I had PostgreSQL 8.3 running on a windows machine. The hard drive recently became unbootable, but the data is fine. We got a new machine and I'm re-installing Postgres. The new installer only has version 8.4 and a variety of 9.x releases.

Would I be able to install 8.4 and move the data over with no problems, or do I need to find the 8.3 installer. How about version 9? Is the migration as simple as moving the old "C:\Program Files\PostgreSQL\8.3\data" to the exact same place on the new directory.

Thanks, Kevin

  • Please be aware that the current PostgreSQL version is 9.4 - about six years newer than 8.4, not to mention 8.3... If by 'move the data over' you mean restoring from an existing dump (I suppose this as you know the data is OK), then you should be able to restore everything without serious problems. A few years ago, the only problems I experienced AFAIK were some easy-to-fix errors related to implicit casting. Mar 13, 2015 at 7:48

1 Answer 1


Upgrading a major version of PostgreSQL (i.e. 8.3 to 8.4) requires a database dump and restore - simply copying in data from an older version will most likely not work.

There are still some copies of 8.3 that you can download from EnterpriseDB to get you going. However it would still be best to upgrade to the later version afterwards if possible.

  • Thanks. I installed the "unsupported" 8.3 package from EnterpriseDB, copied the old data directory over and did a database dump. Next week I'll import this dump into a newer PostgreSQL version. Mar 14, 2015 at 11:02

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