Link: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/t-sql/statements/restore-service-master-key-transact-sql?view=sql-server-ver16

Assuming during a DR event I am provided with the SMK file, system db files and user db files, with the end goal of reviving a SQL server, then, is there any way to validate whether the SMK (that I force restore) actually pertains to those system/user databases?

1 Answer 1


Proactively, not really, no. The databases will need to be restored in order to test or check.

  • You mean databases that have some kind of certificate, yes?
    – variable
    Commented Dec 23, 2022 at 19:43
  • If the databases don't have a master key, there is nothing to protect so it won't matter what SMK the instance currently has loaded. If there is a DMK, none of that information is shown via database backup mechanisms, so again you won't know. Commented Dec 23, 2022 at 20:20

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