Migrating SharePoint 2003 without SPSBackup
The title of this post may not be totally accurate. It could also be:
- Migrating SharePoint 2003 from a Single to Farm environment.
- Migrating SharePoint 2003 by Restoring the Portal
- Migrating SharePoint 2003 through SQL Server.
or, my favorite:
- Migrating SharePoint 2003 when the SharePoint Gods are angry with you.
There are numerous factors that come into play when trying to migrate SharePoint 2003.
- Versions and subversions of SharePoint,
- Versions and subversions of Windows Server,
- Versions and subversions of SQL Server 2005,
- Deployment hierarchy
- and number of “Unexpected errors” that can occur for no real reason.
After a few days of battling topologies, obscure messages in SPSBackup, and service packs, I finally just installed clean copies of SharePoint 2003 on each of the servers; upgraded to the latest service packs, and tried a different approach—using SQL Server backups.
- Backup the “to be” migrated SharePoint databases (I had a SITE, PROF, and SERV database) to three separate .BAK files.
- Copy those files to your new SQL Server and restore them as SITE_Old, etc.
- The ConfigDb database is unnecessary.
Restoring the Portal
- When you’re first presented with the SharePoint Central Administrator, complete the service account information, server topology, etc. This will recreate the ConfigDb for your new portal server.
- When creating a portal, change the radio button from ‘Create a portal’ to ‘Restore a portal’.
- You’ll be prompted for three database names: your site, user profile, and services. Enter the names you gave them (SITE_Old, etc) from “Backing Up” Step #2.
- Specify your Portal’s URL and click OK.
That’s it; it’ll churn for a few minutes and recreate the portal. If you are in a farm with multiple web servers, make sure you’ve recreated all necessary files, web parts, etc. on each server.