I have Differential backup from my database.one table is deleted.my data is lost.i create that table again but i cannot restore Differential backup because sql wants a full backup first.if i get full back up an restore it with norecovery.when i want restore Differential backup sql get error.it says that:

this Differential backup cannot be restored because the database has not been restored to the correct earlier state.

What should i do?

  • That's the joy of differential backups. You have to go through each backup version from the initial FULL one, step by step until the recent one.
    – ZorleQ
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 11:11
  • 1
    SQL is not a database product - it's the Structured Query Language - a querying language only. So you'll need to tell us what concrete database product (and which version) you're using - please update your tags accordingly!
    – marc_s
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 11:52
  • The differential backup on its own is useless. You need the original full backup that it is the differential from. Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 13:41
  • 4
    @ZorleQ No you don't. Differential backups aren't incremental. Each differential contains all the changes since the full backup. Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 13:43

1 Answer 1


You are pretty much out of luck unless you have a full backup previous to the differential backup you want to restore. Your backup chain is incomplete if you do not and with that your data is simply gone.

It sounds as if you received the error for the need of a full backup, and then took a full backup and restored that, then your differential. Sorry to tell you that is not going to work either.

Your only hope is that the data can be recovered manually because you are not going to be able to restore that database with out a previous full backup.

I would highly suggest you adjust your backup process now so this can be prevented. You need to ensure your backup chain is complete in order to provide a proper recovery process (along with ensuring integrity).

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