Find Databases attached to an non-active SQL instance
I've four SQL server instances (2 SQL 2005, 1 SQL 2008 AND 1 SQL 2008 Express) in a machine. Unfortunately one SQL server instance was an evaluation version which has recently expired and I'm unable to start the instance. Is there a way to find out which databases (including mdf and ldf filepaths) were attached to this instance?
Couple of ways. One is by searching for your mdf and ldfs and compare that list to the locations of your active instance. You could also try to rename the files, if they are in use then you can't. If you can rename then it isn't in use and probably belongs to the instance who expired. You can also look in services for the instance that is not running and see what the named instance was, you know it isn't express because that is free. Unless you changed the default location for data files, you an browse to that instance data folder and find your database files there.