Our network team is going to restore a server (ie the entire vm) with sql 2014 on it from a backup taken on Monday. This would include all database files. Out last full DB backup was taken the previous Friday and we have done diffs/tlog backups on a regular basis since. We want to get the databases up to date as close as we can, so I’m wondering if once the server is restored, can we just restore the most recent diff? Or do we need to restore the previous full and then the most recent diff? Tran logs will come next, but for timing purposes I’m wondering if we need the full first, or since the database will be older than the diff after the server is restored, can we just start with the diff?

  • Think you need the last full first, not sure. Make sure you take a tail log backup of the current system if it's still live. Commented Mar 26, 2023 at 1:18

2 Answers 2


Full backup restoration goes first with no recovery, latest diff comes next (no need for the other differentials) with no recovery still then restore the series of the transaction log backups after restoration of the latest diff, each with no recovery but using with recovery for the very last transaction log backup.


No you start with the full backup which is the base for the most recent differential backup each time specifying norecovery, then restore the sequence of transaction logs in order oldest after the differential backup first also specifying norecovery only when the latest transaction log has been restored should you recover the database.

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