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Convert MDF to SQL File Effectively with 3 Best Techniques

Published By Mohit Jha
Tej Pratap Shukla
Approved By Tej Pratap Shukla
Published On April 11th, 2024
Reading Time 7 Minutes Reading

In today’s arena, the most common query is how can I convert MDF to SQL file for free? As there are no such details provided over the internet to fix this unanswered puzzle. So today, with this article I will be going to discuss major 2 ways to easily export MDF database to SQL Script.

Quick Glance on SQL Server File and MDF File

SQL Server is a relational database management system in the technology field. It is compatible with more than one transaction processing. Master database files (MDF) and Log transaction files (LDF) are the main files used by SQL Server for storing the database contents. Due to the functionalities it facilitates, it has become one of the sought-after programs.

MDF is a foremost database file of SQL Server and is used to save components like views, stored information, etc. A user is unable to open the MDF files which ultimately provides complete security on data breaches and much more. Sometimes, the user wants to migrate their MDF to SQL file. We come up with appropriate ways to do the same.

Why Does A User Import MDF File to SQL File?

There are several reasons behind the MDF to SQL file conversion. Mainly, we describe some of them have a look:

1. Versatile Usage: By migrating the .mdf file to SQL script, a user can use these files on multiple servers. the use of the MDF files can be increased by the users as per their requirements. SQL Server migration is one major reason for such operations.

2. To View MDF Files: In cases where the MDF file becomes unreadable. A user cannot open, read, and view their .mdf files. Then, we have only one way to read or open MDF files. It is by converting them into SQL scripts without any further errors or hassles.

3. Avoid Corruption Issues: If in case, your MDF file is highly corrupted. So, you want to convert MDF to SQL file. There can be several causes behind the occurrence of corruption like Power failure, virus attack, hardware failure, and even human error.

4. Prevent Data Threat: Oftentimes, users attach MDF files to the database some untrusted sources, which may result in an error as it could include malicious information. So at this time execute these scripts on SQL Server for creating that database we can transfer a database file (.sql) to a .mdf file.

5. Optimum Performance: Another reason to undergo this critical operation is to simply optimize the SQL Server performance to the utmost level. Managing the database becomes easier for users which in the end results in better efficiency.

6. Data Transfers: For easier data sharing among each other, users prefer to get the SQL MDF files in SQL script formats. It makes it easier to transfer and receive files without further hassles.

Also Read: Find Corrupt Indexes in SQL Server Database

How to Convert MDF to SQL File?

Here, with the help of these solutions, a user can easily export MDF database to SQL Script. There are a total of 3 methods described step-by-step. You just need to follow all the steps in sequence to get an efficient outcome. One method is using the SSMS or SQL Server Management Studio. Another one includes the T-SQL method where users must be proficient in commands. Finally, we have an automated solution as well.

Users can opt for these solutions based on their requirements, technical knowledge as well as ease of getting the results. let’s begin with the manual solutions of SSMS & T-SQL followed by the automated ones.

#1 Export MDF to SQL Script with SSMS Method

Step 1. Run “Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio” into your local machine and then connect to the SQL Server.

Step 2. Now, select the “Database” option and choose the database for which you need to create a SQL file.

Step 3. Then, right-click on your Database, here, you will pop up the option ‘Tasks’ followed by ‘Generate Scripts’. Hit on that option.

Step 4. After selecting the Generate Scripts option, you will get the ‘Introduction’ display in which you get the steps to generate the script. opt ‘Next’ option to move forward.

Step 5. Here, you will get the screen such as ‘Choose Objects’ in which two options have been mentioned. Select ‘Script entire database and all database objects’ option to choose the entire database objects, after that hit on “Next”.

Step 6. SQL Server facilitates you three multiple options through which data can be converted i.e. ‘Data only’, ‘Schema only’ and ‘Data and Schema’. select the type of data as per your requirement. For this, you have opt an ‘Advanced’ button.

Step 7. Afterwards, you will get ‘Advance scripting options’ screen so, you can choose the type of data. select ‘Type of data in script’ option and opt its type.

Step 8. In this step, you will get an option such as ‘Review your selection’, here you will get to know about your server name, database, its opted objects and the targeted location of your database.

Step 9. Finally, the report of your database components which you have created by using ‘Generate Script’ option.

#2 T-SQL Method to Export SQL Server Data to Script File

Just in case users are proficient in the SQL Server technicalities, the T-SQL method is way easier than the SSMS method. Here, users just need to know one single command that can easily execute the entire operation.

sqlcmd -S servername -d dbname -E -o outputfile.sql -Q "SCRIPT DATABASE dbname TO outputfile.sql"

In this command, we need to understand a few elements.

  • servername – SQL Server Name.
  • dbname – SQL Server Database Name.
  • outputfile.sql – output script file as the result

#3 Effortless Way to Convert MDF to SQL File Conversion Without Hindrances

The above-mentioned manual solution is very cumbersome and complex to the non-technical user. So, it is better to switch on theautomated tool such as SQL Recovery Tool application. With the help of this tool, a user can easily export a data from MDF file to SQL Server without any data loss. This utility facilitates an understandable interface so, a novice user can also perform the conversion without taking expert help.

the automated solution is capable of scanning and recovering rules, functions, tables, stored procedures, and triggers. The tool is equipped with advanced technologies that support ASCII and Unicode both XML data types. Mainly, this fixes SQL Server 2022, 2019, 2017, 2016, 2014, and below database files i.e. MDF and NDF instantly. Moreover, in the upcoming section, we’re going to describe the steps to perform the MDF to SQL file conversion procedure.

MDF to SQL File Conversion Step by Step Using Tool

Step 1. To perform the conversion MDF file to SQL, install tool in the system.

launch tool

Step 2. Select the “Open” button and add MDF files from the local system.

click on open button

Step 3. Opt the Quick Scan for basic & Advanced Scan for major scanning.

select scan mode

Step 4. Select the Destination as SQL Server Script Files (.sql files).

set destination

Step-5. Click on the Export button to finish converting MDF to SQL Script file.

convert mdf file to SQL script

Final Word’s

Most of the database admin tasks can be performed through SQL scripts. Throughout this article, we have gone through the super instant tips to convert MDF to SQL file. And discussed basic steps to migrate / export MDF database to SQL Script manually also. A user can opt any method as per their desire.


By Mohit Jha

Mohit is a Microsoft-certified expert who has assisted thousands of clients with Outlook & Microsoft Office 365 issues. He enjoys writing on email clients as well as data migration. He is always excited about giving troubled readers the most up-to-date knowledge, explanation, and refinements.