I am trying to copy a database from SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2012 using copy wizard in my local machine where SQL Server 2012 is installed. But, the wizard is not detecting destination server. Source DB is on a network and Destination is my local machine itself.

When I select the destination server as my local machine, I am getting the below error:

TITLE: Copy Database Wizard

The destination server cannot be a SQL Server 2005 or later Express instance.

Does Copy Database wizard not support if 'source' is earlier than SQL Server 2005 ? But the error message says only about 'Destination'. Here my destination is SQL Server 2012 and Source is SQL Server 2000.

  • 2
    The error message pretty much tells you the problem. What do you expect to happen?
    – DavidG
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 10:02
  • I'd post this question on DBA instead of SO
    – Adriano Repetti
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 10:04
  • 2
    Convert DB from 2000 to 2005 and then migrate it ntil 2012.
    – Joe Taras
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 10:13
  • 1
    The Copy Database Wizard in SQL Server 2012 doesn't support databases earlier than 2005 Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 10:21
  • You cannot upgrade directly from SQL Server 2000 to 2012 - you'll have to go from 2000 to 2008 R2 and then from there on to 2012. That happens when you stick to dead-old versions for too long .....
    – marc_s
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 11:24

2 Answers 2


The supported upgrade path does not go directly from 2000 to 2012. You will have to have an intermediate step where you upgrade or restore those DBs to a 2005 or 2008 R2 instance. Once you've done that, you can upgrade to 2012 or take a backup of the DBs in 2005, then restore them on to 2012.

We are migrating to 2014 as my company is on 2005 SP3 right now.


The problem is not the version but the fact that the destination server is an Express instance. Copy database is not supported in the express edition of MSSQL.

Here's a link to a workaround solution: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/4269450/copy-a-database-within-sql-server-express

If you just need the data, you can right click on the database name -> Tasks -> Import Data... to copy multiple table, although this will copy data and not other features like primary keys and other constraints.

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