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How would one start the secondary mirror instance if the principal SQL server instance went off line?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm assuming you don't have automatic failover and no witness, otherwise the mirror would have been promoted automatically.

In this case you need to switch the roles manually, with forced service:

ALTER DATABASE database_name SET PARTNER FORCE_SERVICE_DATA_LOSS

See Role Switching During a Database Mirroring Session
and ALTER DATABASE Database Mirroring for more detail.

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Correct we don't have automatic fail over with a witness. Can you run that command on a database that is in a restoring state? –  davey Feb 1 '13 at 16:31
    
That's what it was made for. –  spaghettidba Feb 1 '13 at 16:34
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