I've created a backup from a site collection (Customer's SharePoint Server 2013 Std) and restored the contents in our development environment (SharePoint Server 2013 Ent). Both servers (small environment, single SP, separate SQL) are on same patch level.

The restore using PowerShell did work but threw an exception at the end (E_ACCESSDENIED). I cannot access the site using my SP-Admin account, which is farm admin and admin in other site collections.

I am able to access the site when logging on with the AppPool account but cannot change the site collection admins from site settings; people picker field cannot resolve the names I enter. The site is in read only or maintenance mode, displaying a red bar at the top. I assume the E_ACCESSDENIED error is thrown because the site could not be unlocked.

Setting site collection admins in Central Administration does not work since the restored site collection is not shown when selecting it's web application.

My Admin/Installation and Farm and AppPool account do have dbo rights in the content db (dev server, so no security issue). I already tried restoring to an existing content db using -Force parameter, with no luck.

The Get-SPSite or Get-SPWeb command can't find SPSite object.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance

2 Answers 2


sounds like a right mess!

first thing todo is get your sitecollection out of locked mode if it is in that mode:

goto server -> central admin -> application managment -> within site collections area click on Configure quotas and locks -> make sure you have the correct web application selected and the correct site collection selected within the drop down. -> click on not locked and click ok

No access to Site Collection after Backup/Restore from different Domain

next issue, dont do it through the sharepoint ui, for some reason your forrest is messed up but i think its not messed up? 1) is the site collection from a farm that the account your using from the same domain?

either way use central admin to add the site collection admin ->

server -> central admin -> application managment -> within site collections area click on manage site collection admins -> make sure the correct webapplication and site collection is selected -> you should see two (primary and secondry) -> take a note of the primary account -> clear it and add in the farm account and update.

you should now be able to log in to the site collection. within the UI add the site collection admin that you removed

  • 1
    Quotas and Locks: when choosing the web application there's no site collection listed / Manage Site Coll Admins: same issue here with SC selection / Source and target SP are from different domains, so service accounts etc. are not the same / The target domain/forest/sp environment is working fine for other site collections; just the restored one is having issues. I think I am missing something account related
    – user32563
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 11:15

I finally got this working by creating the web application with my SP-Admin as a service account for the app pool in IIS. I know I shouldn't but since it is only for this very site collection in my dev environment, I'm fine with this "solution". Switching to another service account again resulted in a 404, so I leave it this way for now.

I now can access the restored site collection, and no e_accessdenied error when running restore-spsite.

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