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Moving SQL Server 2005 Databases to SQL Server 2000

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14 Sep 20073 min read 84.1K   37   4
Move SQL Server 2005 databases back to SQL Server 2000.


Moving databases from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2000 is not impossible and can really be quite easy once you come to grips with the basics. Microsoft has made it very easy to move databases from 2000 to 2005 by using backup and restore built into the admin tools, but this is not backwards compatible and has caused some issues, to say the least. The content of this article owes a lot to the very talented Craig Murphy, who suggested using a publishing wizard for reverting 2005 databases to 2000 in a blog entry.

I am trying to write this for all levels, so please excuse the simplistic nature, as not everyone is as special as you.

SQL Server 2005 Database Publishing Wizard 1.1

The Database public wizard is intended for Developers to create databases with script or management GUIs, develop and change databases and then be able to script the finished database for inclusion to installation routines. This is an installation and separate program from your 2005 Server Management Studio, which can script and publish databases from 2005 to 2005 and well as 2000 databases.

The current download can be found here (this may well change as Microsoft does move and change pages). You need the .NET 2.0 Framework and Microsoft Feature Pack installed, as well. I didn't know if I had the Feature Pack, as I have the SQL 2005 Developer Edition and it installed fine without any Feature Pack.

Download and Install

You should be able to do this without my help.

Running Publishing Wizard for 2005 to 2000ll

Start The Wizard (once you install it, it's also a separate program from SQL Management Studio).

Image 1

Select a Server and authentication details.

Image 2

Select a Database.

Image 3

Select an Export File.

Image 4

Set Requirements. Note that this extract will do Schema and Data for SQL Server 2000. If you have a large database, this could take a long time and produce a massive file.

Image 5

Review Summary:

Image 6

Progress and Results:

With luck, you will see a success. If not, go back and review the selections. I've tried this with various live and not live databases with no issues.

Image 7

Getting It All Back Into SQL Server 2000

So you now have a SQL file with your schema and data as describe above. If it is fairly small, then you can simply open it in a Query Analyzer (SQL 2000) or a Query Window in 2005 Management Studio and connect to your 2000 database. However, if your database is even slightly complex or you have a fair bit of data, the SQL script file will be too big and it just won't load. So you have to use a command line option. You should be able to do this without my help.

Warning: Running very large SQL scripts could take a while.

SQL 2005 sqlcmd

Below is using my SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition with sqlcmd to execute the file. This works fine with targeted SQL Server 2000 SP4.

c:> sqlcmd -E -S my2000server -d mydatabase -i c:\sandbox.sql 
c:> sqlcmd -U sa -P password -S my2000server -d mydatabase -i c:\sandbox.sql

SQL 2000 osql

If you really want to use osql on your SQL 2000 box, then this should do it. No prizes for figuring out the command parameters are the same. There might be a performance advantage running it directly on the SQL 2000 box, but I've not looked into this.

c:> osql -E -S my2000server -d mydatabase -i c:\sandbox.sql 
c:> osql -U sa -P password -S my2000server -d mydatabase -i c:\sandbox.sql

Where -U is sqllogin, -P is password, -E is integrated authentication, -S is server name, -d is database name and -i is the SQL script file you created. If you get stuck with these command items, read the SQL server books online. Oh, please don't post saying I should never use SA for this sort of script; I may already know that.


1.0 Initial Release 06/09/2005


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Written By
Software Developer (Senior)
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Frank Kerrigan

Currently developing Insurance systems with SQL Server, ASP.NET, C#, ADO for a company in Glasgow Scotland. Very keen on OOP and NUNIT testing. Been in IT forever (20 years) in mix of development and supporting applications / servers. Worked for companies big and small and enjoyed both.

Developed in (newest first) : C#, Progress 4GL, ASP.NET, SQL TSQL, HTML, VB.NET, ASP, VB, VBscript, JavaScript, Oracle PSQL, perl, Access v1-2000, sybase/informi, Pic Controllers, 6502 (ask your dad).

Msc .Net Development Evenings
MCAD Passed
MCP C# ASP.NET Web Applications
MCP SQL Server 2000
HND Computing
OND / HNC Electrical Engineering,

Comments and Discussions

GeneralConfusion !!!!! Pin
ketan d patel26-May-09 2:13
ketan d patel26-May-09 2:13 
GeneralCheck List Pin
ashudotnet17-Sep-07 18:56
ashudotnet17-Sep-07 18:56 
GeneralRe: Check List Pin
Frank Kerrigan17-Sep-07 23:15
Frank Kerrigan17-Sep-07 23:15 
GeneralThanks! [modified] Pin
Colin Angus Mackay16-Sep-07 23:11
Colin Angus Mackay16-Sep-07 23:11 
From this technique I've now successfully migrated one database from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2000 and I'm working on another database now.

-- modified at 7:23 Monday 17th September, 2007 (Corrected typo)

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