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simple backup not available in management studio

Posted on 2009-07-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I have a database that is scheduled to backup once/day.  I would like to reduce the log file size. I tried doing transaction log backups but the trn file created was 37GB. I tried to change the scheduled backup to be a simple recovery model but Management Studio/Maintenance plan/backup only allows me to select Full, Differential or Transactional. We don't need hourly transaction backups on this problem database. A daily backup will suffice. Our most important database is larger and has hourly transaction backups. Here is a comparison of this problem database with our bigger production database.
Problem db file sizes               Production database file sizes
ldf  37                                         1
mdf  4                                         5
bak  3                                         5 (including trn files)    
There aren't a huge number of transactions going on in the problem database.
How can I schedule a simple backup in Management Studio?
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Question by:dwiseman3
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by:mcmonap
ID: 24796507
Hi dwiseman3,
>>>I tried to change the scheduled backup to be a simple recovery model but Management Studio/Maintenance plan/backup only allows me to select Full, Differential or Transactional <<<
It sounds as though you want to change the recovery model of your database as well as your backup method.  If you right click the database select "properties" and the select "options" you can see the recovery model  drop down list.  changing this to simple will mean that your log file autotruncates, this would mean you can no longer do transaction log backups and should help to maintain your log file size (depending on your application)
Once this is done you would need to change your backup maintenance plan to a full backup once per day - you can deselect transaction and differential options if you don't need them.
Do make sure you understand the consequences of changing these option before you proceed and make sure you have a good (tested) backup.  That said everything is pretty risk free if you know what you are doing
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by:dwiseman3
ID: 24796582
I see what you're saying. Will changing the recovery model 'midstream' do any damage?
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mcmonap earned 500 total points
ID: 24798518
Nope, that will be fine - essentially all you are losing by moving to a simple recovery model is the facility to recover data to the second which you said is not important.  The database will carry on working as normal.  Assuming the application uses small transactions then you could also look at shrinking the log file to a smaller size to better conserve disk space, the snippet below will do this (it is best to do this straight after the log has been truncated), the code below is straight out of SQL BOL (books on-line).
You want to size the database files so they grow as little as possible, this will minimise file fragmentation on the disk - unless you know the growth rates already it easiest to note this over time.

USE yourDatabase;

GO

-- Truncate the log by changing the database recovery model to SIMPLE.

ALTER DATABASE yourDatabase

SET RECOVERY SIMPLE;

GO

-- Shrink the truncated log file to 1GB.

DBCC SHRINKFILE (yourDatabase_Log, 1024);

GO

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