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Guru's Guide to SQL Server Architecture and Internals, The by Ken Henderson

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Architectural Details

The data maintained by Microsoft Search—the full-text indexes and catalog information it uses to service queries—is not stored in regular system tables and can't be accessed directly from SQL Server. It's stored in operating system files and is accessible only by the service itself and by NT administrators. By default, these files are located in the FTDATA folder under your root SQL Server installation path. These files are not backed up by regular database backups, so you must back them up separately (and synchronize these backups with the backup of their corresponding metadata within SQL Server) if you want to protect them from catastrophic loss.

It's helpful to think of Microsoft Search as a text server in the same way ...

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