I backed up a 2008 R2 database and copied to a server with a 2016 SQL Server. I tried using the restore database dialog but it does not seem to want to work. When I use the dialog I have the following:

Restore database dialog

The drop down for Database is empty. Also when I grabbed that sibk file the open dialog was looking for *.bak, *.tm and *.log and the backup created in 2008 is none of those. So I chose All Files. Not sure that's a clue to the problem.

  • try restoring using T-SQL and also refer here spaghettidba.com/2016/02/23/… which could be the misleading space case in your scenario as well Nov 9, 2017 at 22:48
  • What is T-SQL sorry? I am not a database guy.
    – Richard
    Nov 9, 2017 at 22:51
  • T-SQL is SQL Server's version of SQL (Structured Query Language). Whatever you do in the GUI, SQL Server Management Studio uses to generated the actual T-SQL code that's run to accomplish the task. By writing the T-SQL code directly, you can sometimes work around things the GUI won't let you do (especially if there's a bug in the GUI, as in the link in the comments above.
    – RDFozz
    Nov 9, 2017 at 23:01
  • If you're 100% sure the sibk file is your SQL Server 2008 R2 database backup from the other server, then using "All Files" to select it (presumably because it doesn't have a file extension) should be fine. If it's not an actual backup file, then how you selected it won't matter - it won't work. Did you use the GUI on the SQL Server 2008R2 box to generate the backup file? Are you 100% sure this is that file? Does the file have an extension (and if so, what)?
    – RDFozz
    Nov 9, 2017 at 23:07
  • It is the right file. I think now it might be a permissions issue.
    – Richard
    Nov 9, 2017 at 23:18

1 Answer 1


The fact that he database drop-down is blank suggests to me that the backup file is invalid/corrupt in some way.

First, try and restore the backup file header to confirm that the file is a valid SQL backup. In Management Studio, connect to your SQL 2016 instance and open a new query window. Run the following:

RESTORE HEADERONLY FROM DISK = 'C:\Users\nasscribe\Documents\sibk\sibk'

If you receive an error from this query, either it is not a valid SQL backup file (possible that there was a write error during the backup process on your 2008 R2 instance, or you just grabbed the wrong file), or it is a permissions issue where the SQL Service account cannot access the file, and you'll see something similar to below:

Msg 5120, Level 16, State 101, Line 1 Unable to open the physical file "C:\Users\nasscribe\Documents\sibk\sibk". Operating system error 5: "5(Access is denied.)".

If you receive the above message, copy the backup file to somewhere like C:\Temp\ and retry.

If instead you see an error like this:

Msg 3241, Level 16, State 0, Line 3 The media family on device 'C:\Users\nasscribe\Documents\sibk\sibk' is incorrectly formed. SQL Server cannot process this media family.

Msg 3013, Level 16, State 1, Line 3 RESTORE HEADERONLY is terminating abnormally.

Then the backup file is not a valid SQL backup. Provided you still have access to your old server, connect to it and re-run the backup:

BACKUP DATABASE TO DISK = '[Backup path here]\sibk.bak' WITH STATS=5

Once done copy it over to your 2016 server and run the restore again.

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