I need to restore a site collection from a SQL DB of a different farm. This SQL DB holds only a single site collection. Both (destination and source) farms are identical except that they are in different domains.

The documentation suggests that restoring SQL DB itself is enough for restore. Is it really the case or would I need to detach the content db before sql db restore and attach it back after restore? If so, why? or is there a standard way of achieving this?

Env: SP 2010 & SQL Server 2008 R2

1 Answer 1


things are as simple as you mentioned in your question. Here are the steps.

  • You have to perform the SQL backup of the Content Database from Source Farm
  • Move the back file to destination server(sql)
  • Restore the Database on destination SQL Server
  • now you have two options over here
    • if you overwrite the destination dB while restoring, then no need to attach it as it is already attached. You all set.
    • but if you are restoring as a new db then attach the restored Content DB to your Destination farm web app.
  • Thank you, Waqas! I am bit confused about pt (4). If I haven't de-attached the content db why I need to attach it? I understand the solution as 'no need to do de-attach the content db before sql db restore'. Does the sql server db restore will de-attach the content db automatically? or may the pt (4) is not needed at all! Hope to hear from you.
    – Vamsi K K
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 19:55
  • let me explain in this way....You have two farm...Prod(with web app A & content DB 1) & Test ( Web app B and Content DB 2)....Now take the backup of the Content AB 1 from Prod and move the backup to Test Farm....Now we are on test farm, totally separate farm....once Content DB 1 restored on test server...let called it Content DB 3...Now you have DB on your test farm but how can you use it....the only way is attach the Content DB 3 to Web App B on test Farm......,
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 20:42
  • Thanks for detailing the scenario. In my case, I want to overwrite content DB2 with content DB1. I don't see why DB3 needs to be created. I think your approach is for the scenario where a new site collection is brought to destination. The scenario we have is an existing site collection needs to be refreshed from different farm. Just to note again, both farms are identical. So, still is there a need to attach the content db after sql db restore? Also, these two farms are in different domains. Does that make any difference?
    – Vamsi K K
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 12:06
  • Hello Waqas! Hope you get time to confirm this so that we can close this question. Thanks for helping.
    – Vamsi K K
    Commented Jan 16, 2016 at 12:42
  • If you are overwriting the existing dB on destination farm...then no need of attachment....simply overwrite will be work.
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Commented Jan 16, 2016 at 16:31

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