We have an SQL server 2005 with SP4, x86. When we attempt to take the differential backup, we are getting the following error message.

Cannot perform a differential backup for database "ABCD", because a current database backup does not exist. Perform a full database backup by reissuing BACKUP DATABASE, omitting the WITH DIFFERENTIAL option. [SQLSTATE 42000] (Error 3035) BACKUP DATABASE is terminating abnormally.

Any help in resolving this issue is appreciated

2 Answers 2


A differential backup is a "changes only" backup, and therefore can only be done when there is a previous full backup to work from. If you create a new database (or attach one from another server), and don't take a full backup, there no "original backup" to get changes since.


You cannot create a differential backup until a full backup of the database has been taken. The backup/restore order is full/differential[/differential].

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