I'd like to import a database without knowing its name from a .sql file.

In MySql server it is easy because there is tools like heidSQL in which I can import easily my database from a sql file but in SQL Server I can't find the method to do it.

I tried to read the file in notepad but the encoding makes the content unreadable.


When i execute this query RESTORE HEADERONLY FROM DISK = N'C:\Planning\bdd.sql' i have this hhh

  1. How can I do it with SQL server?
  2. Can SQL Server Management Studio do this task or do I have to install a new tool?
  • 1
    How did you get this file? .sql are script files that should contain readable code which you can open and run from Management Studio. This does not look much usable. Jun 7, 2013 at 10:51
  • 4
    SQL Server backup files are usually named .bak and you can restore them with SSMS. However it is possible to name the file otherwise. Perhaps you can try restoring it and see if it's valid backup. Right click on Databases node in SSMS and choose Restore Database... Jun 7, 2013 at 10:54
  • 1
    Rename .sql file to .bak and try it again.
    – Devart
    Jun 7, 2013 at 11:04
  • 2
    try running this Query: RESTORE HEADERONLY FROM DISK = N'C:\FileName.sql' replace correct path. Jun 7, 2013 at 11:07
  • 1
    Yes, run the query proposed by @VishalGajjar. If it is a valid backup file you will receive info about what it contains. If not you'll get a red message saying it is incorrectly formed. Jun 7, 2013 at 11:22

2 Answers 2


Create an empty database or if you have one already target that one.

Open CMD with elevated privilege and run:

sqlcmd -S SERVERNAME -d MYDATABASE -U USERNAME -P PASSWORD -i C:\path\mysqlfile.sql -o C:\path\results.txt


  • -S: is your servername or localhost
  • -d: is the database you are targeting
  • -U: is the username
  • -P: is the password
  • -i: is the path to your .sql file
  • -o: is where the logs file will be saved so if you had problem during the importation you can debug them

Yes, you can do it with SQL Server Management Studio Here is the instructions how to ! http://technet.microsoft.com/library/Cc966390

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