I know the form

Select * into new_table from old_table

statement. Bur recently I found 2 posts here and here which use it like

INSERT INTO PlayerBackups

I find nothing in msdn, is that some new syntax or just a fault? I guess the later because

INSERT INTO PlayerBackups

would work fine.

  • Both are wrong syntax. I've -1 in the first and left a comment on the second.
    – gbn
    Sep 7, 2011 at 5:41
  • Agreed with @gbn. If you try a SELECT FROM then INSERT INTO, SQL Server takes that as two different entities. In which the INSERT INTO is incorrect and missing pieces. Sep 7, 2011 at 6:47
  • both posts have now been updated by their respective authors.. nice one @gbn Sep 7, 2011 at 15:10
  • 2
    @Andrew Bickerton: Hurrah! I fixed something wrong on the interwebs xkcd.com/386
    – gbn
    Sep 7, 2011 at 15:28

2 Answers 2


Both posts are wrong syntax.

I've -1 in the first from SO and left a comment on the second.

Create a table

SELECT * INTO PlayerBackups FROM NhlPlayer

Inserts to an existing table

INSERT PlayerBackups SELECT * FROM PlayerBackups
INTO new_table
FROM old_table

The above creates a new table based off of the source's table structure. new_table, in this example, cannot exist or an error will be raised and the statement will not be committed.

INSERT INTO new_table_must_exist
FROM old_table

In this example, it copies data from old_table to new_table_must_exist. Here new_table_must_exist must already exist, and the data mappings have to be compatible.

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