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There are several options if one wishes to move a database from a SQL Server 2005 to SQL 2008 Server. First of all there is a ‘Copy Database Wizard’ in SQL 2008 Server which is meant for transferring a database from any version of SQL Server 2000 and above to 2008 version. This Wizard can operate in two ways. In the first option it can attach a database (even one on the network) and uses the SQL 2008 SQL Server agent. The Copying of the database is implemented by an Integration Services package to run as a SQL Server Agent job that is scheduled to run immediately or according to some configurable schedule. This will therefore depend on correctly configuring the SQL Server Agent. In order to use the attach / detach process, the remote server will be stopped and if the database / log files are on a shared drive they are correctly brought in by the wizard. In the other option the database will be copied using the SQL Server Management Program for which the source database need not be stopped. However this is slower than the previous method and would also require the SQL Server Agent since a package has to be run.
An option which works without too much hassles is manually detaching and attaching the database/log files. In this step-by-step (really two steps) tutorial, this simple procedure is described. If you are just interested in taking a small database from 2005 to 2008 server the author strongly recommends this procedure.
Interested readers may also want to read my other popular article Moving Data from SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2005
Step 1: Detaching the Database
Highlight the database you want to transfer in the Databases node in the SQL Server Management Studio as shown in the next figure. Right click this database as shown and click on Detach… Make sure the database is running (notice the green arrow for HodentekSQL Express which is a junior version of SQL 2005).
This brings up the Detach Database window as shown. Place a check mark for ‘Drop’ as shown and click on OK. This removes the ‘Pubs’ node from the Databases folder in the SQL Server Management Studio (You may need to attach it again). With this accomplished you can physically move the files or do what you want with them.
Step 2: Copy the DATA / LOG Files
Copy the pubs.mdf and pubs.ldf files to a location on the C: drive of the machine on which SQL 2008 Server is installed.