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I have a .bak file created by some other user in (I think) SQL Server 2008 R2 (10.50) and I need to restore it in SQL Server R2 SP2 (10.52). I used a hex viewer to look into the .bak file and found out a string containing something like "MSSQL10_50.SQL...", so that's how I guessed it was created in R2.

I get errors when trying to restore it from Management Studio interface, and also when I try to only verify the .bak file using T-SQL:


I get:

Msg 3241, Level 16, State 13, Line 1
The media family on device 'D:\aep_p.bak' is incorrectly formed. SQL Server cannot process this media family.
Msg 3013, Level 16, State 1, Line 1
VERIFY DATABASE is terminating abnormally.

My questions are:

  1. Is it possible to restore a .bak from R2 to R2 SP2?
  2. If yes, then why do I get that error?

EDIT Thank you all for your suggestions. The guys from the MSDN forums found a solution to my problem. It seemed that was my fault, because I was trying to open a .bak file created in SQL Server Express 2012 in SQL Server Express R2 SP2 :)


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What happens if you do a RESTORE HEADERONLY FROM DISK=<backup file location>? –  Mike Fal May 21 '13 at 20:18
Actually, SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2 is 10.50.4000 source. What @MikeFal suggested will give you the version number of the source server. –  swasheck May 22 '13 at 3:35
RESTORE HEADERONLY FROM DISK = N'D:\aep_p.bak'; Look at the SoftwareVersionMajor, SoftwareVersionMinor and SoftwareVersionBuild columns - they will give you the version of the server that created the backup. –  Greenstone Walker May 22 '13 at 4:58
RESTORE LABELONLY FROM DISK = N'D:\aep_p.bak'; Look at the FamilySequenceNumber and MediaSequenceNumber columns. Perhaps this bak file is one of a set - you can't restore unless you have all members of the set. –  Greenstone Walker May 22 '13 at 5:01
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migrated from stackoverflow.com May 21 '13 at 20:01

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

In theory, yes this is possible.

The error you are getting, though, could be down to:

  • the backup file being corrupt - can the backup be successfully restored on another server?
  • the backup file being created with something other than SQL Server backup
  • your SQL Server service hasn't got the right permissions to read the backup file
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The service pack should not be the problem. All information I have found points to a problem with the actual .bak file itself. There was an interesting piece on SQLCoffee about transfer protocol corrupting a .bak file. Basic premise was the FTP mode was text instead of binary. How was the .bak transferred and can you have another copy ported over?

Wrong FTP mode

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