When trying to restore a backup taken on SQL Server 2000 on a SQL Server 2012 the following error appears:


 Msg 3169, Level 16, State 1, Line 2

The database was backed up on a server running version 8.00.0818. That version is incompatible with this server, which is running version 11.00.3000. 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 2

RESTORE DATABASE is terminating abnormally.


The problem is that on a SQL Server 2012 instance you cannot restore a SQL Server 2000 backup. Practically on SQL Server 2012 you can restore backups taken on SQL Server 2005 or later.



This situation can be avoided by performing the following steps:

  1. Restoring the SQL Server 2000 backup on SQL Server 2005 or 2008
  2. Set compatibility level to 90 (SQL Server 2005) or 100 (SQL Server 2008 / SQL Server 2008 R2)
  3. Backup the same database and restore it on the SQL Server 2012.




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02/13/15 @ 10:48
Comment from: Yashika [Visitor]
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05/17/16 @ 16:29

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