Restore Content Database to Alternate Portal

By James|08/21/2011|, , ,

It's always a good idea to test your SharePoint backups to ensure they will actually work in case you ever need them. You are doing backups, right?

This article focuses on restoring a production content database backup created using SQL Server.  The goal is to restore the database to a recovery portal.

NOTE: This example is based on SharePoint 2007 and SQL Server 2008. Results may vary with different versions of SharePoint and/or SQL Server.

For this example, the following information will be used:

  • SQL Database Backup: MOSS_Content_Sales.bak
  • Content Database: MOSS_Content_Sales
  • Recovery Portal URL: http://recoveryportal
  • Recovery Portal Managed Path: /sales

Prepare the Recovery Portal

Create Managed Path

NOTE: This step can be skipped if a managed path has already been created for the content database that will be restored.  This may be the case if scheduled database restore tests are in place.

  • Open the Central Administration web site
  • Select Application Management -> SharePoint Web Application Management -> Define Managed Paths
  • For Path, enter sales
  • For Type, select Explicit Inclusion
  • Click OK to return to the Application Management page

Create New Content Database

NOTE: This step can be skipped if the content database that will be restored already exists.  This may be the case if scheduled database restore tests are in place.

  • Select Content databases under SharePoint Web Application Management
  • Click Add a content database
  • Enter MOSS_Content_Sales for Database Name
  • Click OK

Create a new Site Collection

NOTE: This step can be skipped if a site collection has already been created for the content database that will be restored.  This may be the case if scheduled database restore tests are in place.

  • Return to the Application Management tab
  • Select SharePoint Site Management -> Create site collection
  • Verify the selected Web Application is the correct application. If not, click the drop down, click Change Web Application and choose the appropriate web application.
  • Enter Sales for the Title
  • For URL, ensure the drop down shows /sales. If not, click the drop down and select the /sales managed path.
  • Select Blank Site for Template Selection
  • Enter appropriate user accounts for Primary and Secondary Site Collection Administrator fields.
  • Click OK

Remove Content Database

  • Return to the Application Management tab
  • Select SharePoint Web Application Management -> Content databases
  • Click on the MOSS_Content_Sales content database.
  • Check the Remove content database option
  • Click OK
  • Confirm the delete content database dialog

Restore the latest FULL SQL backup

  • Locate the most current FULL backup of the content database to restore and copy it to the recovery portal
  • Launch SQL Server Management Studio on the recovery portal
  • Double click Databases in the left-hand pane
  • NOTE: If scheduled database restore tests are in place, the content database may already exist in SQL Server.  Review the existing databases in the left-hand pane, and if the content database already exists:
      • Click the existing content database
      • Right click and select Delete
    • This will present the Delete Object dialog.  Click to select the Close existing connections option
    • Click OK
  • Right click Databases and select Restore Database
  • Under Destination for restore, enter MOSS_Content_Sales
  • Under Source for restore, select From device
  • Click the ... button to open the Specify Backup dialog
  • Click Add
  • Browse for and select the backup file that was copied from the production portal
  • Click OK to close the Locate Backup File dialog
  • Click OK to close the Specify Backup dialog
  • Under Source for restore, click the Restore check box for the file selected
  • If a newer differential backup will also be restored:
    • Click Options in the left-hand pane
    • For Recovery State, select the second option RESTORE WITH NORECOVERY
  • Click OK to perform the restore
  • If not restoring a newer differential backup, close SQL Management Studio

Restore the latest DIFFERENTIAL SQL Backup

NOTE: Skip this step if the full backup was the latest backup

  • Locate the most current DIFFERENTIAL backup of the content database to restore and copy it to the recovery portal
  • Return to the SQL Server Management Studio
  • In the left pane, locate and click on the content database that was restored from the previous step
  • Right click on the content database and select Tools -> Restore -> Database
  • Under Source for restore, select From device
  • Click the ... button to open the Specify Backup dialog
  • Click Add
  • Browse for and select the differential backup file that was copied from the production portal
  • Click OK to close the Locate Backup File dialog
  • Click OK to close the Specify Backup dialog
  • Under Source for restore, click the Restore check box for the file selected
  • Click OK to perform the restore
  • Close SQL Management Studio

Attach Content Database

  • Open a command prompt
  • Navigate to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\Bin
  • Run the following command to attach the content database to the site collection: stsadm.exe -o addcontentdb -url http://recoveryportal/sales -databasename MOSS_Content_Sales.

The restored site collection should now be available on the recovery portal. Browse to http://recoveryportal/sales and verify the site is available.

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