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How to Recover InnoDB MySQL Table Data from ibdata and .frm Files

This tutorial explains how to restore MySQL tables when all or some of the tables are lost, or when MySQL fails to load table data.

One of the reason for this to happen is when the table data is corrupted.

In this particular scenario, when you connect to the MySQL database server, you cannot see one more tables, as they are missing.

Under this scenario, the MySQL log file contained the following messages:

InnoDB: Error: log file ./ib_logfile0 is of different size 0 50331648 bytes
InnoDB: than specified in the .cnf file 0 5242880 bytes!
[ERROR] Plugin 'InnoDB' init function returned error.
[ERROR] Plugin 'InnoDB' registration as a STORAGE ENGINE failed.
[ERROR] Unknown/unsupported storage engine: InnoDB
[ERROR] Aborting

The method explained below will work only for InnoDB database.

Note: Before you do anything, take a backup of all the MySQL files and database in the current condition, and keep it somewhere safe.

To restore the table data you have make sure that data directory and its contents are intact. In my case it was fine.

drwx------ 2 mysql mysql     4096 Oct 11  2012 performance_schema
drwx------ 2 mysql mysql     4096 Dec 10  2012 ndbinfo
drwx--x--x 2 mysql mysql     4096 Dec 10  2012 mysql
-rw-rw---- 1 mysql mysql       56 Dec 19  2012 auto.cnf
drwx------ 2 mysql mysql     4096 Jul 30  2013 bugs
-rw-r----- 1 mysql mysql 50331648 Mar 18 10:35 ib_logfile0
-rw-r----- 1 mysql mysql 50331648 Apr 22  2013 ib_logfile1
-rw-r----- 1 mysql mysql 35651584 Mar 18 10:35 ibdata1
  • Ibdata1 – This file is the InnoDB system table space, which contains multiple InnoDB tables and associated indexes.
  • *.frm – Holds metadata information for all MySQL tables. These files are located inside the folder of the corresponding MySQL database. (for example, inside “bugs” directory)
  • ib_logfile* – All data changes are written into these log files. This is similar to the archive logs concepts that we find in other RDBMS databases.

Copy the Files

To restore the data from the above files, first stop the MySQL server.

# service mysqld stop

Copy the ibdata files, and the database schema folder to some other directory. We will use this to restore our Mysql database. In this case, we’ll copy it to the /tmp directory. The name of the database scheme in this example is bugs.

cp –r ibdata* ib_logfile* /tmp

cp –r schema_name/  /tmp/schema_name/

Start the MySQL server:

# service mysqld start

On a related note, for a typical MySQL database backup and restore, you should use the mysqldump command.

Restore the Data

Next, restore the table data as explained below.

In the my.cnf configuration file, set the value of the following parameter to the current size of the ib_logfile0 file. In the following example, I’ve set it to 48M, as that is the size I see for the ib_logfile0 file when I did “ls -lh ib_logfile0”


Please note that both the ib_logfile0 and ib_logfile1 file size will be the same.

Copy the previous ibdata files to respective position, inside mysql data directory.

cp –r /tmp/ibdata* /var/lib/mysql/

Create an empty folder inside data directory with the same name as the database schema name that you are trying to restore, and copy the previous .frm files inside this folder as shown below:

cp –r /tmp/ib_logfile* /var/lib/mysql/
cp –r /tmp/schema_name/*.frm /var/lib/mysql/schema_name/

Finally, restart the MySQL server.

service mysqld restart

Now you have MySQL server running with the restored tables. Don’t forget to grant appropriate privileges for the clients to connect to the MySQL database.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Pravin khavate July 23, 2014, 11:36 pm

    Thanks ……
    It’s really good solution. Worked for us.

  • Eureka November 19, 2014, 10:17 am

    After days of googling and frustration, I can finally restore my database. Thanks!!

  • Kim December 10, 2014, 3:29 pm


    Thank you very much for posting this information. I followed your directions on a wamp server and was able to recover InnoDB tables. I only needed to find the directories that corresponded to the directories in this post. After that it was a snap and everything worked like you posted in this article. The tables are quite important to my client and they will be pleased to recover their data.

    Thanks again,

  • Jean July 8, 2015, 6:21 am

    Thank you for the very helpful article!

  • aditya November 3, 2015, 4:32 am

    i have lost my frm file . can we still restore it ?

  • ALILU TAHIRU June 8, 2016, 4:10 pm

    it worked like magic, you have save me millions of ghana cedis. may you be reward .

  • MHD May 20, 2017, 10:27 am

    please . can you provide me with more explanation about creation the schemma folder in the last move ?
    don’t hesitate to contact with me on my email .