Yes, you can do it. Whether you really want to or not is a different question, since this is a really low-level, bit-kicking operation prior to MS-SQL 7.0!
The principle is simple, the execution gets "interesting" on a good day. To make things easier, the general steps are:
1) Find the mssql directory and create a realdata directory under it.
2) Put copies of the data files in this directory
3) Start the SQL server if it is not running
4) Create databases using the same filenames and same sizes as the real data
5) Stop the SQL Server
6) Verify that the file names and sizes match exactly.
7) Copy the files from realdata into the data directory.
8) Pray, a lot!
9) Restart the SQL Server.
Be sure that you have tickets to Barbados, just in case!
Cheers Pat. Whether i want to do it that way or not comes down to one point. I have to do it otherwise it'll be at least 24 months of manual data inputting before our helpdesk is back up to the standard that it was with the 6.5 databases.
I'll try your suggestion though and i'll post the results in here.
Just think of it as landing a no-hands, no-feet 180 at about 150 kph. That should make it seem more appealing!
Seriously, it isn't all that difficult, and as long as you've got a backup of your original data to try again it isn't even nerve wracking... It just takes patience and precision to make it come out right.
it wouldn't be nerve wracking? My boss has decided to drop the idea, which for the life of me i can't understand. I would have thought it to be a good thing that we are trying to save at least a 2 year delay. ah well, i'll probably try it in my spare time.
If your boss is willing do discuss this, tell them the the chances of doing this on the first try are a bit slim (maybe 20 percent if you are lucky), but the chances will go up significantly with each attempt, probably maxing out around 95%. I see this as having a high probabilty of success if you are persistant, and a lot less painfull (and error prone) than the recreation of the data or landing the trick sited above, since the worst you might have to do is reinstall SQL Server and try again!
as far as the helpdesk database software itself goes things got alot more interesting about 20 minutes ago.
Because we have had the software for around 6 years now, and our long term support contract with our reseller ran out, there are "contractual problems" as the CA contact put it. Basically i think this means that because our version of the software is so old, they won't re-issue the updated licenses that we requested and just tell us to buy the latest version of the software (with new licenses to boot).
As far as the database itself goes, i don't think they are too bothered about trying to collect 2 years worth of history, they just want it to reflect the current situation and then go from there, which i can understand from a space consideration point of view, but following a trail back to the origin of an asset is going to be from extremely difficult to well nigh impossible to do.