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How to move master and resource system databases?

I received an phone call from a friend today asking how to move master and resource system databases in Microsoft SQL Server 2012.

Well, the process is very simple and is explained in this blog post:

Moving “master” database

The following are the steps to move master database:

  1. Launch SQL Server Configuration Manager and display the Properties for the SQL Server service.

  2. Activate Startup Parameters and modify the datafile (-d) and log file (-l) startup parameters to reference the new location (see below):

  3. Click Apply and then stop the SQL Server service (see below):

  4. Move the master database files to the new location and then start the SQL Server service (see below):

Moving “resource” database (only applies to SQL Server 2005)

The following are the steps to move “resource” database:

  1. Start in master-only recovery mode by running:


  2. Launch a command prompt and run sqlcmd.

  3. Use the ALTER DATABASE statement with the MODIFY FILE option to specify the new location for the resource database data and log files.

  4. Use the ALTER DATABASE statement to make the Resource database read-only.

  5. Stop the SQL Server service.

  6. Move the database files for the “resource” database to new location.

  7. Start the SQL Server service.

I hope you will find this information useful :-D

Basit's SQL Server Tips

Basit Farooq is a Lead Database Administrator, Trainer and Technical Author. He has more than a decade of IT experience in development, technical training and database administration on Microsoft SQL Server platforms. Basit has authored numerous SQL Server technical articles, and developed and implemented many successful database infrastructure, data warehouse and business intelligence projects. He holds a master's degree in computer science from London Metropolitan University, and industry standard certifications from Microsoft, Sun, Cisco, Brainbench, Prosoft and APM, including MCITP Database Administrator 2008, MCITP Database Administrator 2005, MCDBA SQL Server 2000 and MCTS .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications.


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