We have a test server that is old and is not enough to put into production. Also, something happened to the Shared Services in our Administrative Services and does not allow certain things that requires Shared Services like adding search scopes. Would it be possible to migrate the test server to a newer machine even though it does not have Shared Services, or would we basically need to start over from "scratch"?

If we would need to start from scratch, would there be a way to maintain any of the metadata that is currently stored? We have revision numbers on many documents that would be a pain and take a long time to reenter into the new one.

3 Answers 3


If you're able to fully reconstruct the logical topology of your test environment (including the web applications, site collections, managed paths, etc) - you might be able to attach the content databases from your web applications into the new environment.

  • We are waiting on our new server to come in and will be trying to migrate what we can when we get it. This information is very helpful.
    – sange
    Commented Oct 19, 2010 at 20:23

Setup a new SharePoint environment running the same version of SharePoint as your current Test environment (patch level, language packs, etc.). Install any features/solutions in the new environment that you have in the Test environment. You should then be able to migrate over your content database(s) and be up and running (barring any further discrepencies such as different domain, etc.).

I've done this using a few different methods depending on the scenario at the time. You can use the stsadm backup/restore, or even just a straight backup & restore directly from SQL.

If the portal is actively being used, you'll need to set it as read-only to prevent data corruption prior to the backup.

During the new installation, go through the motions of creating the new web app and first site collection. Then when you're ready, disassociate the new site collection's database that was created, and associate it with the one restored from your test environment. You should be good to go.


Assumption: Your Sharepoint server has the Sharepoint pieces and parts but not SQL.

If you have avoided touching files directly on your Sharepoint server, such as the web.config files and files in the 12 hive (which you shouldn't be editing manually anyway), it should be a fairly simple move. All you need to do is:

  1. Install Sharepoint on another server, run the config wizard and connect it to your existing database
  2. Turn on all necessary services on the new server (from central admin)
  3. Change DNS settings to point to the new server
  4. Remove the old server from the farm.

If you have SQL and Sharepoint running on the same box, this becomes more difficult. Also, if you've manually edited files on the web server, it is more difficult, as you need to do the same manual edits on your new server.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.