I have a site collection on an Enterprise server that I need to migrate to a server that only has Foundation on it. I have disabled all Enterprise-only features, and attempted a backup and restore, and gotten the Your backup is from a different version of Microsoft SharePoint Foundation and cannot be restored to a server running the current version. error.

What is the best way to migrate from the Enterprise version to Foundation?

  • Are you going from WSS 3.0 to SharePoint Foundation 2010? Nov 14, 2011 at 5:14
  • I'm going from SharePoint Server 2010 to Foundation 2010
    – Nacht
    Nov 14, 2011 at 5:19
  • sorry i suppose i didnt understand the terminology - correction in place
    – Nacht
    Nov 14, 2011 at 5:35
  • Is the patch level on both of the farms the same? Nov 14, 2011 at 6:54
  • the patch level cant really be the same since one's Server and one's Foundation - right? most of the patches for Server cant be installed at all in Foundation
    – Nacht
    Nov 15, 2011 at 1:57

5 Answers 5


Check to ensure your Foundation server has the latest updates/sps. I've come across this same error going from Foundation to Foundation as well.

  • ive installed the latest hotfix, but it seems to have increased the version number it wants to '' which i didnt think is a real version number.
    – Nacht
    Nov 15, 2011 at 1:43
  • 1
    That doesn't sound like a valid version, go to Central Admin > Servers on Farm and you'll see a version number, mine is 14.0.6029.1000. It's okay if the box your copying to has a newer version. Nov 15, 2011 at 12:02
  • hmm i see... the number here is 14.0.4762.1000. I have since discovered that there's pretty much no way my migration is going to work anyway since i was using Page Layouts which are in the Publishing feature which is not included in Foundation. So I'm having to do a lot of reworking, and simply copying files over
    – Nacht
    Nov 15, 2011 at 23:26
  • Ouch, yeah, I don't think you can do much from that point... good luck! Nov 16, 2011 at 3:14

Migration from SharePoint Enterprise to SharePoint Foundation is not recommended. Because SharePoint Enterprise has standard and enterprise features, if you tried to migrate the site collection, there is too many issues raised.

So, you have to manually copy the pages, styles, images and for lists, document libraries & subsites, save as template and used those templates in SharePoint Foundation site collection.

  1. Take the backup of sharepoint sitecollection DB from server using sql manager
  2. Create a sitecollection to a new DB in foundation
  3. Detach the newly created sitecollections DB
  4. Stop the sharepoint timer job
  5. Restore the backup db to the content DB of newly created sitecollection using sql manager
  6. Start the timer job
  7. Attach the Content DB to new sitecollection
  8. IIS reset

This solution works for me

  • this method seems complicated - ive never actually used sql manager before. im thinking of just copying over master pages and images and web parts
    – Nacht
    Nov 15, 2011 at 1:58
  • also, this method touches the database, which voids the warrantee, and is just a generally bad idea.
    – Nacht
    Nov 6, 2012 at 23:27
  • Upon reading this answer years later, you probably just meant SQL Management Studio and you're just copying the whole database so not "touching" the database like i thought. but still seems like it wouldn't work
    – Nacht
    Jan 22, 2015 at 3:04

Unfortunately, I could not restore my SharePoint Server site collection to my SharePoint Foundation site collection using any proper migration methods.

Since the SharePoint Server site collection was heavily relying on the Publishing feature, which isn't supported for SharePoint Foundation, I had to rearrange a few things to get it working. Luckily my project was not very large, and really the only major change was turning my page layouts into pages.

So really all I did was to copy my CSS, images, master pages, page layouts, and wsps over. I did not need to migrate any content as the first site collection was only for testing.


I have done it for simple sites with just a DB attachment process. But the most recommended scenario is to use some migration tool like ShareGate or Metalogix.

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