password of the selected database file. 

Note: You may not be able to problem selecting the backup (.bak) file if any MDF file is in use. So, make sure to stop the SQL Server service before resetting the password.

After resetting the password, exit the Password Recovery tool, restart the SQL Server service, and then try connecting to your server instance using the reset password. 

Stellar Backup Extractor for MS SQL

Another tool available in the toolkit is the backup file extractor. It helps recover data from a corrupted SQL database backup (.bak) file. Also, the tool provides different scan modes to perform quick or deep recovery of backup data.

The steps to recover data from corrupted backup file are as follows:

Click ‘Extract from MS SQL Backup’ to open the Stellar Backup Extractor window. The window opens with options to browse or search the corrupt backup (.bak) file. Once the file is selected, click Scan to initiate the scanning process.

  • The tool then asks to select an appropriate scan mode to perform the recovery. It recommends running the ‘Standard Scan’ to analyze a corrupted SQL backup file quickly. If you’re not satisfied with the Standard Scan results, choose ‘Advanced Scan’ for a severely corrupted backup file. After selecting the desired scan mode, click ‘OK’.

  • A window opens asking to select the type of backup you want to recover. 

  • Once you’ve selected the backup type, click Next. A ‘Repair Complete’ dialog box opens on successful completion of the SQL backup process. Click ‘OK’ to preview the recoverable data along with log report of the entire backup recovery process.  

  • After verifying the recoverable backup file data, click ‘Save’ on the ‘File’ menu to save the recovered file.

Conclusion

Stellar Toolkit for MS SQL is an effective utility that you can rely on to resolve major database issues. Having this tool at your disposal can help you reduce downtime associated with troubleshooting SQL database issues, as it provides tools to perform database repair, backup recovery, and reset passwords in a single interface. 

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Stellar Repair for MS SQL - Product Review

Stellar Data Recovery has an amazing product designed for the Microsoft SQL Server platform to provide data recovery solutions where databases or backups get corrupted, login passwords are unknown, and other all is lost scenarios like deletions. It’s inevitable and undeniable that most SQL Database administrators and developers would one day face one or more of these questions:

  • Do you have a corrupt database file and need to recover the data?
  • Do you have a corrupt backup file that you are unable to restore?
  • Are you missing records from a deletion of table, entries, and other database objects?
  • Did you forget or do not know the password to connect to your SQL Server instance?

If you need a resilient solution for any of these mentioned issues above or just one or two, then look no further than the Stellar Repair for MS SQL.

The software is available in three editions:

  1. Technician Edition: Database Repair
  2. Platinum Edition: Database and Backup Repair
  3. Toolkit Edition: Database and Backup Repair with Password Recovery

The Stellar Repair for MSSQL provides an a la carte way of shopping for your needed features. Instead of Stellar billing you for a one suite, the software has been priced based of the features. You could purchase a technician when looking into repairing a corrupt .MDF or Platinum to get the ability to repair backups or go for the Toolkit to have full access to all the above-mentioned features as well as reset SQL Server administrator and user passwords.

Some features you will notice with the SQL Repair software:

  • New and enhanced GUI.
  • Multiple DPI Supported (100%, 125%, 150%, 175%).
  • Saves the Scan Information.
  • Option to save repaired database to SQL Server Authentication.
  • Support for MS SQL Server 2019, MS SQL Server 2017, MS SQL Server 2016, MS SQL Server 2014, MS SQL Server 2012 R2, 2012, MS SQL Server 2008 R2, 2008, 2008 (64 bit), 2008 Express, MS SQL Server 2005, 2005 (64 bit), 2005 Express, MS SQL Server 2000, 2000 (64 bit), 7.0 and mixed formats.

The installation piece of the software is very easy and user friendly. The below steps would help you to successfully install the software.

  • Run the downloaded Stellar Repair for MSSQL.exe to open the setup dialog box.
  • Click next and accept the License Agreement to continue.
  • Browse and specify the location and folder for the binary installation file and click next to continue.
  • Select checkbox per installation requirements for the additional task screen.
  • Review your installation configurations and select back to modify any settings. Click start to install if ready.
  • Click Finish after a successful completion of the install.

 Launch the Stellar Repair for MS SQL from your start menu under programs or double click the desktop icon.

Quick Overview of Stellar Repair for MS SQL:

SQL Database Repair Software can help you fix the corruption and restore the data back in some cases even when the data is deleted. The easy to navigate GUI takes all the existing stress of dealing with a corrupt database.


The included deleted records functionality can assist in restoring deleted records in the MS SQL database (MDF) repaired file. By check-boxing the above highlighted [Include Deleted Records], the repair process will try to recover any deleted records (if found).


A left pane object explorer shows a tree map of all the database objects in the repaired database. You also have the functionality of being selective in your export/save of objects by check boxing the needed table(s). You can also directly view records in the tables to verify the consistency and data quality.

