Where to find the WSS 3.0 Default Databases to recover, in a Disaster

Someone asked me this tonight, and sure enough, maybe this post will help someone at 3am (when this stuff usually goes down), where they have a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS) setup, have a catastrophic failure and can’t recover from backups, but instead need to find stuff from all that is left on the disk (such as in mounting the disk, but not the operating system).


So, if you are reading this in the wee hours, for starters, my heart is with you, I’ve been there before and I feel for you. Second, if you need to know (in a pinch) where your WSS database files are likely stored, if you installed WSS with the defaults (Standalone Installation), here’s where you’ll find them (and frankly, you only should probably bother with the Content Database and simply rebuild the farm, if you don’t have a backup, etc., but every situation is different):


Default WSS 3.0 Standalone Install Database locations


If you went with pure WSS 3.0 defaults, you are looking for:

  • WSS_Content.mdf 
  • WSS_Content_log.LDF 



And if you care about getting the Search DB’s (I wouldn’t) and ConfigDB:

  • Config 
    • SharePoint_Config_some_long_serial.mdf 
    • SharePoint_Config_some_long_serial_log.LDF 
  • Search 
    • WSS_Search_COMPUTERNAME.mdf 
    • WSS_Search_COMPUTERNAME_log.LDF 


And they are located in: