I see this is a pretty common error, but I'm still not able to solve it. I have a SharePoint 2010 site collection in my prod environment, which I backed up using the stsadm backup command, and I'm trying to restore it to my beta environment to an existing sharepoint site using stsadmin restore with the -overwrite parameter. When I run the restore command I get this error:

The operation that you are attempting to perform cannot be completed successfull y. No content databases in the web application were available to store your sit e collection. The existing content databases may have reached the maximum numbe r of site collections, or be set to read-only, or be offline, or may already con tain a copy of this site collection. Create another content database for the We b application and then try the operation again.

Microsoft has 2 methods for resolution posted below, and I'm trying method 2, however that does not help: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/926321

2 Answers 2


This is SP2010 SP1 bug; once you delete the first site collection, it is not deleted. PowerShell can help you

Get the Guid using


and then remove by

Remove-SPDeletedSite –Identity fc5ff8c9-2012-4fd8-b801-9a0efb0e71cd

I hope this helps.


It's a duplicate of this and I think all your options are described there.
Personally, I went through them all and decided either to overwrite an existing site collection or create a new content database just for the restored site collection.

  • If I understand correct, the post you refer to refers to a situation when you want to restore a site to the same content database. The case in this post involves backup from one environment and restore in another (ergo, another content database). But if a previous backup restore has been done between the environment, the I agree with you that it is a duplicate. Dec 17, 2013 at 17:55
  • It does not need to be the same content database. If a site collection has been restored to another content database in the past, it cannot be restored there again (unless it overwrites the previous site collection). In the link that I provided there is a method of deleting the site collection and then removing it from deleted site collections. That's the only way for restore to succeed. I assume it's not the obvious: "The existing content databases may have reached the maximum number of site collections, or be set to read-only, or be offline".
    – tsap
    Dec 17, 2013 at 23:59

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.