Our server & Backup data got crashed and we had a recovered the data using the recovery Tool. Currently I am having .BAK Files. When we are trying to rebuild the DB using the recovered .bak file getting the Errors

when i try restoring through query

   FROM DISK = N'Path\To\Backup.bak'
   WITH MOVE 'dbName_DataFileLogicalName' TO 'Path\To\Data.mdf',
        MOVE 'dbName_LogFileLogicalName' TO 'Path\To\Log.ldf',
       STATS = 10

i get the error as

Msg 3241, Level 16, State 0, Line 1 The media family on device 'D:\DB\NASH_20160718.bak' is incorrectly formed. SQL Server cannot process this media family. Msg 3013, Level 16, State 1, Line 1 RESTORE DATABASE is terminating abnormally.

please help thanks !!

  • Are you using the same version of SQL Server? It sounds like you're trying to restore to an older version of SQL Server
    – SQLStad
    Sep 14, 2016 at 11:21
  • No, the bak file was genarated to SQL Express & SSMS 2008 ,and restoring to the same config !! Sep 14, 2016 at 12:26
  • 1
    Was the backup file recovered with some other 3rd party software (other than Sql Server)? That error is sometimes seen when the backup was taken or restored by a non-native method which puts a different header on the file making sql reject it.
    – rvsc48
    Sep 14, 2016 at 12:44
  • Try and restore it in a later version of SQL Server Express (download 2016 on your desktop) and see if that works. Sep 15, 2016 at 1:34

1 Answer 1


you can get this message in different error/ issues on during the backup/restore process. To identify and fix this problem.

  1. You might using different backup version than what your current database. This is the most probable cause of what I suspect from the error message displayed. You might have a backup file from higher version and now your current server is lower version. you can always restore from lower to higher but can not backward.
  2. The second issue could be, you might have a corrupted backup file. So first make sure you have restore able backup file.
  3. Your backup file might be encrypted. Make sure your backup is not encrypted and if so you might need to find the decryption key.

Hopefully this will resolve your issue.

  • Hi, my actual problem is that my server has crashed and by using some 3rd party recovery tool ,we where able to recover a XXXX.bak file ,but when we restore to new server it gives me the error as i have mentioned above.so my question is that is there any possible way through which i will able get that data ?? thanks Sep 16, 2016 at 5:25
  • Yes it is possible to do so. Just upgrade your current server to similar or upper version level with your old (Crashed) server level. Then you can restore your database.
    – sqluser09
    Sep 16, 2016 at 13:14

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