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Differential backup cannot be restored . BACKUP with COPY_ONLY

23 August,2010 by Jack Vamvas

An Operations member of staff approached me with a problem - which I thought might be worth posting .
He was asked to do a RESTORE of a full backup and the related Differential. He executed the RESTORE for the FULL BACKUP
as :

RESTORE DATABASE MYPRODDB FROM DISK = 'E:\MYSERVER\MYDB.bak' WITH NORECOVERY;

He then attempted to RESTORE the differential , but was confronted with the following message:

Msg 3136, Level 16, State 1, Line 1
This differential backup cannot be restored because the database has not been restored to the correct earlier state.
Msg 3013, Level 16, State 1, Line 1
RESTORE DATABASE is terminating abnormally.

A quick check of the SQL Server Logs indicated that there was a manual backup taken by a Developer which broke the chain . Looking at the logs below
indicates that the base backup was taken , followed by a differential . The third log entry points to a manual full backup , and the fourth entry is a differential but using 3 as the base backup . You can derive this information from reading the - full backup LSN entry on the Differential backups - and how both differentials refer to different base backups.


Author: Jack Vamvas (http://www.sqlserver-dba.com)

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