I recently had to reinstall SharePoint and recreate my server farm and sites.

Before I reinstalled everything I made backups of my populated content databases.

Everything has been reinstalled and setup. A new blank site collection has been made, attached my old content databases again, and used the Move-SPSite command to move my newly creates sites to my old content databases. When I browse my newly creates sites I am expecting to see all my old content back, but I see an empty site. When I browse my database in Microsoft SQL ServerManagement Studio, I can see all my old content in the database. So the question is then, why isn't it showing?

1 Answer 1


If you have backups of the content databases, simply restore the SQL backups and add the restores of the old content databases into the environment. No need to use Move-SPSite or anything. Note that you can't have the same site URL defined in more than one content database, so you don't want to create any of your structure before adding the old database back in.

Start with a clean environment, build the web applications, but no site structure, and use Mount-SPContentDatabase to add the content databases to the applicable web applications.

If you're moving your blank site into the old database, you're likely either introducing URL conflict, or overwriting the existing site structure.

  • This solution worked, but I noticed that some of my pages on the site are not working, as well as Shared Documents. My site runs as companyweb, but the links are to companyweb/SitePages which was the original URL. SharePoint Central Administration doesn't seem to be allowing me to change the URL of companyweb to companyweb/SitePages.
    – gpresland
    Jun 13, 2012 at 16:33
  • companyweb is a site collection, SitePages is a library inside that site collection, so you can't set the URL like that. If there's content missing, it could be missing from the SQL database backup. When you mount a content database, it will bring in the sites, webs, libraries, content, and configuration (including what features are activated). If you had pages that were ghosted to page layouts or masterpages in a WSP solution, that would have to be deployed prior to mounting the content DB, though it should error and tell you that.
    – webdes03
    Jun 13, 2012 at 16:38
  • 1
    You can also run Test-SPContentDatabase against the DB that you have. Test-SPContentDatabase will check to see what features the content database needs/expects and alert you if any of them are missing or not installed in the farm. If you built a new environment, it's entirely possible that there's missing solutions that need to be installed and deployed.
    – webdes03
    Jun 13, 2012 at 16:39
  • Test-SPContentDatabase returns nothing, which I am assuming means no errors found. Some of my files under Shared Documents exist, other's don't. It seems anything under /SitePages is missing. Would this library not be found with the rest of my content database? Do I have to set anything else up manually? Anything under /SitePages returns a 404.
    – gpresland
    Jun 13, 2012 at 17:42
  • What is the content? Is it publishing pages? I would expect the mount of the content database to automatically enable publishing if it's publishing content, but if it is, double check that those features are active.
    – webdes03
    Jun 14, 2012 at 0:29

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