I've got a large backup that I need to partially install into our instance of SQL Server express 2008. The backup file is over the 4096Mb limit that restricts SQL Server Express. Is there any way to do a partial restore?

This database is from a customer and I need to do some development against it. We don't have any licensed versions of SQL Server 2008 that I can restore this data into and chop it apart.

Incidentally, the error I get is :

TITLE: Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio

Restore failed for Server 'ZEPPO\SQLEXPRESS'. (Microsoft.SqlServer.SmoExtended)

For help, click: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink?ProdName=Microsoft+SQL+Server&ProdVer=10.0.2531.0+((Katmai_PCU_Main).090329-1045+)&EvtSrc=Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.ExceptionTemplates.FailedOperationExceptionText&EvtID=Restore+Server&LinkId=20476


System.Data.SqlClient.SqlError: CREATE DATABASE or ALTER DATABASE failed because the resulting cumulative database size would exceed your licensed limit of 4096 MB per database. (Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo)

For help, click: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink?ProdName=Microsoft+SQL+Server&ProdVer=10.0.2531.0+((Katmai_PCU_Main).090329-1045+)&LinkId=20476


2 Answers 2


As an alternative, is it feasible to use a Developer copy for your development work?

  • The Developer copy is full featured (like Enterprise).
    – jl.
    Jan 18, 2010 at 15:24
  • that's one option, downloading a 180 day trial... thanks Jan 18, 2010 at 15:32
  • probably full featured but still limited to single processor I think...
    – djangofan
    Jan 18, 2010 at 17:32


"SQL Object Level Recovery Native™: recover database objects from SQL Server backups"

This works quite nicely, at least for my needs...

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