I'm told by my IT vendor that in order to get a backup of a file that I stored 10 years ago on Sharepoint 2003, they'd need to create a new environment to restore the entire Sharepoint.

I suspect that it's possible to restore documents separately from restoring the entire share point instance, but I'm not sure if that's entirely accurate.

I'm wondering what anyone's best guess would be for how to go about retrieving files without having to restore the entire instance, which is what my IT vendor is suggesting. I'd like to propose a solution that may require less effort, and am struggling to find an answer.

Any comments or questions I should pose would be welcome!


What your IT vendor telling you kind of true. Unless you are using the 3rd party tools for backup and restore. From your question looks like you are on SharePoint 2007 at that limit available options are either use 3rd party tools or restore the database in 2nd farm (which is exact copy of production in comfiguration) and recover files from there.

In SharePoint 2010 onwards, you can use ootb unattached content database recovery option from central admin. In this option you can restore the database from all server, the using central admin you can backup of site collection or export a list/site. One you have backup file then restore it in different web application and recover the data. Read more here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh269602(v=office.14).aspx

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  • Do you know of any reliable 3rd party tools that I could suggest? Also, are you saying that if I have Sharepoint 2010 or onwards, i have the ability to restore the databases using that recovery option? – sqlnewbie1979 Jun 7 '17 at 2:14
  • If you have back up of your database from previous dates then yes you can get the backup of site collection, read the link I mentioned in the answer. We used System center dpm, but there are many available in market. – Waqas Sarwar MVP Jun 7 '17 at 2:24

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