Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Unable to Restore SQL Database Backup: error 3205

When you try to restore a SQL server database backup created on SQL server 2005 instance to a different SQL server instance using SQL server management studio (SSMS), you may get following error message on your computer screen:

An exception occurred while executing a Transact-SQL statement or batch. (Microsoft.SqlServer.ConnectionInfo)
Additional information:
Too many backup devices specified for backup or restore; only 64 are allowed.
RESTORE HEADERONLY is terminating abnormally. (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 3205)”

Cause: Above error message is appearing because you are trying to restore a SQL server backup created using SQL server 2005 into SQL Server 2000 instance.

Note: Microsoft suggests that backup created using higher instance of SQL server can't be restored into the earlier instance of SQL server.

For simple understanding:

Restore a backup from 2005 ---> 2000 - Not allowed
Restore a backup from 2008 ---> 2005, 2000 - Not allowed
Restore a backup from 2000 ---> 2005 - Allowed
Restore a backup from 2000, 2005 ---> 2008 - Allowed

Solution: To solve this problem, follow below steps:
  1. First of all run 'SELECT @@version' command on the target SQL server instance.
  2. Verify the version of target SQL server instance.
  3. Upgrade the target SQL server.


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