There are many ways to make sure you have a copy of your data. For example, you can back up the entire database.
Or you could take a copy of only those rows about to be purged. In SQL Server, you have the very handy SELECT INTO FROM syntax:
select * into old_accounts_2003 from current_accounts where account_lastactive < '2004-01-01'Once that's done, you can go ahead and delete:
delete from current_accounts where account_lastactive < '2004-01-01'Remember, always make sure you can restore it before you purge it.
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