The media family on device ‘C:\Databasename.dat_bak’ is incorrectly formed.

Description of Error:

When attempting to restore an ESC database backup, a user may encounter the following error:

The media family on device ‘C:\Databasename.dat_bak’ is incorrectly formed.SQL Server cannot process this media family.
RESTORE DATABASE is terminating abnormally.

After the error is cleared, the backup has not been restored.

Cause of Issue:

This error occurs when you try to restore a database to an older version of Microsoft SQL Server than the version the backup was created by.

For example: this error will occur when restore a backup to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 that was created in Microsoft SQL Server 2012.

Resolution:

Upgrade your SQL to the higher version required for the database you want to restore. The latest version of SQL Server Express can be found in our Downloads section in the Initial Install or Server Migration pages.

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