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I have a small-but-important MS SQL Server 2000 database that I'd like to copy to a development box. I understand that the usual way to do this is to make a copy of a full backup file, and restore that backup onto the dev box.

The twist here is that I've recently inherited this database and its backups are managed by a third-party tool (Groundworks). As far as I can tell, I don't have access to the backup files themselves, but only to the Groundworks interface which doesn't appear to expose them. The database has full, differential, and transaction log backups, so I can't just make a backup on my own from Management Studio, since I understand I'll invalidate the backup chain until the next full scheduled backup.

If this were SQL Server 2005, I'd get around this with a copy-only backup, but that feature doesn't seem to be there in SQL Server 2000.

Is there an approach I'm missing? The Groundworks manual doesn't seem to cover this scenario and I haven't had any luck online, but I'm rather new to DBA work and have the feeling I've overlooked something.

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You should focus in getting access to the backup files. –  Remus Rusanu Apr 3 '12 at 16:47

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Taking a full backup will invalidate the subsequent differential backups, but it won't break the log chain. So you'd restore with your last full backup taken by the tool - and then all the subsequent log backups. Not ideal, but....

Can you take your full backup just before the tool takes its full backup?

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The full backups are scheduled in the middle of the night so I'd rather not come in then, but it's certainly an option! –  Warrior Bob Apr 3 '12 at 16:51
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@WarriorBob Just schedule the backup to occur right before your 3rd party software runs the backup. No need to physically be there. –  Thomas Stringer Apr 3 '12 at 17:28

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