Can't restore SQL Server 2000 backup to SQL Server 2008

I have a backup file taken from a SQL Server 2000 database and I'm trying to restore it to a 2008 database. However, I'm getting this error:

An exception occurred while executing a Transact-SQL statement or batch. (Microsoft.SqlServer.ConnectionInfo) The media family on device 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Backup\customers.bak' is incorrectly formed. SQL Server cannot process this media family. RESTORE HEADERONLY is terminating abnormally. (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 3241)

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asked Nov 04 '09 at 01:18 AM in Default

Sarit gravatar image

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Would it be possible to post your T-SQL restore script for clarification. If you are using the SQL Server Management Studio GUI, just script out the process.
Nov 04 '09 at 06:38 AM John Sansom
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8 answers: sort voted first

I have seen this error on a number of occassions and often it is becuase the backup file you are attempting to restore is corrupt.

Ideally you should look to source an alternative backup of the database in question.

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answered Nov 04 '09 at 06:37 AM

John Sansom gravatar image

John Sansom
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I would try to restore the backup onto a SQL 2000 server. That should help you figure out whether or not the backup is corrupted.

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answered Nov 04 '09 at 04:17 PM

Alvin Ramard gravatar image

Alvin Ramard
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You can try out Idera's new SQL Virtual Database here http://www.idera.com/Products/SQL-Toolbox/SQL-virtual-database/

to extract your data and transfer them to a SQL Server 2008 database.

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answered Nov 04 '09 at 04:35 AM

Peso gravatar image

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That sounds like the error you get when trying to restore a backup created Via Litespeed not SQL. Are you sure that the backup file was created by SQL and not 3rd party Backup software?

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answered Nov 04 '09 at 01:32 AM

Brian gravatar image

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I am the one who took the backup (years ago). It was a hosted SQL Server. If I remember correctly, I got the backup using some sort of online "control panel".
Nov 04 '09 at 01:44 AM Sarit
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I successfully restored several SQL 2000 backups on SQL 2008 servers. Like said by other contributors, I suspect your bak file is corrupted or has been done using a 3rd party tool. Did you check if RESTORE VERIFYONLY works?

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answered Nov 05 '09 at 12:15 PM

elian gravatar image


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asked: Nov 04 '09 at 01:18 AM

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Last Updated: Apr 03 '13 at 09:31 AM