I am getting weird issues, while restoring SP2010 sub-site from our old SP2010 farm to new farm through a full backup. The subsite on old farm had unique permissions. As well as the lists inside the sub-site were also having unique permissions. Now when we restored the sub-site on a new farm, it broke all the security permissions. Now all lists underneath the new sub-site were inheriting the permissions from their parent. When we tried to update the permissions manually, It was not doing anything when we clicked on the button to stop inheriting permissions.

Further, some of the lists on the site were using third party Cross Site Lookup Fields, as well as sharepoint's Lookup Fields. After migration of the site, it seems like the backup/restore process did import data values for all inbuilt lookup fields but not for the Cross site lookup fields.

Now to get the values for these cross site lookups, I imported these lists from source farm as LIST Template and recreated these lists. Now this time it imported the list with all the data values and with all site permissions (Thats good so far).

Now after this, there was another weird problem, I was able to remove the permissions from the new lists (that i created through list template), but i couldn't add the permission to the list. When I pressed the button to inherit permissions from parent, sharepoint gave me an unexptected error and whole site broke up. Entire site collection now locking out all users with 500 internal server error. Central admin unable to do anything with site collection. PowerShell commands do not work on site collection.

I searched from various blogs and sites, but didn't find any solution so far other than to restore the database. Any suggestion, how to resolve the issue ?

  • Can you share the ULS Logs when you get the internal server error.
    – ArkoD
    Jun 24, 2012 at 17:30

2 Answers 2


We experienced this behavior. We had been using a script to assign permissions to sites - presumably all legitimate commands, and the observed effects were correct. However, at some later date, the we'd have a permissions problem, try to re-enable inheritance, and the entire site crashes and is un-recoverable except to restore the latest backup.

We rebuilt the site and assigned all permissions through the GUI, and haven't seen the problem re-occur.

I can't be certain of the cause and effect, but it certainly doesn't give us much confidence in PowerShell scripting for SharePoint.

  • @Scott....I've experienced the same exact issue recently. It is an ugly issue to recover from and I too had to resort to backup. I also can recreate the issue over and over. It's definately related to using the PS script to create permissions then creating either a custom list or importing a list using xls then inheriting permissions. In my case, I went one step further and made a change with the navigation by removing a header then the site blew up. If you know of an easier to correct this issue, any info is appreciated otherwise, I'll have to manually setup security on 30 sites - uggg!
    – user13093
    Nov 19, 2012 at 19:59
  • Hi welcome to SharePoint stackexchange! While there is much detail in this post, these posts would be better as comments on the question, as these areas are for answers, not follow ups.
    – Hugh Wood
    Nov 23, 2012 at 13:21

Is the source site collection has lock property turned on? http://blog.jonathanroussel.com/2009/04/thinking-of-copying-locked-sharepoint.html


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