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Basically I was learning the Ms stack of software and working on an application that used an *.mdf file mounted to the local ./SQLEXPRESS instance.

I then upgraded all software on the machine to Windows 8 RTM, Visual Studio 2012 Pro etc. And installed SQL Server Express 2012 with the latest version of basic Management Studio. When I first started VS2012 it asked me to convert the MDF file to the latest version and I did. For what its worth I also have a copy of one that has not been upgraded/converted.

Now I want to deploy and test out this application on shared hosting and load my database on their SQL server, this hosting service uses SQL Server 2008 R2. When I try to import a *.bak file created by the latest above mentioned Ms tools on to this server it gives me an error as follows: The media family on device is incorrectly formed. SQL Server cannot process this media family. (severity 16) I have read around and it appears it's strictly to do with version incompatibility, where older version of SQL server will not work with *.bak files and others created by the new gen of tools.

First thing I did was download and load SQL Server Management Studio 2008 onto my Windows 8 machine, to my disappointment it was a no go and it just gave me errors when I tried to do a backup and overall felt like it had compatibility issues. Maybe because I connected to the new local (LocalDB)\v11.0 server instead of the old ./SQLEXPRESS which I don't have installed anymore.

In general should I expect SQL Server 2008 Express and Management tools to work on Windows 8 ? Otherwise what are my options (besides loading the old software stack in a VM etc.), maybe there's backwards compatibility mode when creating backups ? Or some other software that will run in Windows 8 and do a *.bak dump using the older mdf file version ?

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Question seems more appropriate for dba.stackexchange.com –  David George Sep 4 '12 at 23:31
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2 Answers

You can't restore a database backup from a higher version of SQL Server to a lower version of SQL Server.

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I am able to connect to a 2005 Express instances with no issues from the newer version of SQL Server Management Studio (referring to SQL 2008 R2 in my case), . I would expect this to work the same (I've been wrong before). I would tell it not to upgrade your existing instance and stay on the older engine so you can test it and then deploy it on your VM. FWIW, you might try using "Backup Database @DatabaseName to disk = @FilePath WITH INIT , STATS = 10, CHECKSUM, COMPRESSION;" rather than using the built in backup so it remote executes the proc for you on the remote instance. You used to (and probably still can) run more than one SQL version on the same machine (not sure if this is supported or not). Is there something stopping you from doing that?

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