 


Below at the footer of the application is the Log report which provides a verbose log of the transactions that occur during the repair process. This is essential for troubleshooting and understanding the different processes that occurred during the repair.

REVIEW:  

Stellar Repair for MS SQL provides that enterprise-level SQL Server database repair solution that saves tremendous hours of administrative work of recovering a corrupt database. The entire suite called the Toolkit opens up all the amazing features of SQL Server password reset and SQL database backup recovery. The super-fast recovery algorithm can retrieve data from a corrupted database or backup file and create a new database or export data into other formats. The SQL user password reset tool allows the average user to change passwords without in-depth technical knowledge. I was not expecting such additional out-of-box functionalities such as multiple backup supports (full, differential, or transaction log). This is an all-in-one solution tool that I would recommend to anyone (technical and non-technical) that works with SQL Server databases.

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

SQL Database Corruption, how to investigate root cause?

Introduction:

In this article, we will discuss the MS SQL Server database corruption. 

So, first, we need to understand what the cause of corruption is. Usually, in all the scenarios of SQL Server database corruption, the main corruption cause is related to the IO subsystem level, which means that the root cause is a problem with the drives, drivers, and possibly even drivers. And while the specific root causes can vary widely (simply due to the sheer complexity involved in dealing with magnetic storage). The main thing to remember about disk systems is that any person in the IT knows that all major operating systems. It ships with the equivalent of a kind of Disk-Check utility (CHKDSK) that can scan for bad sectors, bad entries, and other storage issues that can infiltrate storage environments.

Summary:

If you are beginner to Microsoft SQL Server. You could do the following things to solve the database corruption. And these tricks can’t help you out:

  • Reopen SQL Server
    • It just holds up the issue and gives raise to the system to run through crash restoration on the databases. Not to mention, in most systems, you will not be able to do this right away and will hold up the issue further
  • Delete all the procedure cache
  • Separate and moving the Microsoft SQL server to a new server
    • When you do this you will feel pain because SQL Server will fail to attach on the second server and on your primary.  At this moment you have to look into "hack attach" SQL Server and I can understand it can be a very painful experience.

If you know what will be helpful to solve any problem or what can't be helpful. It requires that you have to be prepared every time for these kinds of problems.  It means that you have to create a database that is corrupt and try everything to recovery that database with the slightest data loss.

You may read this: How to Reduce the Risk of SQL Database Corruption

Root cause analysis:

Root cause analysis may be a crucial part of this method and should not be unmarked regardless of however you pass through the info. This can be a vital step in preventing the matter from occurring once more and doubtless earlier than you're thinking that. In my expertise, once corruption happens, it's absolute to happen once more if no actions area unit is taken to rectify the matter. To boot, this is often seemed to be worse the second time.

Now, I'd counsel, that though you think that you recognize the explanation for the corruption (E.G. power outage with no UPS) investigate the subsequent sources anyways. Perhaps the outage was simply helped and there have been warning signs occurring. To begin, I perpetually recommend these places to seem.

  • Memory and disk medicine to create certain there aren't any issues with the present hardware
  • SQL Server error logs
  • Windows event viewer
  • While rare, sit down with your vendors to examine if they need to have issues with the computer code you're using
  • Software errors, believe it or not, Microsoft has been known to cause corruption. See KB2969896. this is often wherever gap tickets with Microsoft also are helpful

The event viewer and SQL server error logs may be viewed along.

But, I suggest dividing these out to the system administrators as they regularly have more manpower on their team to review these. 

Helpful Tip:

In fact, even once knowing what the matter is, I forever counsel gap a price tag with Microsoft as a result of they're going to not solely provide an additional set of eyes on the problem however additionally their experience on the topic.to boot, Microsoft will and can assist you with the next steps to assist notice the foundation reason behind the matter and wherever the corruption originated from.

Corruption problems:

If the database is corrupt, it is possible to repair the database using SQL Recovery Software. This software will allow repairing the database in case of corruption.

Conclusion:

So finally, after this article, we learn many things about database corruption and how to resolve that corrupt database. Most of the things are too common, and now you can solve this kind of common corruption. With time when will you finish this series, the goal will be that when you find out you have corruption, it is coming from your alerts, not an end-user, and you will have a procedure to let your managers know where you sit and what the next steps are. Because of this, you will get a lot of benefits, and also it allows you to work without having someone breathing down your neck frequently.


Friday, 6 November 2020

[Solved] SQL Backup Detected Corruption in the Database Log

Summary: In this article, we will discuss about the ‘SQL Backup Detected Corruption in the Database Log’ error. It will also describe the reason behind the error and manual workarounds to resolve it. The article also explains an alternative solution that can be used to restore the database and its transaction log backup – when the manual solutions fail. 

