Tuesday, 12 July 2016

SQL Server Error 3257 – Causes and Solution


While working with SQL server, users may encounters numerous errors in different stages. These errors creates huddles in SQL transactions and its working, which sometimes vanishes the smooth working of SQL server.

SQL Server error 3257 is one of such error that resist database restoration in the system due to insufficient free disk space volume. In this article we will go through the reasons that causes SQL error 3257 and its resolution.

Reason Behind Occurrence Of SQL Server Error 3257

In many scenarios the data stored in the system get inaccessible or corrupted, In order to recover a SQL server database from these damages, Database administrator can restore SQL server database from it’s backup. While restoring the database from the SQL backup, an issue arises whenever there is insufficient disk space available in the system. The system will show below mentioned message or warning whenever the situation like insufficient disk space available while restoring the database.

Msg 3257, Level 16, State 1, Line 1
There is insufficient free space on disk volume '< volume >' to create the database. The database requires additional free bytes, while only bytes are available.

Resolving Steps for SQL Server Error 3257

In order to resolve the SQL server 3257 error, one should keep check on following points. Below are some pre- requisite that will help the admin for the restoration of backup files in the system.

  • Before taking the backup, admin must firstly verify the total space database actually requires and the total free space is available in disk before taking the backup. To identify the free disk space, DBA can use RESTORE FILELISTONLY command that allows user to see a list of the files that were backed up and also the free space require for restoring the backup files.

    RESTORE FILELISTONLY FROM DISK='backup_file_location'

    this command will verify the actual backup process.
  • The Restore command also used for identifying the header information of all backup files
  • Once the free pace in disk is identified then admin can go for altering the initial file sizes using the Alter command and also can reduce the size of backup by shrinking it.
  • If any other hard drive has enough space to store database then user can change the location for restoring the backup i.e where user want their Physical files to be.
  • If there is no enough space in hard drive then DBA can check the Multiple drive free space and then they can restore their backup files accordingly.
  • Then DBA can take the backup of the database and restore it on desired location.


After going through reasons that are responsible for the occurrence of Error 3257, DBA must identify the availability of free disk space and the verify the size of actual backup process. Admin can also shrink the size of backup files before restoring the database.