Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

A client wants me to extract customer data from his old system The application he was using appears to have used MSDE as the database and its backups have the extension .dat

SSMS express edition or Access do not appear to have a way to import data from these files. Can someone point me in the right direction.


OK Sorry for asking this question as I have just managed to find the solution to.

1: create a new database in sql server 2005

2: select the option to restore

3: Find the .dat file using the dialog, you'll get the message "The backup set holds a backup of a database other than the existing database" (this was the problem for me)

4: In options select "overwrite existing database

The msde .dat file is then imported into sql server

share|improve this question

migrated from Jun 4 '11 at 20:24

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Check thats its a valid MSSQL backup by listing its contents;


If ok, note the logical names of the .mdf & .ldf from the results, then;

   MOVE 'LogicalNameForTheMDF' TO 'c:\MyTempCopy.mdf',
   MOVE 'LogicalNameForTheLDF' TO 'c:\MyTempCopy_log.ldf'

To restore the backup to the new database MyTempCopy.

share|improve this answer
Alex Thank you for your answer, I am afraid the problem was that I didn't know what I was doing. I managed to get it working, see the edit to the question. Thanks again – jjb Jun 2 '11 at 16:07

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.