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COPY_ONLY Backup in SQL Server Step by Step Tutorial with Examples

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COPY_ONLY backup is a special type of SQL Server Backup which is independent of the sequence of conventional SQL Server backups. Normally whenever you take a backup it will affect how later backups are restored. However, when you use COPY_ONLY backup feature of SQL Server one can take a backup of the database without affecting the overall backup and restore procedures for the database.

This is Part 11 of 16 Part SQL Server Database Backup Tutorial. Click here to read it from the beginning….

Practical Use of COPY_ONLY Backup Feature of SQL Server

One can use COPY_ONLY backup if there is a need to refresh the Development/QA environment with the latest backup of your Production database. In such a scenario you could run a FULL backup of the database WITH COPY_ONLY clause to take a backup without affecting the backup chain.

The transaction log is never truncated after a COPY_ONLY backup. A COPY_ONLY log backup preserves the existing log archive point and, therefore, does not affect the sequencing of regular log backups.

Types of COPY_ONLY backups are:-

  • Using COPY_ONLY feature one can create FULL backup for any user databases irrespective of the recovery model used by the database. i.e., it supports FULL, BULK-LOGGED and SIMPLE recovery model. However, restoring a COPY_ONLY backup is same as restoring a normal FULL Backup.
  • Using COPY_ONLY feature one can create DIFFERENTIAL backup for any user databases irrespective of the recovery model used by the database. i.e., it supports FULL, BULK-LOGGED and SIMPLE recovery model.
  • Using COPY_ONLY feature one can create TRANSACTIONAL LOG backup for any user database which is in FULL or BULK-LOGGED recovery model.

Create a COPY_ONLY FULL backup Using TSQL command

BACKUP DATABASE MyTechMantra
TO DISK = 'C:\DBBackups\MyTechMantra.BAK'
WITH COPY_ONLY, COMPRESSION, STATS = 25 

/* Verify the Database Backup File Once the Backup has completed successfully */

RESTORE VERIFYONLY
FROM DISK = 'C:\DBBackups\MyTechMantra.BAK'
GO

Create a COPY_ONLY DIFFERENTIAL backup Using TSQL command

BACKUP DATABASE MyTechMantra
TO DISK = 'C:\DBBackups\MyTechMantra.DIF'
WITH DIFFERENTIAL, COPY_ONLY, COMPRESSION, STATS = 25 

/* Verify the Database Backup File Once the Backup has completed successfully */

RESTORE VERIFYONLY
FROM DISK = 'C:\DBBackups\MyTechMantra.DIF' 
GO

Create a COPY_ONLY TRANSACTION LOG backup Using TSQL command

BACKUP LOG MyTechMantra
TO DISK = 'C:\DBBackups\MyTechMantra.TRN'
WITH COPY_ONLY, COMPRESSION, STATS = 25 

/* Verify the Database Backup File Once the Backup has completed successfully */

RESTORE VERIFYONLY
FROM DISK = 'C:\DBBackups\MyTechMantra.TRN'
GO

Create a COPY_ONLY FULL Database Backup Using SQL Server Management Studio

  • Open SQL Server Management Studio, connect to the appropriate SQL Server Database Instance, in Object Explorer, click the SERVER NAME to expand the server tree.
  • Expand Databases node and then right click the database which you want to take a COPY_ONLY FULL backup
  • Select Tasks, and then click Back Up…option as shown to open up Back Up Database dialog box.Select Backup Type as FULL and select the check box Copy-Only Backup and Select Destination as Disk
  • Click on Add button to add a backup file and specify the backup file name and click OK to save the changes
  • Finally to take COPY_ONLY FULL Backup click OK
Create a COPY_ONLY FULL Database Backup Using SQL Server Management Studio

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Chetna Bhalla

Chetna Bhalla

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Chetna Bhalla, the founder of MyTechMantra.com, believes that by sharing knowledge and building communities, we can make this world a better place to live in. Chetna is a Graduate in Social Sciences and a Masters in Human Resources and International Business. She is an alumnus of Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management, Hyderabad, India. After graduation, Chetna founded this website, which has since then become quite a favorite in the tech world. Her vision is to make this website the favorite place for seeking information on Databases and other Information Technology areas. She believes that companies which can organize and deploy their data to frame strategies are going to have a competitive edge over others. Her interest areas include Microsoft SQL Server and overall Database Management. Apart from her work, Chetna enjoys spending time with her friends, painting, gardening, playing the violin, and spending time with her son.

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