I have a cached ArcGIS 10.0 MapService that I need to start but the DB which was used as the datasource for creating the tiles is no longer available. Is there a way to start the service without datasources?
As its cached, you can create a cached skeleton service.
First you build the cache, then you strip out the layers in your MXD, re-publish but dont update cache.
What I recommend is to have a dummy layer of the extent of your cache (same coordinate system) and not turned on. Just done ever re-build your cache.
This is what Esri refer to as a skeleton service.
Its also a common approach when the data sits behind a firewall and they just need the tiles on the server out in the DMZ and dont want to have duplicate data stored out in the DMZ or if there are security concerns over having the datasets out in the DMZ when all the data is being used for is a visual basemap and no need to query against the map service.
You will have to replace the MXD / MSD document that is used by that map service with another one that actually has data.
Note that when you do this, the server will not be able to respond (correctly) to Query or Export requests, or anything else that would require the original source data. However, the tiles will still be served up from the tile cache.