SQL data file is unknown

Hi, I have a client that sent over a copy or backup of their SQL data.  There was no extension on the file so I didn't know if it was a bak or mdf file.  There is no one to call on this to ask, the company is out of business.

I tried renaming it bak, mdf, and zip to see if I could get it to cooperate, but to no avail.

Question, is there a way to find out what type of file it is?

Thanks all.
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Scott PletcherSenior DBACommented:
If it's a .BAK, then you should be able to run a:

RESTORE FILELISTONLY FROM DISK = 'x:\path\to\file\without\extension\filename'

If you believe it's an mdf, try CREATE DATABASE ... FOR ATTACH and specify that file as the primary file.

Otherwise, Google for a free utility that can determine the type of file.  But unless it's some other type of backup -- RedGate, for example -- I'm not sure what good it will do you.

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Nakul VachhrajaniTechnical Architect, Capgemini IndiaCommented:
Agree. First try to do a standard RESTORE FILELISTONLY or a VERIFYONLY in SQL Server followed by a CREATE DATABASE ... FOR ATTACH.

If these fail, I would suggest downloading the trial versions of a couple of the most popular backup tools. If one of them is able to work with the backup, then you can evaluate purchasing the tool. Some most popular tools that I have seen out in production are
- SQL Backup Pro (RedGate)
- LiteSpeed
- SQL Safe Backup (Idera)
DanOwnerAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys, I tried the attach and restore options, would the backup programs restore a file with no extension?  Or do I just start guessing and renaming till I get it right?
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Scott PletcherSenior DBACommented:
Yes; SQL doesn't care what the file extension is, or even if you have one.
Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
CrunchyTime, do you still need help on this question?
DanOwnerAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys, fell off the planet for a while, some SQL manager got it going, don't know what he did.
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Microsoft SQL Server 2005

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