Home > DeveloperSection > Forums > How to open a SQL Server .bak file (Not restoring!)
Simons Hood
Simons Hood

Total Post:70

Posted on    September-05-2015 6:52 AM

 MSSQL Server MSSQL Server 

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I have been reading a LOT of google posts and StackOverflow questions about how to restore a database in SQL Server from a .bak file.

But none of them states how to just READ the tables in the database-backup. (None that I could find anyway?)

I just want to check out some old information which now has been deleted, without actually restoring the full database. Is this possible?

Mayank Tripathi
Mayank Tripathi

Total Post:397

Posted on    September-05-2015 7:15 AM

From SQL Server 2008 SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio), simply:

1.Connect to your database instance (for example, "localhost\sqlexpress")
     a) Select the database you want to restore to; or, alternatively
     b) Just create a new, empty database to restore to.

3.Right-click, Tasks, Restore, Database

4.Device, [...], Add, Browse to your .bak file
5.Select the backup.
Choose "overwrite=Y" under options.
Restore the database

6.It should say "100% complete", and your database should be on-line.

PS: Again, I emphasize: you can easily do this on a "scratch database" - you do not need to overwrite your current database. But you do need to RESTORE.

PPS: You can also accomplish the same thing with T-SQL commands, if you wished to script it.

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