We have an document management application uses SQL Server 2012 to store document index information and uses a Windows file share to store the documents. We are working on migrating to store the documents within a SQL FileStream. However, we have encountered one issue.

According to this document: http://download.microsoft.com/download/d/9/4/d948f981-926e-40fa-a026-5bfcf076d9b9/FILESTREAM%20Design%20and%20Implementation%20Considerations.docx

It states that “It is not possible to back up a single file as a unit of the filegroup or to restore a single file from the filegroup backup. Keep in mind that you can export a single file when you restore the primary filegroup and then the FILESTREAM backup to a separate instance“.

There are numerous times when a client asks us to restore a single file because they accidentally modified it. With our current system (using a Windows file share that is backed up continuously) we can go to our backup system (Microsoft DPM) then select and restore just a single file to it's original location. If we use FileStream to store the documents within SQL, how can we restore just one document, not the entire database?

1 Answer 1


In short you can't. You would have to restore the entire database to another machine, then copy the needed file from the restored machine and put it into place on the production server. Single object restores and single row restores (which is what restoring a single file effectively is) have never been supported via the native tools.

  • Thanks Denny. It's not the answer that I was hoping for, but I do appreciate the feedback.
    – bmccleary
    May 14, 2013 at 22:07
  • I am mrdenny, the bringer of bad news.
    – mrdenny
    May 15, 2013 at 1:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.