Top Factors Responsible For SQL Database Corruption


Today, all businesses utilize databases for almost all their transactions ranging from CRM to marketing and sales. Hence, when a database failure occurs, the organization is at the risk of losing mission-critical information and data that may prove costly to the entire business. According to Forbes, data is an organization’s most valuable asset. It is the chief concern and responsibility of a database administrator to ensure that data is seamlessly available to everyone concerned. However, at times, corruption may end up causing inaccessibility and degrading performance. A corrupt database is the worst ever nightmare for DBAs across the globe. Data corruption should be repaired or fixed promptly to avoid permanent data loss. There are several factors leading to database corruption or failure.

File Corruption

When some files are corrupt in a database, those files can make the database fail, resulting in corruption. Files may get corrupted because of multiple reasons. We understand that primary files may get corrupted because of SQL Server account changes, file header corruption, and accidental data deletion. When Secondary File corruption occurs, the entire database becomes inaccessible. If you attempt access to the damaged or corrupted database, different error messages will start showing up. 

You may identify some solutions for repairing a corrupt database. There seems to be no guarantee of complete data recovery. You may consider using the log files for restoring the database. But log files do not seem to be good enough for recovering the database in case of several corruption cases since a few backup files may get damaged in case of any critical corruption. Another effective way of repairing a damaged database is by utilizing relevant database console commands like DBCC DEBREPAIR, and DBCC CHECKDB. These console commands help fix minor corruption, but they are not well-equipped or proficient enough to fix critical corruption issues.                                                                            

File System Damage

If a computer or server is abruptly or incorrectly shut down, a power surge occurs, or an incident takes place interrupting when data is being written on the files. In such cases, the Operating System files may get corrupted or damaged. After the incident, it is best to opt for repair or a thorough inspection to rule out any future data loss. Sometimes a repair is necessary for mounting or modifying a file system. Moreover, even after an inspection, if no damage is reported, repair of the file system may still be essential. Remember that an abrupt shutdown of the system may trigger hardware failure.

Hardware & Software Failures

Hardware failures could lead to disk crashes, memory errors, bad disk sectors, etc. Hardware errors could be because of overloading, design errors, poor or insufficient QC during the fabrication process, and worn-out mechanical parts. Software failures could include failures associated with the operating system, application programs, etc. Over 95 percent of database corruption issues occur because of hardware failures. A computer is supposed to store all data and information on its hard disk drive. In the event, the hard disk crashes or fails, all the valuable data stored in it become inaccessible. In such a case, the situation demands immediate repair of the database. 

Virus Infection

Nothing could be more harmful and hazardous than a computer virus. The virus is supposed to be the most common cause of data corruption in your computer. Practically all computer files are susceptible to virus infection. A virus may enter your system in numerous ways, for instance, via an email attachment, visits to malicious websites, file downloads online, etc. A database is susceptible to virus infection. All your critical database files may get corrupted and become inaccessible. 

Internal Bugs

Practically all software applications tend to have internal bugs. Because of the presence of an internal bug, your entire system or a specific software application may produce an unanticipated or wrong result. Alternatively, it may start acting in unintended or abnormal ways. There are some internal bugs in all servers often leading to serious issues. The internal bugs present in a Structured Query Language server may be responsible for causing corruption of crucial database files.

Human Errors

‘To err is human’. Human beings are prone to making mistakes. There is always scope for human errors. Often accidents occur due to human errors. Life may change dramatically because of human errors and mistakes. Human errors could be far more hazardous than one can ever imagine. Human errors include several mistakes that we commit accidentally without understanding or anticipating the consequences, like incorporating corrupted or invalid data, deleting system files, etc. When you incorrectly upgrade a server from its earlier versions to a relatively newer option, it is known as a human error.


Irrespective of how trusted your DBMS is, it simply cannot give you an assurance that there will be no hitches. You cannot expect failure-free transactions on every occasion. It is a good idea to seek expert guidance and assistance in preventing harmful database failures or corruption. Experts will analyze the overall database health and help analyze and determine the problems in the long run.



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