The end goal is to move the MDF file of a non-critical Sharepoint site collection to a different drive. The database server/name/etc... is going to be unchanged.

Microsoft basically states that the official way to move a database is to remove it from Sharepoint, detach, move, reattach and then re-add the collection to Sharepoint.

However, if we are just moving the MDF file what can go wrong to just Detach, Move and Re-Attach? Even though Sharepoint is a very beefy web application, does it really get involved/dependent in the database settings? Application/Database server duties like this are normally handled separately.

Please explain what issues moving an MDF file location this way would cause.

1 Answer 1


Once you detach the MDF file, SharePoint will unable to access the Database and throws the error (login failed for the app pool account or no data found or 404 error). all the site collections in that content database should not be accessible. I believe there are chances any unsaved data loss.

But once you attach the mdf file to sql then SharePoint will access it and working as expected.

  • That is what I was thinking. Making a database temporarily inaccessible shouldn't have a real chance of corrupting Sharepoint. Otherwise a small network issue, for example a bad router, could have big impacts. Obviously the site would have 404 errors while it was down but I couldn't imagine any other impact. Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 15:04

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