Tag Archives: rename

How to move and or rename Database files in SQL Server

An example use case for the process below could be you need to move database files to a new drive. Another example might be your organisation intends to run a legacy database along side a new updated database with both sharing the same database name in the same instance with the files located in the same directory with the same names. Obviously this cannot be done and requires the database names to differ and the files to be renamed or not exist in the same directory.

For example AdventureWorks might become AdventureWorks_Legacy while a new and improved AdventureWorks database retains the original database name. The associated database file names would also need to be changed/moved to reflect this.

Someone might also want to do something like this for test purposes but obviously having test resources in a live environment would not be recommended if avoidable.

The first step to moving and renaming the files is to copy and modify the script below. Note the script below assumes you want to move and change the names of the files. To avoid any database conflicts you only need to do one or the other.

/* 
Find & Replace DbName with the name of the Database you are working with
*/
USE [DbName];

/*
Changing Physical names and paths
Replace 'C:\...\NewDbName.mdf' with full path of new Db file to be used
*/
ALTER DATABASE DbName MODIFY FILE (
	NAME = ' DbName '
	,FILENAME = 'C:\...\NewDbName.mdf'
	);

/*
Replace 'C:\...\NewDbName_log.ldf' with full path of new Db log file to be used
*/
ALTER DATABASE DbName MODIFY FILE (
	NAME = ' DbName _log'
	,FILENAME = 'C:\...\NewDbName_log.ldf'
	);

/*
Changing logical names
*/
ALTER DATABASE DbName MODIFY FILE (
	NAME = DbName
	,NEWNAME = NewDbName
	);

ALTER DATABASE DbName MODIFY FILE (
	NAME = DbName_log
	,NEWNAME = NewDbName_log
	);
Once the script has been set up as desired follow the steps below:
  1. Open Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS).
  2. Connect to the server that houses the Db you are working with.
  3. Run the modified script
  4. Right click on the Db in SSMS and select Tasks > Take Offline
  5. If you are moving the database files log into the server that houses the database files and copy and move the MDF and LDF files to the location you specified in first two alter commands. If the script specifies new names rename the copied files to match the names given in the script exactly.
  6. Go back to SSMS and right click on the Db and select Tasks > Bring Online.
  7. If you have moved the files once the database is back online and confirmed working as expected the unused original files can be deleted.
  8. Now you can rename the Db to the new name if you wish using SSMS.

How to rename and/or remove tables in SQL Server with T-Sql generated by Excel formulas

This post deals with using an Excel file to generate T-Sql code to rename and/or remove tables given a scenario like the following. (To generate T-Sql to remove tables using T-sql see this post.)

Say someone sends you a list via an email or text file of tables they want renamed or removed from a database . You could go into SSMS object explorer and rename or delete each table in the list one by one. Or you could write the T-Sql statements individually but chances are you can speed things up using Excel.

With Excel you can input the schema and table name into a given cell and the T-Sql code will be generated to rename and drop the table using formulas.

To do this you can just download the Excel file template here. Download

Rename And Drop Script Generator

The template is setup assuming you are intending on the dropping the table sometime in the future but first you will be renaming it.

A good approach for removing objects is to rename the objects first. This makes it easier to put the environment back the way it was if there are any problems encountered. After a set period of time if there is no negative impact on the overall environment you can script out the object then drop it. (Obviously do this in a test environment first if possible)

To aid further in a cleanup project the Excel file also acts as a form that can be used to track progress as it contains the columns RenameDate, RestoreDate and DropDate. It also contains the column RestoreOriginalName. This column holds the formula to create the T-Sql code to renamed the tables back if there are any problems encountered.

You can adjust the formula in cell D2 to somethings other than _DELETE_ if you want to change the prefix so the tables will be renamed something else. If you just want to remove the tables you’ll have to run the script from column D before you can drop the tables using the script from column F.

Remember to drag the formula down for as many table entries as you have and it will generate the T-Sql needed.

You can create the Excel file manually yourself without downloading it.

To do so open a new Excel file and in an empty sheet name the first 9 columns as below:

A1: DatabaseName
B1: SchemaName
C1: TableName
D1: RenameForDeletion
E1: RestoreOriginalName
F1: DropTable
G1: RenameDate
H1: RestoreDate
I1: DropDate

For D2 enter the following:

=”USE [“&A2&”]; IF (EXISTS (SELECT * FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES WHERE TABLE_SCHEMA = ‘”&B2&”‘ AND TABLE_NAME = ‘”&C2&”‘)) BEGIN exec sp_rename ‘”&B2&”.”&C2&”‘, ‘_DELETE_”&C2&”‘ END ELSE BEGIN SELECT ‘TABLE [“&A2&”].[“&B2&”].[“&C2&”] DOES NOT EXIST’ AS [RenameFailed] END;”

For E2 enter the following:

=”USE [“&A2&”]; IF (EXISTS (SELECT * FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES WHERE TABLE_SCHEMA = ‘”&B2&”‘ AND TABLE_NAME = ‘_DELETE_”&C2&”‘)) BEGIN exec sp_rename ‘”&B2&”._DELETE_”&C2&”‘, ‘”&C2&”‘ END ELSE BEGIN SELECT ‘TABLE [“&A2&”].[“&B2&”].[“&C2&”] DOES NOT EXIST’ AS [RenameFailed] END;”

For F2 enter the following:

=”USE [“&A2&”]; IF (EXISTS (SELECT * FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES WHERE TABLE_SCHEMA = ‘”&B2&”‘ AND TABLE_NAME = ‘_DELETE_”&C2&”‘)) BEGIN DROP TABLE [“&B2&”].[_DELETE_”&C2&”] END;”

To test that the scripts generated work you can create the mock database and table using the script below. The Excel file is loaded with these values by default.

CREATE DATABASE [TidBytez];
GO

USE [TidBytez]
GO

SET ANSI_NULLS ON
GO

SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON
GO

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Customer] ([ID] [int] NULL) ON [PRIMARY]
GO