How do I overcome Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 1827: restore failed...exceed licensed limit?

I'm attempting to extract data from a SQL Server backup provided by vendors with whom we no longer work.

I only need data from some tables, but I need to examine the database structure to determine exactly what I need.

This is the only use I have for SQL Server and I don't what to buy in big.

I tried SQL Server Express to restore the .bak file locally and received the error:

Restore failed... CREATE DATABASE or ALTER DATABASE failed because the resulting cumulative database size would exceed your licensed limit of 4096 MB per database.
RESTORE DATABASE is terminating abnormally. (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 1827)

I am having difficulty determining what alternative approach or minimum license I need to purchase to get me past this database size limit. The database seems to be only marginally over the limit.

I used RESTORE FILELISTONLY, HEADERONLY and LABELONLY commands to extract what metadata I could.

HEADERONLY BackupSize: 4958099456

I'm running SQL Server Express 2008 on a Win XP 32 bit platform, which could be part of my problem.

The version I'm running:

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (SP3) - 10.0.5500.0 (Intel X86)  
Sep 22 2011 00:28:06  
Copyright (c) 1988-2008 Microsoft Corporation  
Express Edition on Windows NT 5.1 <X86> (Build 2600: Service Pack 3)

Can anyone tell me the least expensive and most efficient way out of this problem?

Thanks, Neale


  • SQL Server 2008 R2 or 2012 Express have a 10GB limit so you can use one of those.