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We have been having some issues with restoring deleted site collections in our stage and prod 2010 SP1 environments. We have all of the default recycle settings configured, and have enabled the feature.

When a site collection gets deleted, it never shows up in the recycle bin. I have checked end user recycle bin, deleted from end user recycle bin, and have checked in central administrations recycle bin.

Even stranger, sometimes when I run the Get-SPDeletedSite command, the deleted site collection does not show up. When it does show up running that command and we are able to restore the site, but it just seems odd that sometimes it doesn't. We have had to restore the site from backups on the occasions that we are unable to find the deleted site collection.

I have found only one forum post/article related to this exact issue, but it went unresolved. Anybody here had this issue, or have any suggestions on what I could try?

thanks guys!

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

A Site considerably different from a Site Collection in that a site is simply a child web of the site collection whereas the Site Collection is the top level data container. Only deleted sites appear in the recycle bin because the recycle bin itself is contained in the Site Collection. If you delete the Site Collection, you are deleting the recycle bin as well, meaning the PowerShell commands are the only option (aside from a traditional restore)

Further, according to this site:

If you are an admin and you have explicitly called Remove-SPSite, then your site collection is not available to the SPDeleteSite commandlets.

this is further backed up by Microsoft which says this :

The Remove-SPSite cmdlet completely deletes an existing site collection and all subsites. This operation cannot be undone.

so if you are deleting the site collections via this command, they will not appear if you try to restore them using the powershell Get-SPDeletedSite command

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Thank you for clarifying that for me...I feel a little silly that I didn't understand how that worked. Much appreciated. –  Kevin May 2 '13 at 16:22
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