.SDF File Recovery

Have files been deleted due to a user’s error or software error? Have you formatted a disk by accident and need to know how to recover the files? Read our .SDF file recovery guide for Windows, MacOS, Android and IOS in 2024.

SDF File Recovery

What is a .SDF file?

Compact relational database developed by Microsoft, also known the SQL Server Compact (SQL CE) format; designed for applications that run on mobile devices and desktops; contains the complete database contents and can be up to 4GB in size.

What Are Common Causes of ".SDF" Files Lost or Failure?

There can be several common causes for ".SDF" files lost or failure:

  1. Accidental deletion: Users may accidentally delete the ".SDF" files while performing file management tasks, such as deleting unnecessary files or folders.
  2. File system errors: File system errors can occur due to improper system shutdown, power outages, or hardware failures. These errors can corrupt the ".SDF" files, making them inaccessible or causing data loss.
  3. Software or application failures: Issues with the software or application that uses the ".SDF" files can lead to their loss or failure. This can include software crashes, bugs, or compatibility issues.
  4. Virus or malware attacks: Malicious software can infect and damage ".SDF" files, leading to their loss or failure. Viruses or malware can corrupt the files or delete them entirely.
  5. Disk formatting or partitioning: If a disk or partition containing ".SDF" files is formatted or partitioned without proper backup, it can result in permanent loss of the files.
  6. Hardware failures: Hard drive failures, disk errors, or other hardware malfunctions can cause ".SDF" files to become lost or inaccessible.
  7. Human errors: Human errors, such as accidental file overwriting, incorrect file manipulation, or improper handling of storage devices, can result in the loss or failure of ".SDF" files.
  8. Software updates or upgrades: Sometimes, during software updates or upgrades, ".SDF" files may be affected or incompatible, leading to their loss or failure.

It is important to regularly backup ".SDF" files to minimize the risk of data loss and use reliable data recovery tools in case of any accidental deletion or file corruption.

How to recover lost ".SDF" files?

Sometimes while working with a computer, laptop or other stationary or mobile devices, you may encounter various bugs, freezes, hardware or software failures, even in spite of regular updates and junk cleaning. As a result, an important ".SDF" file may be deleted.

Go to view
🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

By no means should you think that the only way to recover a ".SDF" file is always to create it once more.

Use programs for recovering ".SDF" files if a file was lost after accidental or deliberate deleting, formatting the memory card or the internal storage, cleaning the storage device, after a virus attack or a system failure.

Programs to recover ".SDF" files

Looking for a way to get files back? In cases when files were deleted and they cannot be restored by using standard operating system tools, use Hetman Partition Recovery.

Partition Recovery™ 4.9
The tool recovers data from any devices, regardless of the cause of data loss.

Follow the directions below:

  1. Download Hetman Partition Recovery, install and start the program.

  2. The program will automatically scan the computer and display all hard disks and removable drives connected to it, as well as physical and local disks.

    File Recovery Software
  3. Double-click on the disk from which you need to recover ".SDF" files, and select analysis type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Analysis Type
  4. When the scanning is over, you will be shown the files for recovery.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Files that Can be Restored
  5. To find a file you need, use the program’s interface to open the folder it was deleted from, or go to the folder "Content-Aware Analysis" and select the required file type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Deep Scan
  6. Select the files you have been looking for and click "Recovery".

    File Recovery Software - Files List for Recovery
  7. Choose one of the methods for saving the files and recover them.

    Saving recovered files in Hetman Partition Recovery

How to open file with ".SDF" extension?

Looking for how to open a stereo sQL Server Compact Database File image file file?

Programs that open ".SDF" files

Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Microsoft SQL Server 2016
Microsoft Visual Studio 2019 Microsoft Visual Studio 2019

Additional Information

  • File type: SQL Server Compact Database File

  • File extension: .SDF

  • Developer: Microsoft

  • Category: Database Files

  • Format: N/A

  • Mime-type: application/octet-stream

  • HEX: 00 00 00 00 00 01 00 00 53 53 43 45 20 44 61 74 61 62 61 73 65

  • ASCII: SSCE Database

  • File types that use the extension .SDF:

    • SQL Server Compact Database File

    • Spatial Data Format File

    • Standard Data File

    • Structure Data File

    • World in Conflict Game Map


We will be happy to answer your questions!

Comments (1)

  • Hetman Software: Data Recovery
    Hetman Software: Data Recovery 18.12.2019 16:16 #
    Leave a comment if you have any questions about Recovering lost .SDF files after deleting, cleaning or formatting!
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Vladimir Artiukh

Author: Vladimir Artiukh, Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices.

Oleg Afonin

Editor: Oleg Afonin, Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as xaker.ru, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies.


Questions and answers

  • What is the purpose of ".SDF Recovery" software?

    The purpose of ".SDF Recovery" software is to recover or repair corrupted or damaged .SDF (Standard Data Format) files. .SDF files are commonly used for storing structured data, such as database files in various applications or systems. This software helps to restore the data from these files when they become inaccessible due to issues like file system errors, software crashes, hardware failures, or other forms of data corruption.

  • How does ".SDF Recovery" work to recover lost or corrupted SDF files?

    ".SDF Recovery" is a software tool designed to recover lost or corrupted SDF (Standard Database Format) files. Here is a general overview of how it works:

    1. Scanning: The software scans the storage device or specified location to locate the lost or corrupted SDF files. It examines the file system and searches for any traces of the SDF files.
    2. File Analysis: Once the SDF files are found, the software analyzes their internal structure to determine the extent of corruption or damage. It identifies any missing or damaged components necessary for file recovery.
    3. Repairing: Based on the analysis, the software attempts to repair the corrupted SDF files. It may reconstruct missing components, fix structural issues, or recover data from damaged parts of the file.
    4. Data Extraction: After repairing the SDF files, the software extracts the recovered data from them. This includes tables, records, indexes, and other database elements stored within the SDF file.
    5. Saving Recovered Data: Finally, the software allows users to save the recovered data to a new SDF file or export it to other formats, such as CSV, Excel, or SQL databases.

    It's important to note that the effectiveness of ".SDF Recovery" or any recovery software can vary depending on the severity of corruption, the complexity of the SDF file structure, and other factors. It is always recommended to create backups of important files and consult professional data recovery services if needed.

  • Are there any limitations or compatibility issues with using ".SDF Recovery" for file recovery?

    There are a few limitations and compatibility issues to consider when using ".SDF Recovery" for file recovery:

    1. Compatibility: ".SDF Recovery" is primarily designed to recover files from Microsoft SQL Server databases in the .SDF format. It may not be compatible with other file formats or databases.
    2. Limited file types: The software is specifically designed for recovering SQL Server database files (.SDF). It may not be suitable for recovering other types of files, such as documents, images, or videos.
    3. Complex recovery process: Recovering files from SQL Server databases can be a complex process that requires technical knowledge and expertise. If you are not familiar with SQL Server databases, it may be challenging to use ".SDF Recovery" effectively.
    4. Data corruption: If the SQL Server database file is severely corrupted or damaged, the recovery process may not be successful. ".SDF Recovery" may have limitations in recovering data from highly damaged or inaccessible files.
    5. Limited support: Depending on the software provider, technical support and updates may be limited. Ensure that you choose a reputable and reliable software provider to minimize compatibility issues and receive necessary support.

    Before using ".SDF Recovery" or any file recovery software, it is recommended to thoroughly research its capabilities, compatibility, and user reviews to ensure it meets your specific recovery needs.

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