I have a 2010 SharePoint farm with 5 site collections. Because we're using TFS with multiple team project collections in the 2010 farm, I need to take a phased migration approach to move the content from the 2010 farm to the 2013 farm.

Because we're taking a phased migration approach, we will need to upgrade the content several times. SharePoint 2013 won't allow me to upgrade a site collection more than once. If I do, I get this error:

Site <url> cannot be upgraded

I get this error because the site collection's GUID exists in the database. It exists even if I delete the site collection in Central Administration.

A bit of googling suggests that I should use PowerShell to do this. So I attempted to do that:

remove-spsite -identity "<guid>" 

returns the error:

Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

More googling suggests using a force option to delete. It fails with the same error.

If I query the SiteMap table in the SharePoint_Config database, I can see the GUID for the site in this table, but I'm reluctant to delete it using SQL for fear that I may create more orphans in the database.

Does anyone know how to fix this using a Microsoft released utility?

1 Answer 1


Even more googling found this post, which suggests using STSADM from an elevated command prompt.

By default, STSADM can be found here:

c:\> cd\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\15\BIN\
> STSADM -o deletesite -force -siteid "<GUID>" -databasename "<ContentDatabaseName>" -databaseserver "<ContentDatabaseServer>"

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