I found myself having to restore a Microsoft SQL 2000 database using only a file system backup. I was very cautious about my approach, because I wanted to restore the database to a database with a different name. I did this by using “Attach database …” from Enterprise Manager.

Right mouse click on “Databases”.
Go to “All Tasks”
Then, “Attach Database…”
Browse to MDF file that you restored (MDF and LDF should be restored from file system backup), by clicking the “…” next to the “Verify” button.
Then, database name you want to use for the restored database in the “Attach as” field.
Then, choose the database owner in the “Specify database owner” drop down.

It worked great, and was simple. Of course, I know that I should be doing the restores from a SQL backup, but circumstances came up where that was the only backup I had to work from. I will probably verify this procedure on a more current version of SQL server and update accordingly.

I decided to go from one extreme to the other. I installed SQL Server 2012 RCO to try to restore a database from a file system backup. It is a little different, but basically the same steps.

Right mouse click on “Databases” and click “Attach…”
Click the “Add…” button and add the mdf file you restored.
Then double click the name under the “Attach As” column heading to restore to a database with a different name.
Click “Ok” to finish.