I have created a backup of my production database and whenever I try to restore it on my local machine I get the following error:

The media family on device C:\projects.......name_of_the_database_.bak is incorrectly formed. SQL SERVER cannot process this media family. RESTORE HEADERONLY is terminating abnormally.

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  • Is the production server the same SQL Server version, 2005 ?? – marc_s Jul 7 '10 at 21:20

I think the problem is that you named the media when doing the backup, and by default Enterprise Manager requires that the names match. In the restore GUI go to the second tab, and uncheck the box that says match media name (or something to that effect). Or do the restore in Query Analyser. That should do it for you =)


Check the following:

  1. Make sure your local machine is using SQL Server 2005 (not Express) or a later edition. You cannot restore a 2005 database on a 2000 server.

  2. Check that the backup fully copied over to your machine. Restoring a corrupted backup has prompted me with that message before.

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