A File Activation Error Occurred. Physical file name may be incorrect.

  • A SQL Server instance was restarted and one database did not come back online. The error message below is in the log. I look in the data folder and see an APP01_Record.mdf data file but the error message points to 'APP01_Record.APP01_Record_Image' which is a folder.

    Still learning on SQL Server and I'm not understanding why it is pointing to this image folder. Is there something special about this database?

    A file activation error occurred. The physical file name 'T:\MSSQL10_50.APP01\MSSQL\DATA\APP01_Record.APP01_Record_Image' may be incorrect. Diagnose and correct additional errors, and retry the operation.

  • What are the exact errors in the SQL Server error log?

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  • GilaMonster (10/17/2013)


    What are the exact errors in the SQL Server error log?

    This is the only message in the error log. I brought the database offline. Tried to bring it online and it still gives the same message.

    "A file activation error occurred. The physical file name 'T:\MSSQL10_50.APP01\MSSQL\DATA\APP01_Record.APP01_Record_Image' may be incorrect. Diagnose and correct additional errors, and retry the operation."

    I noticed under this folder T:\MSSQL10_50.APP01\MSSQL\DATA\APP01_Record.APP01_Record_Image there is another directory $FSLOG.

  • You have filestream enabled.

    Filestream has a separate filegroup for its data and there will be a file or two in this filegroup that are actually pointing to files. These need to exist, just like the files for mdf/ndf files in filegroups need to exist.

    Either you lost this folder or have a permissions change that prevented access. This needs to be corrected.

  • Also, you need to review the SQL log from when the error first occurred. Sometimes when errors occur SQL gets stopped and restarted, which causes a log switch. But for the full error info, you need to see the log that was active when the error actually originated.

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  • One other reason this can happen is if you have the data folder on the root of a drive (i.e. a drive used exclusively for MDF files).

    For example, if we had the data drive defaulting to D:\, it may show this as the MDF file when restoring the database:

    D:DBName.mdf

    You may have noticed a missing backslash. which can throw the activation error. Though this is purely SSMS creating an invalid restore script, the solution is to either script the restore manually or click the "Relocate All Files To Folder" checkbox and in the Data option add the backslash after "D:", so it reads:

    D:\ <-- add the missing backslash

     

    Just in case anyone else has this issue, this will hopefully save you hours of troubleshooting if you come across this article while googling for an answer.

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