I have an enterprise wiki site collection , and i back up the site collection ( i will name it SiteA) , the i have create a new site collection (SiteB) of type enterprise wiki . What i want is to make a copy of siteA , and restore it inside site B.so i did the following.

Backup-SPSite "http://server01/SiteA" –Path "C:\backup\siteA.bak"

Restore-SPSite http://server01/sites/SiteB –Path "C:\backup\siteA.bak" -Force

but the restore command raised the following error:-

Restore-SPSite : The operation that you are attempting to perform cannot be completed successfully. No content databases in the web application were available to store your site collection. The existing content databases may have reached the maximum number of site collections, or be set to read-only, or be offline, or may already contain a copy of this site collection. Create another content database for the Web application and then try the operation again.

can anyone advice what is causing this error ? Thanks

3 Answers 3


priyanka is correct, a site collection would create a new content database on the server which would have conflicting ID's using backup and restore.

You would rather need to use export and import:

Export-SPWeb http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff607895(v=office.15).aspx

Import-SPWeb http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff607613(v=office.15).aspx

but above would be setting your site collection to a new location as a subsite.

If you want to retain the site collection as a site collection and to copy it and paste itself within itself than you would need to use third party apps like metalogix or avePoint or metavis or dell sharepoint

i would recommend dell - migration suite for sharepoint , ive used it before and i know it can promote subsites as site collections or in your case copy the site collection and past within itself as a site collection.


no its not possible to create a backup and restore within the same site collection, The ID's for site collection, sites, subsites and list/libs will be in conflict with each other.

Backup-SPSite is full fidelity, that means all associations and id are kept the same.. its a mirror copy. Import and export are not full fidelity meaning that associations are lost and no id's are kept (new guids created).

Backup/restore-SPSite is for site collection level. import/export is for site level. As noted the only way would be to use a thid party tool for your migration from sitecollection to site collection

  • no i want to export the site collection as site collection , and restore it as a site collection also. if there is a conflicting ids for the content database, then is there a way to define a new id for the database when restoring my site collection ?
    – John John
    Aug 13, 2014 at 12:33
  • 1
    just ammended my answer
    – Ali Jafer
    Aug 13, 2014 at 12:56

You try to restore a site collection backup to the same content database from which the site backup was taken , there will be a GUID conflict. GUID for a site collection is unique and it gets stored along with the site collection backup.

  • so can i specify a new GUID for the restored site collection?
    – John John
    Aug 13, 2014 at 10:33
  • To resolve the issue, new content database needs to be created in the web application to restore the site collection. Aug 13, 2014 at 10:42

The error message you are receiving is because your content databases are full. If you go into Central Administration and look at your content databases, you'd see that they are all capped with the number of site collections that they can contain. Simply create a new content database and restore the site into that database and it should work.

  • so this is not related to not being able to restore a copy of a site collection on another site collection within the same web application (GUID conflicts ) ?
    – John John
    Sep 23, 2015 at 17:37

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