We were using the database server "OldDBServer" and have copied all the databases on the new database server "NewDBServer". Now, all the reference (like CA admin content DB, content DBs & Service application DBs) are updated and pointing to the new Database server however could not change the configuration DB reference

Have tried with the below command:
c:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\BIN>stsadm -o renameserver -oldservername "OldDBServer" -newservername "NewDBServer"

and failed with the below message:
A server named NewDBserver is already registered in this farm.

SQL Alias is configured on the WFEs to redirect the requests to the new DB server.

Let me know, how could we update the configuration DB reference to point to a newDB server, Shall one of the below command be used?

• stsadm -o setconfigdb -databaseserver
• psconfig.exe -cmd configdb –connect

Is it possible to just update the reference of the configuration DB reference to point to a newDB server instead of disconnect & reconnecting servers?

3 Answers 3


I havent done this before and would like to know how it goes and your solution. The solution i found sounds a bit long winded but solves the problem... if you read through there are two solutions you could try. I wish i could help you more but im no system admin but here is what iv found:

solution 1:

I think you many change the default server from SharePoint Central Administration site. You can find it "Central Administration" --> "Operations" --> "Default Database Server"

Change the name of the server to your current database server. Supply the login password if you have SQL Server authentication. Thats all.

if that doesnt work you can try solution 2:

-On the old farm, go to central admin, application Management, Web application list. Make a note of all these applications and the URLs associated with them
-Go back to Application management, click Site Collection List. Make a note of each site collection you have including the URL. Make sure to check each web app by selecting it on the right hand drop down and check the site collections in each app.
-Now you have a list of all the things you need to back up. Yay!
-use STSADM to back these up with the following command. You will run stsadm once for each entry you have noted in the steps above. I put my backup files in a folder called “Backup” on my servers C drive so my backup commands look like this:

Stsadm –o backup –url http://mywebapp –filename c:\backup\mywebapp.dat

-You will run this again for each webapp or site collection in your list. The command you use when backing up Site collections should contain the full URL including the host web app, even if you have already backed up the host webapp before. (I’m not sure why the backup doesn’t include site collections). So in my example, if I had a site collection at ”/sites/projects” under http//:mywebapp then I would need to run stsadm again like this:

Stsadm –o backup –url http://mywebapp/sites/projects  –filename c:\backup\projects.dat

-After you have a backup of all your webapps/site collections, move onto building your new farm.
-On a new server, install SharePoint following whatever docs you need to make a good vanilla SharePoint install. I installed mine following the numerous TechNet articles available. It’s not a big deal. Took about an hour or 2. Pay attention to the persmisions sections!

-Choose to create a new farm.
-Once your new server is up and running, you will need to create all your webapps again. I don’t believe that you need to re-create your site collections – just the webapps. That’s what I did anyway.
-Go to central Admin, application Management, Create or extend Web application.
-Create a new web application for each of your old applications (not site collections) based on the list you created at the beginning. Again follow the M$ literature to do this properly (creating app pools, permissions etc – it’s not hard at all)
-At this point its worth noting that I am creating my content DBs on the same DB server that my old content DBs are on. I’m calling them sensible names though so that I can distinguish between new DBs and Old ones and go back and delete old ones later.
-copy all your backup files from your old server to your new one. In my example I’m copying them to “C:\backups” again
-Now change your DNS so that your old web app names now point to your new sharepoint server. This is important for the restore command to find your new server instead of the old one!
-We use stsadm again to import the data from the backup files into the new web applications by running the following command from the new server:

Stsadm –o restore –url http://mywebapp –filename c:\backups\mywebapp.dat


-You run this command for each of your webapps that you backed up. Once you have done all your webapps, restore your site collections by running stsadm again. You don’t have to recreate anything first (other than the host webapp which is hopefully already done)

Stsadm –o restore -url http://mywebapp/sites/projects –filename c:\backup\projects.dat


Hope it helps :)

  • Thank you for the suggestion. 1. Changing the Default Database server may not solve this issue. 2. As we have to do this on the production system, creating a new farm is not possible. We may need to see an option to change/update the CA config database server alone.. Commented Sep 16, 2012 at 8:02

Changing the default database DOES NOT change existing references.

I recall in 2007 the config database was the only database you couldn't move (A backup had to be restored to the same name/server). You may need to check if this is still the case.


I realize this is a relatively old thread but though would post a solution nonetheless for future reference of others.

The way to do this is to:

  1. Stop all services on the old SharePoint farm (App servers/ WFE servers)
  2. Move over all the databases and logins to the new SQL server.
  3. Create an alias for the new server with the same alias name as the old server (OldDBServer to refer the example above)
  4. Configure the SharePoint servers to use this alias (using cliconfg.exe)
  5. Important: Use the ODBC Data Source administration client on the SharePoint servers to verify database connectivity using the newly configured alias
  6. Start the SharePoint services on all servers
  7. Enjoy! :) Here's a good reference by MS: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc512723(v=office.14).aspx

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