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Restore SQL Server database from tape

Updated on Apr 22, 2019 by Brithny to Backup Utility

Restore SQL Server database from tape using SQL backup and recovery software: EaseUS Todo Backup Advanced Server, free download it to backup SQL Server to hard drive or tape, and create SQL disaster recovery plan

Backup SQL Server after you install it on your computer is a critical task for DBA, and backup your database every day is perfect. All this is not redundant in the process of managing database, SQL Server disaster recovery plan prepared in advance can help you recover things back when necessary.

This document is the method to restore SQL Server database from tape, which is a better data storage media for your database. (See Tape backup vs disk backup).

Using SQL Server Management Studio

When we use the SQL Server Management Studio GUI to perform a restore of a large database, we encounter the following message:

Timeout expired. The timeout period elapsed prior to completion of the operation or the server is not responding.
RESTORE HEADERONLY is terminating abnormally. (.Net SqlClient Data Provider)

These are the steps that take place in the background when the restore is performed in GUI,

Step 1: Enumerate the backup devices.
Step 2: Fetch details about the backup that we are trying to restore.
Step 3: Fetch the backup header (This can take time depending on the size of the backup and backup media/device).
Step 4: Obtain the list of files present in the backup set/media.
Step 5: Perform the actual restore operation.

In GUI this fails for large databases due to the fact that certain operations like the below sequence have a built-in timeout of 20 seconds. Right click on a database >> Tasks >> Restore >> Database >> From Device >> Click on button >> Backup Media = TAPE >> Add >> Select Backup tape >> OK >> OK.

The timeout will happen on the "Specify Backup" dialog. This timeout is to prevent these dialog boxes from hanging forever when there is no tape present in the drive.

If you run the "RESTORE HEADERONLY" command from T-SQL, you can see that it takes several minutes to complete which is much longer than the 20-second timeout for GUI. To work around the issue, we can need to use T-SQL from Management Studio.

Why not using SQL Server backup and recovery software

EaseUS Todo Backup Advanced Server is professional backup and recovery software for SQL Server 2016, 2005, 2008. You can backup SQL to hard drive or tape. And you can restore the backup from tape easily when you need it.

Restore SQL Server database from tape