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I have a production SharePoint 2010 server with multiple site collections and sometimes I would like to copy the content from the site collections into my development environment so that I can test my upcoming changes to various features against what the actual data should be. How can I copy this data from production back to my development environment.

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I found my solution from this blog entry

Here are my modified basic steps:

  1. Go into SQL Server Management Studio and make a backup of the production content database.
  2. Take a backup of the development environment content database as well just in case things go awry.
  3. Detach and reattach the development content database so that it kills any active connections.
  4. Restore the production content database backup to the development environment.
  5. Make sure that any user security needed is recreated in development.
  6. Open powershell and enter

    Dismount-SPContentDatabase "DBNameHere"

  7. Enter

    Mount-SPContentDatabase "DBNameHere" -DatabaseServer "DBServerHere" -WebApplication "http://SiteName"

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