I backed up the master database on a machine with SQL Server 2008 version 10.00.1600. Then I turned on SQL Server in single-user mode on the new machine with SQL Server 2008 R2 version 10.50.1600 with the following command (using sqlcmd)


Running this command gets me the following error.....

Msg 3168, Level 16, State 1, Server U15417546, Line 1 The backup of the system database on the device D:\master.bak cannot be restored because it was created by a different version of the server (10.00.1600) than this server (10.50.1600). Msg 3013, Level 16, State 1, Server U15417546, Line 1 RESTORE DATABASE is terminating abnormally.

Running the following command on both servers allowed me to verify that the version numbers I posted in the beginning are correct.

 SERVERPROPERTY('ProductVersion') AS ProductVersion,
 SERVERPROPERTY('ProductLevel') AS ProductLevel

Since I am restoring from a lower version, to a higher version, I assume the restore should be able to complete? I have not been able to find much help regarding this, so any information would be much appreciated.

3 Answers 3


With a non-system database this is certainly the case. I haven't ever attempted this with a system database and it may be that SQL Server will prevent it from occurring. Plan B would be to upgrade the source server to R2 and then restore master to the target server but you've likely considered this approach.


While user databases can be upgraded to newer versions, systems databases cannot. This is especially true of the master database, which contains most of the configuration information for the database server.


You should script out those things you want from master (such as logins). Use a third party tool (such as redgate) to make things easier if needs be. As other posters have said doing this with a system database wont work.

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