How do I restore a Master Database in a SQL Server 7.0 or 2000 clustering environment?

This is especially important in a disaster scenario where the Master database is corrupt and you need to restore from a previous backup of the Master database. To restore a Master database, the server has to be started in the single user mode, and that’s where the problem comes in, since Cluster Administrator is the only place to do any restarts of the server:

You would think that an important topic like this would be widely covered, but since it is not, here’s the relatively easy and straight-forward solution for SQL Server 7.0 and SQL Server 2000. Just follow these steps.

  1. Identify which cluster node SQL Server is currently running on, such as node1.

  2. From Cluster Administrator, take the SQL Server resources off-line.

  3. Go to the node running SQL Server (see step 1) and start it from the command prompt using: sqlservr.exe -c -m

  4. Restore the Master database using Query Analyzer or Enterprise Manager.

  5. Quit SQL Server from the command prompt.

  6. Using Cluster Administrator, restart the SQL Server resources.


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