Converting Restore Filelistonly command into Restore Database command

Very often I need to restore database backups for in-house reproes of issues that I am currently troubleshooting. This can be quite cumbersome if the original database had a bunch of database files. This prodded me along the direction of writing a T-SQL script to help me generate the RESTORE DATABASE command from a RESTORE FILELISTONLY output from a backup file.

-- Create the stored procedure to create the headeronly output 
set nocount on go
create proc #sp_restoreheaderonly 
@backuplocation varchar(max) 
restore filelistonly from disk = @backuplocation 
declare @backuplocation varchar(max),@filelocation varchar(255),@sql varchar(max),@dbname varchar(255) 
set @backuplocation = 'C:\BackupFile.BAK' --Replace with backup file location 
set @filelocation = 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\' -- Replace with destination data folder location 
set @dbname = 'RestoredDB' -- Replace with destination database name 

create table #tblBackupFiles
(LogicalName varchar(255),
PhysicalName varchar(255),
Type char(1),
FileGroupName varchar(50),
Size bigint,
MaxSize bigint,
FileId int,
CreateLSN numeric(30,2),
DropLSN numeric(30,2),
UniqueId uniqueidentifier,
ReadOnlyLSN numeric(30,2),
ReadWriteLSN numeric(30,2),
BackupSizeInBytes bigint,
SourceBlockSize int,
FileGroupId int,
LogGroupGUID uniqueidentifier,
DifferentialBaseLSN numeric(30,2),
DifferentialBaseGUID uniqueidentifier,
IsReadOnly int,
IsPresent int,
TDEThumbprint varchar(10))

-- Execute above created SP to get the RESTORE FILELISTONLY output into a table

insert into #tblBackupFiles
exec #sp_restoreheaderonly @backuplocation

-- Build the T-SQL RESTORE statement
set @sql = 'RESTORE DATABASE ' + @dbname + ' FROM DISK = ''' + @backuplocation +  ''' WITH STATS = 1, '

select @sql = @sql + char(13) + ' MOVE ''' + LogicalName + ''' TO ''' + @filelocation + LogicalName + '.' + RIGHT(PhysicalName,CHARINDEX('\',PhysicalName)) + ''','
from #tblBackupFiles
where IsPresent = 1

set @sql = SUBSTRING(@sql,1,LEN(@sql)-1)

-- Get the RESTORE DATABASE command

print @sql

-- Cleanup temp objects
drop procedure #sp_restoreheaderonly;
drop table #tblBackupFiles

I created the above script which currently works on SQL Server 2008 and above. The above T-SQL script will look into the Restore Filelistonly output from a backup file and generate the Restore Database command using the Logical and Physical filenames. Another limitation of the above script is that it assumes that there is only 1 database backup in the backup file.


Generating SELECT INTO scripts for all user tables

Often on data recovery cases, we need to extract all the user table data into a new database. There are multiple options to perform this task:

1. Export/Import Wizard

2. Custom SSIS Task

3. Copy Database Wizard

4. BCP operations

5. SELECT INTO T-SQL commands

I find that the last option is the easiest. I use the following script to get all the T-SQL SELECT…INTO commands for all user tables in the old database:

 select 'select * into <new db>.''.[''] from <old db>.''.['']' from sys.objects a inner join sys.schemas b on a.schema_id = b.schema_id where a.type = 'U' 

Note: You will have to replace the new database and old database names with the appropriate names. The above script only works for versions of SQL Server 2005 and above.

How to convert a LiteSpeed backup into a native SQL backup

I know all you folks out there are probably more proficient at playing around with LiteSpeed backups than I am. Recently, I had to play around with LiteSpeed backups on a regular basis while troubleshooting a particular case for a customer. I knew that there was a utility called Extractor for LiteSpeed which can convert the LiteSpeed backups into native SQL backups. 


-F|–BackupFile {path}        Path of the backup or restore file devices 

-N|–BackupIndex  {n}       File number (If multiple backups appended within BackupFile(s))

-E|–MTFFile {path}            Path of the Microsoft Tape Format file(s) to be written.  Specify either one or the correct number of files.  If only one file is named, set will be created with index suffixes. If no files listed, Extractor will print number of MTF files to be written.

-K|–Key {key}                 String used to decrypt database backup file(s) Only required if backup is encrypted.
-I|–Overwrite                   Overwrite MTFFile(s). Equivalent of INIT in native SQLServer backups

-L|–LogLevel {n}              Logging option


Extractor.exe -FC:\LiteSpeedTran.BKP -EC:\NativeBackup.BKP -N1  

NOTE: To use Extractor utility, you do not need LiteSpeed to be installed on the box. (But the licensing policies and EULA still apply if you are using Extractor) 

How to get backup header information for LiteSpeed backups 

If you have LiteSpeed installed on your box, then you can executed the following XSP command to get a RESTORE HEADERONLY output for a LiteSpeed backup file. This will give a similar output that the T-SQL command RESTORE HEADERONLY provides: 

exec master.dbo.xp_restore_headeronly @filename =  'C:\LiteSpeedTran.BKP'

Hope this information is helpful for individuals whose working knowledge is at not an EXPERT level with this product. I am a LiteSpeed noob!

Did you know about the –m startup parameter

I am sure –m is startup parameter that most number of DBAs have used at one point of time or the other during a disaster recovery scenario involving an issue with system databases or even while moving system database files.

There is a hidden gem about the –m startup parameter which most of us are not aware of or do not use often when required. That is the Client Application Name filter along with the –m parameter. I have gotten frustrated multiple times when I started the SQL instance in single user mode and a sysadmin connection latched onto the only connection (read: SQL Performance monitoring app, CRM apps, or any other 24X7 LOB apps).

If you want to start SQL Server in Single User mode using –m startup parameter, then you can now prevent other applications from connecting to the instance by specifying the restricted Client Application Name which can only connect to the instance. Note that this is a case sensitive parameter. Before specifying the Client Application Name filter, check what the program_name is showing your application name in the sys.dm_exec_sessions DMV output.

If you are doing this for SQL instance maintenance operations, then specify the filter as “SQLCMD” or “Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio – Query” as you should be able to run your scripts from either of the two applications SQLCMD or SSMS.

No more tearing your hair out to figure out who took up the sole connection to the SQL instance when you don’t want that lone wolf to be in demand by other applications.