The media family on device is incorrectly formed. SQL Server cannot process this media family Error: 3241

When you try to restore a backup of the database you get the following error:


The media family on device ” is incorrectly formed. SQL Server cannot process this media family.
RESTORE HEADERONLY is terminating abnormally. (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 3241)

This error occurs due to the following problems:

Fix:

  • If you feel backup could be corrupted take the backup again
  • If you are using FTP then use it in binary mode to copy the backup file into local drive
  • If the versions are different then update the SQL Server on the system into which the backup has to be restored
  • Verify the database backup to check what the issue is.
    Following post helps you verify your database backup: Verify SQL Server Database Backup
  • More about using restore verify only this option in SQL Server can be found here