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Restore a SQL Server 2008 Database into SQL Server 2005

You likely will need to test data against SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2005, but ordinary backups are incompatible. Use SQL Server 2008's Generate SQL Server Scripts Wizard to push your SQL Server 2008 data back into SQL Server 2005.


If you've tried to back up a database in SQL Server 2008 and then restore it into SQL Server 2005, you know that the database backups are not backward compatible. However, with SQL Server 2008 Management Studio, you can script data and schemas in SQL Server 2005 mode. This 10-Minute Solution takes you through the steps to back up the Northwind database on SQL Server 2008 and restore it to SQL Server 2005.

Transferring databases from SQL Server 2008 to SQL Server 2005 is not possible with standard backup and restore facilities.

Leverage the scripting wizard in SQL Server 2008 to script data as well as schemas in SQL Server 2005 compatibility mode.

Using the "Generate SQL Server Scripts" Wizard

The Northwind database is no longer shipped as part of the SQL Server installation, but you can download it from go.microsoft.com. The data is scripted as INSERT statements.

To create the scripts, you have to run the "Generate SQL Server Scripts" wizard, which you can run within SQL Server Management Studio (once Object Explorer is connected to the appropriate instance) by right clicking on the database and selecting "Tasks –> Generate Scripts."

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