Filegroup Restore from a Full Backup?

Can you perform a SQL Server filegroup restore using a full backup file as input?  I couldn’t find anything that specifically stated that in documentation, so I tried it.  YES you can!  It worked great!  I wanted to use this technique to create a testing database without copying the data from a particular set of tables (in this case it was filestream data) on a different server.  I just used the existing full backup file from my production database and ran a RESTORE command.   Here are a couple of notes about it:

  1. The database cannot previously exist, so you must drop the database first.
  2. You must restore (at a minimum) the primary filegroup and the log, using the WITH REPLACE option.

I cut about 66% of the restore time off (since there were many filestream documents in the filegroup that I skipped).


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