Know How to Fix SQL Error 5171 Interruption

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  • Updated on August 18th, 2023

SQL Server database is a relational database management system, which is very helpful in handling huge data. However, from time to time SQL users encounter several errors while working on it. One such interruption is SQL error 5171. When such interruption occurs, an error message appears on the screen like:

” An exception occurred while executing a Transact-SQL statement or batch._db.mdf is not a primary database file. (Microsoft SQL Server, Error:5171)”.

It is seen this error 5171 occurs in the SQL Server database when the header page or any other page in the database is corrupt. Due, to the user is not able to access the database or open MDF files present in the database. There are reasons also behind this error which are as follows:

Root causes of SQL Error 5171:

  • Abrupt system shutdown.
  • Virus/ Malware attack.
  • Or, there is severe corruption in the file header.
  • There is either a damaged index or damaged media.

When Microsoft SQL Server Error 5171, occurs data becomes inaccessible, and if in case there is no backup then resolving this error is a bit tedious. There are some scenarios in which such errors took place.

Scenarios in which SQL Server Error 5171 occurs:

Scenario 1: When a user is using a mirror database in an SQL Server database & you get the database online by giving ALTER DATABASE command.

How to Fix: Procedures to be followed are as follows:

  • Set the Principal database & then use the ‘ALTER DATABASE MODIFY FILE’ command.
  • After this change the file information.
  • Now, immediately stop the running server.
  • And, then restart the SQL Server database.
  • Attach the database files MDF & LDF.

By, doing this you will lose the mirrored database & again you have to perform database mirroring.

Scenario 2: When you are trying to upgrade your SQL database from one version to another. You may be wondering, how will I encounter error 5171, while doing so. But, during the whole process when you detach the database and after installation reattach it by adding MDF & LDF files. You might encounter this error.

Sql error 5171

Know How to Fix SQL Error 5171

To fix it, what you can do is use ‘sp_attach_db’ in order to attach your database.

sp_attach_db @dbname = N’mydb’

@filename1 =

N’C :\Program Files\ Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL13.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Data\mydb_Data.mdf’ ,

@filename2 =

N’C :\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL13.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Data\ mydb_log.ldf’;

Another Approach to Fix SQL Error 5171:

If even after following these ways, you are not able to fix the error, then you need to opt for an SQL Database Recovery tool. It will help you resolve several errors in the SQL database immediately and fixes issues in Page-compression and Server-row compression in SQL database. You can try its demo version in order to evaluate its performance and get your recovered output.

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As, you can see it is difficult to resolve SQL error 5171, by manual technique. So, to fix it on an immediate basis, you can opt for a recovery tool and resolve issues related to database files immediately. It will also help you to restore database objects like foreign keys, identities, user-defined functions, default constraints, etc. in minimum time. Overall it is a complete solution to resolve issues present in SQL Server Databases.

About The Author:

Pallavi is a content writer in the field of data recovery and email migration. She has a passion for creating engaging and thought-provoking content. With several years of experience in the field, she has developed a deep understanding of various writing styles and formats,

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