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I have created a new Visual Basic Windows Forms Application intending to use an existing SQL database for the data source. I continually run into the problems trying to attach the database file to the application. First I get errors declaring I am not the owner of the database so I can’t attach to it. I corrected this by obtaining ownership to the file and then, I get an error that the database is version 869 and the server supports version 852, which I don’t understand as I am running SQL Server Express 2017, V14

“The database D:\Data Files 092015\DVD_List.mdf cannot be
opened because it is version 869. This server supports version
852 and earlier. A downgrade path is not supported.
Could not open new database D:\Data Files
092015\DVD_List.mdf. CREATE DATABASE is aborted
An attempt to attach an auto-named database for file D:\Data
Files 092015\DVD_List.mdf failed. A database with the same
Name exists or specified file cannot be opened, or it is
located on a UNC share.”

I opened the Advanced Properties option and changed the Data Source
from: (localDB)\MSSQLocalDB
to: .\SQLExpress
and then get the following error message.

“The attempt to attach to the database failed with the
Following information:
Failed to generate a user instance in SQL Server due to a
Failure in starting the process for the user instance. The
connection will be closed.”

I am running SQLExpress 2017, v14, and Visual Studio 2019 Community, v 16.1.6
The next option I tried was creating the database in Visual Studio and attaching the data source to my Visual Basic Windows Forms Application. Eureka, it worked, except for when I entered test data into the database. Everything worked fine, I entered 10 test records and played with them a bit before closing Visual Studio. When I reopened VS and opened the project the data was gone.

When I opened the file in SSMS there was no data in it, and when I went back to my application and tried to run it I got all the same errors that I had with the SQL datafile originally. I deleted the database and rebuilt it when I added the test data I got all the same results.

Apparently the database was saved, but it was written to the bin directory and when I re-opened the project it opens the original (empty) file in the projects directory.
Needless to say, I’M FRUSTRATED!!! What’s going on, and why is this so difficult?

What I have tried:

Different options, see main body of text.
Updated 4 days ago
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Solution 1

server supports version 852
Your Server is SQL Server 2016.

database is version 869
Your MDF file is was created in SQL 2017.

I am running SQLExpress 2017, v 17.9.1.
No you are not. These are the management tools you are using. The current version of SQL Server is only 15.
Member 10376725 4 days ago
Sorry, correct I'm running SQL Version 15. I've changed it. Thanks for the heads up.
Member 10376725 4 days ago
After looking at the right information I am running SQL Server version 14
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Solution 2

“The database D:\Data Files 092015\DVD_List.mdf cannot be
opened because it is version 869.

These aren't "typical default" paths for SQL Server data files; so, "someone" has been playing with the installation defaults.

There's a good chance there may also be multiple instances of SQL Server running that's "confusing" the situation. Look in Task Manager for server instances.

I might consider uninstall / "reinstalling" SQL Server with the "defaults" and starting over.
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Solution 4

I see the only way to resolve your issue.

You have to find some one with MS Sql Server 2017. Then you have to ... Move SQL Server Database to Older Version ?[^] the you'll be able to attach database or Restore Database from MDF File in SQL Server[^]

Good luck!

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