BitResQ » Instant Methods to Restore SQL Master Database

Instant Methods to Restore SQL Master Database

Shubham Dixit   
Published: Jun 28, 2023 • Restore • 5 Minutes Reading

The SQL Server master database is a crucial component that stores essential system metadata, configuration settings, and all other database information on the server. So, It becomes important to have a reliable backup and restore strategy in place to ensure the availability and recoverability of the master database. Through this post, we will discuss what are the reasons and how to restore SQL master database in case of any corruption.

What is a Master Database in SQL Server?

SQL server’s Master Database is crucial since it contains the majority of the SQL server’s configuration information. The master database’s essential data is stored in physical files called MDF files, while the masterlog.ldf file houses the parallel transaction logs. This indicates that the master database contains all user and login information as well as information about references to all databases. In short, you can’t start your SQL server or operate on it in a way that is productive if something happens to the master database.

Some Indicators Which Tell if the Master Database is Corrupted or Not  

It is crucial for you to understand the signs of corruption or damage to your master database as a system administrator. Below are some of the symptoms:

  • Possibility of segmentation problems or input/output failures
  • An attempt to start the SQL server failed.
  • Database Consistency Checker Utility produces reports.

Your master database might become corrupt or disappear in a number of different circumstances. One of these causes, a power surge, may force the SQL server to reboot, but in this case, the SQL server might not start after the reboot. To confirm the cause of the corruption, you can inspect the error log. Also, we will be explaining some ways to restore SQL master database

In rare cases, the SQL server’s master database file gets damaged. It contains system-level data, including login credentials, system setup options, etc. When the master database is damaged, the user gets unable to access the database files which has data. In order to regain all data access, the user will have to rebuild the database file.

Method to Restore SQL Master Database 

The method is split into 3 steps. Follow the steps carefully when rebuilding the master database.

1: Set MS SQL Server to Single User Mode

  • Sign in as an administrator on the SQL server.
  • Then go to Administrative Tools and select Services. Select Stop from the context menu when you right-click on the SQL Server service (MSSQLSERVER).
  • Double-click the SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER) to open the Service Properties wizard
  • Select the General tab, and type: -c -m in the Start parameters section. 
  • In the General, tab, select the Start button to switch the server to single-user mode. Then press the OK button. 

2: Stop the SQL Server Services

In the Services wizard, right-click on the service SQL Server Agent (MSSQLSERVER) and select the stop option. 

Do the same process for SQL Server Reporting (MSSQLSERVER) service.

3: SQL Server: Restore SQL Master Database

Next, for restoring the master database backup, start executing the following RESTORE DATABASE Transact-SQL query:


The REPLACE option is used to tell SQL Server to restore the mentioned database even if a database of the same name exists already.

The SQL Server instance will shut down and end the sqlcmd process after the master database has been restored. 

So, before restarting the server instance, you need to remove the single-user startup parameter.

To set the SQL Server to Multiple User mode

  • Launch the SQL Server and Log in as the Admin
  • Then go to Administrative tools and right click on the Services and select Start.  
  2. SQL Server  Agent (MSSQLSERVER)
  3. SQL Server Reporting Services (MSSQLSERVER)

Alternative Way to Regain Access to Master Database in SQL Server

When the manual process is showing any results, then you can use the automated tool-oriented solution SQL MDF Recovery Software which handles the entire operation and helps to recover all the database files easily.

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With the help of this utility, the user can also recover dropped table in SQL server. Other than that it can recover Functions, tables, Stored Procedures etc.

1. Download and open the tool and Add file to restore SQL master database.

restore sql master database

2.  Select the MDF file, the Advanced Scan option, and the SQL Server version after that. If you want to recover deleted data, select the option to restore deleted items.

choose scanning mode

3. The components of the SQL Server database are now being Previewed by the software.

export recovered files

4.  To restore SQL master database, click the Export option and then provide the necessary information.

restore sql master database


When we talk about the SQL Server master database, we know that it is the main component of the SQL Server instance, storing critical system information. When it comes to the master database restoring process, requires proper planning, valid backups, and the correct execution of restore commands. By using the solutions mentioned above, the user will be able to restore SQL master database.

If the manual methods won’t work, then users can try the professional tool which makes it easier and also restores all the data. Apart from this, always perform regular backups of the master database and implement a backup maintenance plan to minimize the issues like this.