I have a production environment running Windows Server 2000 and a development environment using SQL Server 2012. I need to make updates to the DB and implement some new features using .ASP. Is there a way to export the 2000 database and import it into 2012? All that I could find is this MS support doc about transferring the DB to 2008.



1 Answer 1


Since your source server is SQL Server 2000, you can't restore directly to SQL Server 2012. You will need to restore to another instance first (2005, 2008, or 2008 R2).

On 2000:

BACKUP DATABASE dbname TO DISK = 'D:\backups\db.bak' WITH INIT;

On 2005 or 2008 or 2008 R2:

RESTORE DATABASE dbname FROM DISK = 'D:\restores\db.bak'
  WITH REPLACE, RECOVERY, MOVE (...you will likely have to specify new file locations...);

Then from there, back it up again, and then restore on the 2012 server.

Once you've restored, you'll probably want to adjust the compatibility level:


As well as update statistics. But note that 80 compatibility will automatically be upgraded to 90 (and you will have issues if you use syntax that is no longer supported, e.g. *= joins). While it won't catch everything, you may want to run the 2012 Upgrade Advisor while the database is in its temporary home on a 2005, 2008 or 2008 R2 instance to catch any potential issues. Also see this answer for ways the change in compatibility level may affect your existing code (the upgrade advisor won't catch many of those).

  • Thanks Aaron, I'm going to test this out this afternoon!
    – adam2k
    Jan 7, 2014 at 16:21
  • I was able to backup the DB, but upon trying to restore this is the error that I received: italic The database was backed up on a server running version 8.00.0818. That version is incompatible with this server, which is running version 11.00.2100. Either restore the database on a server that supports the backup, or use a backup that is compatible with this server. Msg 3013, Level 16, State 1, Line 1 italic
    – adam2k
    Jan 7, 2014 at 19:16
  • 1
    Then your source server is 2000, not 2003 or 2005. Jan 7, 2014 at 19:18
  • @AaronBertrand: is it possible to restore a SQL Server 2000 database in SQL Server 2012?
    – bjnr
    Jan 7, 2014 at 19:22
  • 3
    @Mihai no, as I described in the answer, you need to restore it somewhere else first (2005, 2008, or 2008 R2), then backup that database, and restore that backup on 2012. Jan 7, 2014 at 19:40

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