I am unable to restore my database. I am getting this error message:

RESTORE HEADERONLY is terminating abnormally(Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 3242

Please help with a solution. Version is 2008. Am trying to restore it on same version.

  • 1
    Adding the text of message 3242 is "The file on device '%ls' is not a valid Microsoft Tape Format backup set."
    – Dan Guzman
    Aug 29 '20 at 10:38

An earlier version of SQL Server doesn't understand a later version's backups. Note that SQL Server 2008 is a different version from SQL Server 2008 R2.

That is one possibility to why it fails.

If that isn't the case, then you have a corrupt backup, quite simply. You can try to produce a new backup (from the same or a different database) and see what happens when you try to restore that one. But the on that gives you an error message isn't healthy! The error message is evidence of that.

And remember to always include the full error message, including possible error messages from this operation found in the errorlog file.

  • I've expanded on my previous answer. Aug 30 '20 at 10:48

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