After transferring the files to the new computer, the program worked fine for nearly a year. This was simply copying the .mdf and .ldf files that seem to store everything.
Then the app was still pointing at its old SQL instance. Copying SQL Server database files is NOT sufficient to get the database available and working in a new location, the files need to be attached to the instance or a backup (and I mean a database backup, not a file backup) restored, logins created with their passwords, permissions need to be set, etc.
If there is no other way around the problem I guess I will have to find someone versed in SQL to come in and fix my mess. But I'd love to give it another shot and see if there is a way to recover the data simply.
If you want to spend time fiddling, by all means. Figure out what database instance the app is trying to connect to (It's the machine called CUBE-PC, the SQL named instance called CSS), log in to that instance, make sure that the database that the app needs (DataDir) exists, if not attach the files or restore a database backup.
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)SQL In The Wild
: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability
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