I'm trying to migrate content from one MOSS farm to another. Specifically a web application. The web application data is fully contained within a single content database. My process for doing this is as follows.

  1. SQL backup content db from source sql server
  2. Copy bak file over to destination sql server
  3. Restore database from bak file on destination sql server - WSS_Content_DB
  4. Create new web application on dest MOSS farm (http://newmoss:1234/)
  5. Create root site collection
  6. Via central admin remove the content database from new web app
  7. Via stsadm add the content db (WSS_Content_DB) to http://newmoss:1234

As far as I can gather from online guides this process should work and result in the content from my source MOSS web app duplicated on the new MOSS web app.

The problem is, when I now browse to http://newmoss:1234 there is no content. If I manually add /_layouts/viewlsts.aspx to see the "View all content" page I see a few core libraries but nothing from the source web app. If I query the database though the content is there, it's just not wired up correctly.

Can anyone tell me where I am going wrong or offer me some guidance.

The database is around 600GB so fairly large. I've tried doing this backup/restore via STSADM as well but that failed during the restore process.


I think I can see something strange when looking at the actual contents in the content database. The number of sites reported by central admin in the content database is 1. That matches what I see in the site collection list for this web app - one single root site collection.

When snooping around in the content database I can see several records in the "sites" table. This is strange as I would only expect to see a single site as per what Central Admin is telling me. Also when looking at the site ids in the database, and the site id of my broken restored site, it actually looks like the site that has restored is not the site I want! There are 5 records in the sites table and the restored site id matches the first record. The site I actually want (based on the column "Disk Used") is the third.

Any ideas what these other sites are and how I can restore a specific site?

2 Answers 2


Can you skip step 6 and try. Site collection should already exist in DB. Also before taking backup did you set the DB in readonly mode ?


Can you try detaching and then reattaching the database?

Some people have reported that this can solve the problem you are having and it is really easy to do anyway.

You should probably add the commands you are using to your post too.

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