Is it possible to restore the differential backup without a full backup, but having backup of the entire hard disk?


  • 2017-01-01: DIFF backup

  • 2017-01-02: entire hard disk backup (NO FULL backup)

  • 2017-01-03: DIFF backup

  • 2017-01-04: DIFF backup

Any suggestions?

  • So you have a copy of the drive that contains the MDF and LDF files for a specific point in time? That is the only backup you have then. You need the start point in order to apply any further backups. Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 15:08

1 Answer 1


No, differential backups cannot be applied on their own and cannot be applied to a database that has been fully brought online, which one from the entire disk backup would be. You need to restore a full backup first, with norecovery, then the differential.

You would also only apply one differential backup, not several, the last diff backup will contain all of the data changed since the last full backup.

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