A client has given me a backup (.bak) from a SQL Server v 7 database. I am trying to load it into version 10 which is incompatible. Are there any tools that will restore or prepare an old version backup to be restored into version 10?

EDIT: Per request, here is the text from the error dialog

The database was backed up on a server running version 7.00.1063. That version is incompatible with this server, which is running version 10.00.1600. Either restore the database on a server that supports the backup, or use a backup that is compatible with this server. RESTORE DATABASE is terminating abnormally. (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 3169)


2 Answers 2


You can restore a SQL 7 backup on a SQL 2005 instance, then backup/restore or detach/attach to SQL 2012 or 2014. "version 10" is SQL 2008, so you wouldn't want to stop there, probably. You can get old installs of SQL from MSDN Subscriber Downloads, or the Express Edition is still available for download.

  • Thanks - I appreciate the "don't stop there", but for now that's as far as we're taking it. I was hoping to avoid installing multiple versions of SQL server, but will heed your advice.
    – ChronoFish
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 15:10

You are try to restore DB Backup from SQL server 7.0 sp4 to SQL 2008, which is not compatible.

Here you go, You can convert a SQL Server version 7.0 database to SQL Server 2008 by using one of the following methods:

  • Upgrade a SQL Server 7.0 database to SQL Server 2000 or SQL Server 2005 by attaching the database to an instance running either. Then you can upgrade the database to SQL Server 2008. Generally, this is the preferred method. You can Upgrade a Database Using Detach and Attach.

  • Use the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard to copy data between multiple instances of SQL Server. This wizard works with any the source and destination for which there is a provider, although data conversion issues might occur, depending on the data source. Use the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard to Move Data.

There are few third party tools which offer help:

Third party tools: Red gate is one of the most popular but there are many others like ApexSQL, Idera etc.

Generating scripts: You can always script structure and data using SSMS but you need to take into consideration the order of execution. By default object scripts are not ordered correctly and you’ll have to take care of the dependencies. This may be an issue if database is big and has a lot of objects.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.