SQL SERVER – Importance of Master Database for SQL Server Startup

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SQL SERVER - Importance of Master Database for SQL Server Startup panda I have received following questions many times about master database. I will list all the questions here and answer them together.

What is the purpose of Master database? Should we backup it?
Which database is must have database for SQL Server for startup?
Which are the default system database created when SQL Server 2005 is installed for the first time?
What happens if Master database is corrupted?

Answers to all of the questions are very much related. The master database is system database and it contains information about running server’s configuration. When SQL Server 2005 is installed, it usually creates master, model, msdb, tempdb resource and distribution (last two depends on version of SQL Server) system database by default. The only Master database is the one which is absolutely must have a database. Without this database SQL Server cannot be started. This is the reason it is extremely important to backup Master database.

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If Master database is corrupted it should be restored from the latest backup, considering SQL Server was able to start with a damaged Master database. Sometimes it is corrupted so much it cannot start SQL Server at all and it cannot be restored. SQL Server should rebuild using command prompt and restored from the latest backup once again.

I am very much interested to know the feedback of readers who have asked questions regarding this issue.

If any database is corrupted it should be restored from the latest backup, considering SQL Server was able to start with a damaged database. Sometimes when this database is corrupted so much it cannot start SQL Server at all and it cannot be restored. SQL Server should rebuild using command prompt and restored from the latest backup once again.

Backup of the this database should be made for:

  • Changing server-level configuration settings;
  • Changing database-level configuration settings; and
  • Changing any logon accounts details.

Where does master data management fall within a data governance approach?  Master data management is one area within the data governance process that focuses on the management of reference and master data. Master data management is combined with a fair amount of business process and I will leave the process aspect for another author. An example of a business process within master data management would be the decision on which data source is considered the truth when a discrepancy in master data arises between two source systems.

Reference: Pinal Dave (https://blog.sqlauthority.com)

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45 Comments. Leave new

  • If any corruption in master database,is it needed to reinstall the sql server???

    Reply
  • Hi

    Information on site is very useful to me. I have read this article of system databases article but it will be more useful, if u give something more about How to start SQL Server when master db corrupted and How to restore it.

    Thanks
    Pavankumar

    Reply
  • hi all,
    I hav to copy my database from one system to other while i try to copy the data folder in sql server it shows me a error master db file is open i checked everything and all files are closed can any one help me on this…………???

    thanks……….

    Reply
  • kishore ch

    thanks you sir ,it is very helpful in dba learners

    Reply
  • Hi all,
    I have two servers in SQL 2008 R2, one for production and another for replication, replication is going to be using SRDF, reading about SRDF is byte level but my question is, if device E is on SAN and this is te device that replication will use, do I need to move my master database to E?
    Does SRDF works with master database?
    Is it dangerous that my master database be located in a SAN device?
    Thanks.

    Reply
  • Hi ,

    I am clear what you discuss so far.Explain same for remaining system databases.If I delete the model ,temp and msdb.

    Reply
  • bt u hav not told role of master databse it was vry commanly given answers which a novice can give….pls specify the exact and detailed ans.

    Reply
  • Is it possible to take user database backups when master database corrupted ?

    Reply
  • its very nice.i want to know about remaining system databases temp,msdb,model also.

    Reply
  • Really great comments by all

    Reply
  • Hi Pinal,
    This is realy good information about Master DB,it’s very helpful to me.could you explain little more about MSDB,TEMPDB and MODELDB plase.

    Thanks,
    Sunanda.

    Reply
  • Hello Pinal,
    Thank you for your information. Its really helpful. Some days back i forgot the password of “sa” login of sql. Since then i was thinking of writing a tool that can
    help me getting the password of “sa” and all the sql logins from MasterDB.
    But i am not sure about where to start. I have got some software that do the same but all of them are “Paid”. So i thought of writing my own tool.
    Can you give me some directions for that ??

    Thanks & Regards,
    Siddharth

    Reply
  • The information is veryfull to me.can u explain how to rebuild sql server from command prompt to restore latest backups.

    Reply
  • Mr. vikas nautiyal
    July 9, 2012 10:29 am

    hello sir just want to knw can we work wid sql server without master databse …..

    Reply
  • Hi dev,
    Can i corrupt only page in master database.?

    Reply
  • Just gave a good lecture on the same!Thanx.

    Reply
  • Gopi Chand Boppudi
    December 31, 2013 12:49 pm

    hellow sir,
    I am very happy by observing your valuable suggestions

    Reply
  • dear sir, thanks a lot for your service, I read many articles of yours, but I have one doubt.

    can we identify corrupted master database using smo?

    it is my privilege ,if I got the reply.

    thanks a lot sir

    your’s
    Ravishankar

    Reply
  • It is very helpful….

    Reply

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