i am really new to sharepoint 2010 and i have just setup a fresh and new sharepoint 2010 server .

My task is to restore an old backup from the existing sp2010 server to the new one with completely different settings/pcservername and etc.

importantly and specificly i want to restore only the documents which I have uploaded , the sites which i have created and user permissions.

the settings to restore is overwhelming me. I have no clue what I am doing or how to use it.

my first try, i tried to restore everything but with mountains of errors and it created a duplicated database of different names on the new server. I had to uninstall and reinstall.

2nd try i tried to restore only the sharepoint-80 and i still can't get it restored without error. this time is some error with the schema version.

anyone can help me with the restoring work from one server to another with just the sites, documents and the users/permission ?

thanks in advance.

update : its running.. finally but at an extremely slow rate.. few megabytes/perminute...

update 2: managed to restore, login failure with domain accs/admin .. login is ok for sharepoint\admin .. any ideas ?

3 Answers 3


There are several ways of backup and restoring options within SharePoint 2010 when you move it from one farm to another.

  1. Saving site as a template if the changes are made within a site or site collection - Copying the solution to another farm will restore the site with content.

  2. Export / Import command from STSADM or Powershell - This method could be useful if you have sites or subsites to be exported and imported. You get a detailed error log for any error while export.

  3. Backup / Restore command from STSADM or Powershell - This might give you errors if your farm versions or db schema versions are not same.

  4. Database detach and attach process. - You can detach and attach the db files (mdf and ldf) from one server to another and create a new web application based on the newly attached db.

I would recommend Step 1 if the changes are limited or Step 3 if the changes are huge. Step 3 can move your entire site collection from farm to farm but you will have to workaround if your farm versions are not the same. The best approach would be to fix the schema versions and do Step3.

But if you don't like that, always Step 4 is a hassle free procedure. The only catch here is that the application goes down in the first farm when the database is made offline to detach.

Good Luck .

  • i tried the third option and it fails, care to explain the 1st and 2nd option and how to do it ?
    – Melvin
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 3:33
  • ok .. i will try powershell way with the link you gave me.. will update the progress laster.
    – Melvin
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 3:40
  • right now i used the powershell options and after 1000s of errors .. i finally get it going.. however.. the restore file is nearly 4gb and it's restoring at a very slow rate... like few mbs a minute.. it's taking too long.. it this normal ? when you mentioned detach, what should i detach and does all the permissions and users comes with it ?
    – Melvin
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 3:32
  • Yes, that should be fine since it has 4 GB. Let it complete and check it out. Remember, if nothing works out you always have the option of Step 4 which is the easiest, but not the best. :) Good Luck.
    – Deepu Nair
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 3:36
  • i have fully restored without error, however, i cant login even with the root account .. it just prompt 3 times for login and there's a blank page.. did i do something wrong there?
    – Melvin
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 4:21

If you get different versions from Sharepoint (including service packs), you should restore it on correct version then migrate to your target version.

I'm not sure if there's a easier way to do that, but this doesn't failed so far.


I'm a fan of step 4 of what Deepu lists above. I've had a couple of farms that just died and all I had was a content database. Your basic plan should be something along these lines (provided you have a copy of the content database that you had prior to the rebuild)

You will know the version of SharePoint you previously had installed eg SharePoint 2010 SP1 Install a new farm, so this means, new config DB etc. This means you will need a laundry list of how the farm was configured prior to it failing. So yes you'll have to re-provision all the service applications, alternate access mappings etc. You will setup a new Web Application with the same host header, port etc that it used to have. Detach or 'delete' as Microsoft refer to it, the content database on this dummy web application. Then attach the restored content database that you had prior to the failure.

stsadm –o addcontentdb –url http://websitename/sitecollection –databasename –databaseserver


your web application should show you that you've got x number of site collections and your permissions and everything else should still be there. The main problem you're going to face is the re-deployment of any 3rd party solutions you had installed in the farm prior to losing the web front end. You'll need to ensure you have re-deployed those or you will have errors galore and will be having a hard time figuring out what they were.

really the process is like opening a can of worms but doing this type of restore has bailed me out a few times.

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