I created a test database on a Windows computer with MySQL 5.7 and filled it with many data records. Now I created a database dump with mysqldump and wanted to import it on my server (Debian Jessie, also MySQL 5.7).

During the import of the dump I received several error messages, which were not helpful. Therefore I looked at the dump file with the nano editor and found out that the content cannot be displayed correctly:

��-^@-^@ ^@M^@y^@S^@Q^@L^@ ^@d^@u^@m^@p^@ ^@1^@0^@.^@1^@3^@ ^@ ^@D^@i^@s^@t^@r^$
^@-^@-^@ ^@H^@o^@s^@t^@:^@ ^@l^@o^@c^@a^@l^@h^@o^@s^@t^@ ^@ ^@ ^@ ^@D^@a^@t^@a^$

But if I open the dump under Windows in e.g. Notepad++, everything can be displayed perfectly.

So I thought about an error during the FTP upload. However, if I transfer a file from Windows to Linux and then transfer it back, the new file will still be readable under Windows, but not under Linux.

Can anyone give me a hint? Thanks!

Little update: This is how I made the dump:

.\mysqldump.exe -u root --databases m_data > D:\m_data_dump.sql

Update 2: I also tried exporting with explicit charset:

.\mysqldump.exe -u root --default-character-set=utf8mb4 --databases m_data > D:\m_data_dump.sql

And imprted with:

mysql -u root -p --default-character-set=utf8mb4 < m_data_dump.sql

But sam result.

  • Encodings do not match. Use proper charset/collation on all export-import steps.
    – Akina
    Dec 13, 2018 at 10:11
  • Hi Akina, thank your for your message. I already tried with an explicit given charset (see Update 2). What am I doing wrong?
    – Jonson86
    Dec 13, 2018 at 11:37
  • 1) Specify charset while exporting, not only while importing. 2) Check that system/server/connection/database/tables/fields charsets are synced. 3) Test separate copying: structure via mysqldump, data via SELECT INTO OUTFILE / LOAD DATA INFILE.
    – Akina
    Dec 13, 2018 at 12:31

1 Answer 1


The contents of the dump file you show appear to be UTF16 - this may be the result of the redirect operator on Windows (particularly if you're using PowerShell).

To avoid the Windows shell redirection operator interfering with the encoding/formatting of data emitted by the mysqldump program, use the --result-file=filename when dumping.

See the MySQL docs for this command line option at https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.7/en/mysqldump.html#option_mysqldump_result-file

  • Thank you very much, that sounds very plausible, I will try it out.
    – Jonson86
    Dec 19, 2018 at 12:21

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