Define a Logical Backup Device for a Tape Drive (SQL Server)

Applies to: SQL Server

This topic describes how to define a logical backup device for a tape drive in SQL Server by using SQL Server Management Studio or Transact-SQL. A logical device is a user-defined name that points to a specific physical backup device (a disk file or tape drive). The initialization of the physical device occurs later, when a backup is written to the backup device.


Support for tape backup devices will be removed in a future version of SQL Server. Avoid using this feature in new development work, and plan to modify applications that currently use this feature.

In This Topic

Before You Begin

Limitations and Restrictions

  • The tape drive or drives must be supported by the Microsoft Windows operating system.

  • The tape device must be connected physically to the computer that is running an instance of SQL Server. Backing up to remote tape devices is not supported.



Requires membership in the diskadmin fixed server role.

Requires permission to write to the disk.

Using SQL Server Management Studio

To define a logical backup device for a tape drive

  1. After connecting to the appropriate instance of the Microsoft SQL Server Database Engine, in Object Explorer, click the server name to expand the server tree.

  2. Expand Server Objects, and then right-click Backup Devices.

  3. Click New Backup Device, which opens the Backup Device dialog box.

  4. Enter a device name.

  5. For the destination, click Tape and select a tape drive that is not already associated with another backup device. If no such tape drives are available, the Tape option is inactive.

  6. To define the new device, click OK.

To back up to this new device, add it to the Back up to: field in the Back up Database (General) dialog box. For more information, see Create a Full Database Backup (SQL Server).

Using Transact-SQL

To define a logical backup device for a tape drive

  1. Connect to the Database Engine.

  2. From the Standard bar, click New Query.

  3. Copy and paste the following example into the query window and click Execute. This example shows how to use sp_addumpdevice to define a logical backup device for a tape. The example adds the tape backup device named tapedump1, with the physical name \\.\tape0.

USE AdventureWorks2022;  
EXEC sp_addumpdevice 'tape', 'tapedump1', '\\.\tape0' ;  

See Also

BACKUP (Transact-SQL)
sys.backup_devices (Transact-SQL)
sp_addumpdevice (Transact-SQL)
sp_dropdevice (Transact-SQL)
Backup Devices (SQL Server)
Define a Logical Backup Device for a Disk File (SQL Server)
View the Properties and Contents of a Logical Backup Device (SQL Server)