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The Dangers of Detach

September 18, 2013

I ran across a twitter conversation about a post recently. The post talks about detaching or attaching databases in bulk.

I agree that detaching databases in some cases is bad, but it’s not necessarily something I’d avoid. Detach is a good way to prep for upgrades, movement, etc. It may or may not be faster than backup/restore, depending on your environment, but it’s something to consider.

However.

If you are going to detach, there are a couple things I’d recommend. First, make sure you have a good backup. A backup is just that, a backup plan, a backup file, a way to recover when things go wrong. It isn’t your data, it’s a copy. A detached mdf is your data. Make sure you have a backup before detaching and messing with files.

Second, never move files. Never, ever, ever, ever, move database files. Detach/attach is a valid way to move databases, but always copy the files.

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