When performing transaction log backup for a SQL database, to restore the database after network maintenance or in the event of a crash, you may find the backup job failed with the following error:

Backup failed for Server xxx (Microsoft.SqlServer.SmoExtended)

System.Data.SqlClient.SqlError: BACKUP detected corruption in the database log. Check the errorlog for more information. (Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo)


The error message clearly indicates that the transaction log is damaged (corrupted). Checking the SQL errorlog for more details on the error shows:

2020-11-01 13:30:40.570 spid62 Backup detected log corruption in database TestDB. Context is Bad Middle Sector. LogFile: 2 ‘D:\Data\TestDB_log.ldf’ VLF SeqNo: x280d VLFBase: x10df10000 LogBlockOffset: x10efa1000 SectorStatus: 2 LogBlock.StartLsn.SeqNo: x280d LogBlock.StartLsn.
2020-11-01 13:30:40.650 Backup Error: 3041, Severity: 16, State: 1.
2020-11-01 13:30:40.650 Backup BACKUP failed to complete the command BACKUP DATABASE TestDB. Check the backup application log for detailed messages

However, the FULL database backup completed successfully and even running DBCC CHECKDB integrity check didn’t find any errors.

What Could Have Caused the SQL Transaction Log Backup to Fail?

A transaction log (T-log) backup allows restoring a database to a certain point-in-time, before the failure occurred. It does so by taking a backup of all the transaction logs created since the last log backup, including the corrupt portion of the T-log. This causes the backup to fail.

However, a FULL database backup only has to back up the beginning of the last active part of the T-log – at the time the backup is taken. Also, DBCC CHECKDB requires the same amount of log as the FULL database backup – at the time of the db snapshot was generated. This is why the full backup executed successfully and no errors were reported by DBCC CHECKDB.

Manual Workarounds to Backup Detected Log Corruption in SQL Database

Following are the manual workarounds you can apply to resolve the SQL backup log corruption issue:

Workaround 1: Change the SQL Recovery Model from FULL to SIMPLE

To fix the ‘SQL Server backup detected corruption in the database log’ issue, try switching the database to the SIMPLE recovery model.

Switching to SIMPLE recovery model will ignore the corrupted portion of the T-log. Subsequently, change the recovery model back to FULL and execute the backups again.

Here’s the steps you need to perform to change the recovery model:

Step 1: Make sure there are no active users by stopping all user activity in the db.

Step 2: Change the db from FULL to a SIMPLE recovery model. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Open SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and connect to an instance of the SQL Server database engine.
  • From Object Explorer, expand the server tree by clicking the server name.
  • Next, depending on the db you are using, select a ‘user database’ or choose a ‘system database’ by expanding System Databases.
  • Right-click the selected db, and then select Properties.
  • In the Database Properties dialog box, click Options under ‘Select a page’.

  • Choose the Simple recovery model from the ‘Recovery model’ list box, and then click OK

Step 3: Now set the db back to the FULL recovery model by following the same steps from 1 till 5 above. Then, select Full as your recovery model from the list box.

Step 4: Perform a FULL database backup again.

Step 5: Take log backups again.

Hopefully, performing these steps will help you perform the transaction log backup without any issue.

Note: This solution won’t be feasible if you’re using database mirroring for the database for which you have encountered the ‘backup detected log corruption’ error. That’s because, in order to switch to the SIMPLE recovery model you will need to break the mirror and then reconfigure the db which can take significant amount of time and effort. In this case, try the next workaround.

Workaround 2: Create Transaction Log Backup using Continue on Error Option

To complete executing the backup of T-log without any error, try running log backup of SQL database with the CONTINUE AFTER ERROR option. You can either choose to run the option directly from SSMS or by executing a T-SQL script.

Steps to run the ‘Continue on Error’ option from SSMS are as follows:

Step 1: Run SSMS as an administrator.

Step 2: From ‘Back Up Database’ window, click Options under ‘Select a page’ on the left panel. Then, select the ‘Continue on error’ checkbox under the Reliability section. 


Step 3: Click OK.

Now, run the log backup to check if starts without the backup detecting an error in SQL database.

Ending Note

The above-discussed manual solutions won’t work if the transaction log is missing or damaged, putting the database in suspect mode. In that case, you can try restoring the database from backups or run Emergency-mode repair to recover the db from suspect mode.

However, none of the above solutions might work in case of severe database corruption in SQL Server. Also, implementing the ‘Emergency-mode repair’ method involves data loss risk. But, using a specialized SQL database repair software such as Stellar Repair for MS SQL can help you repair a severely corrupted database and restore it back to its original state in just a few steps. The software helps in repairing both SQL database MDF and NDF files. Once the MDF file is repaired, you can create a transaction log file of the database and back it up without any encountering any error.