SQL server management studio “locate backup” default path – when an unfinished feature becomes a bug

Any of you that use SQL server management studio will probably, at one time or another, have had reason to attempt to restore a database from a backup file. This relatively simple operation is made irritatingly difficult by the management studio user interface. While there are many things wrong about the UI for this particular task (principally too many clicks before you do anything useful) the biggest problem is that it does not save the path of the backup file you choose. When you open the locate backup dialogue it defaults to a directory within the SQL server install dir, to select the file you want to restore you have to navigate to wherever in your file system that file resides, you can’t type in the path you have to scroll and click your way there. This is just painful but the pain is compounded by the fact that (if you don’t just give up and go home but actually find the file that you want to restore) the next time you wish to restore a backup you are forced to navigate through the directory structure again. I think this is due to an unfinished feature in the management studio, the UI of the specify backup dialogue looks as if it should save the locations of backup files you have previously restored, unfortunately it does not so instead this unfinished feature results in a usability bug in the locate backup dialogue.

The solution (or a kind of solution I should say) is to edit the registry entry that records the path the locate backup file dialogue defaults to;

My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL-MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQLServer\BackupDirectory


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