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A client has a very important database that has not been backed up in 6 months. The PC has promptly failed. The Windows directory is corrupt, and the computer will not boot.

It had a Microsoft SQL Server Express 2005 database on it. I have access to the hard drive by booting in with an Ubuntu Live CD, but I am not sure if I can find the database. I am not sure what I am looking for, or where to look either. The dead machine had Windows XP on it.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

you are searching for something usualy stored like this


C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Data



probably existing backups are stored usualy here

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Backup\<anyname>.bak
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These are the default locations, but I'd search the entire hard drive for .MDF and .LDF files just-in-case. – JBRWilkinson Nov 20 '12 at 11:38

Try the path

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Data

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