One of the really nice IT Pro features in SharePoint, introduced back in SharePoint Server 2010 is a feature called “recover data from an unattached content database”. It allows us to perform a granular recovery of content from an unattached content database (content database restored from a backup). I’m sure many of you are already familiar with this feature and have probably seen various demos etc. so I’m not going to re-hash it here.
Feature is pretty well documented here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh269602.aspx, unfortunately the problem is if you pay close attention to this TechNet article especially where they talk about how to recover data from an unattached content database using PowerShell you will find that it is not complete, in fact not even close.
While it is a pretty nice feature there are too many moving parts, what I mean is you have to restore the database first, then you have to export the list out of unattached content database using Central Administration UI, then you have to run Import-SPWeb PowerShell to actually import the list into the site where you want to recover the deleted list.
I created a PowerShell to automate the exporting of list from an unattached content database and importing to the site, you still need to restore content database from a backup prior to running the script. You can get the script from here http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Recover-List-from-an-04fa609a