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We try to do a farm backup but it didn't work because it was a restore a multiple-server farm to a single-server farm.

What are the option to backup/restore a multiple-server farm to a single-server farm? I would like to stay away from deploying WSPs.

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    You will still need to deploy wsps as the same features in the multi sever farm need to be on the single server farm in order to work. – Eric Alexander Jul 11 '14 at 22:56
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In your sitution i would prefer the Content Database Attach approach.

  • Install sharepoint on server(same version/build level)
  • Configure the farm
  • create Services Applications
  • Create Web Application (as per requirement)
  • Deploy all the customitzation/wsp you have in production
  • now backup the content Database from Prodction(multi Server farm)
  • restore on the single server farm sql server
  • Now attach the content database to desired web app
  • run the full crawl(if search service configured)
  • any special settings apply now.

You will be all set now, One thing you need new DNS for single server or you can use server name and port number.

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