January 24, 2005

Moving Your Microsoft Sharepoint Services 2.0 Website To a New Server When Your Databases are on a Separate SQL 2000 Server

Posted at January 24, 2005 04:35 PM in Computer Tech .

Author: Rhian D. Block

This article is still under review for errors. Use at your own risk :)

So you have a Windows Sharepoint Services 2.0 (WSS2) website that you would like to move to a brand new server. Keep in mind that for Sharepoint services, each website has its own unique 'Content Database' which basically holds the information on the look and feel of the site along with user information and any files/folders for the site. There is also a 'Configuration Database' that is referenced to by all of the sites as well but we shouldn't need to worry about this.

So here's the scenario. We have 'OLD SERVER' which currently houses the sharepoint sites and 'NEW SERVER' which we would like to bring the sites to. We also have our 'SQL 2000 Server' which houses the content databases for each of the Sharepoint website along with the one Configuration database for all of the sharepoint websites.

Prepare your staff ahead of time or do it very late! Get everybody off the sharepoint website to avoid any potential data loss!!

1.Your first and most important step of them all is to make sure you have installed the latest version of WSS2. You cannot migrate a site over to a new server until you have everything at the same release level. At the time of this writing the latest release is WSS2. The other very very very important step is that you create a backup of the existing content database your sharepoint site is using. This backup is done by going to your SQL 2000 server and right clicking anywhere in the 'Database' folder menu. Choose All Tasks>Backup Database... You will want to do a 'complete' backup and then select Add in order to specify the path to put this backup into. Remember to write down where you have backed it up so that you won't forget. You will be restoring the database you have just backed up in the final steps.

2.Start by creating a new website on 'NEW SERVER' under IIS and pointing the site to a new blank directory you have created on the server. You can give it the same name or create a new name.

3.Next right click the new website you just created and go to All Tasks> Sharepoint Central Administration > Login if you are prompted and then choose Extend or upgrade virtual server

4.If you do not see your website you may have to select Complete List at the top of your screen

5.Next choose Extend and create a content database. Choose to use an existing application pool. Using the default application pool should work fine. In the site owner field you should input the username in the format {yourdomain}\{yourusername} and then type a contact email address. In the database information field keep the checkbox that states Use default content database server. Note: Yes I do remember that you already have a site content database on your SQL Server for this website you are wishing to move. We must first do this step before telling sharepoint what database you want to use

6.After it does its magic exit out of the window and go back into IIS. Right click the new site you created in step 2 and go to All Tasks>Sharepoint Central Administration. You will then have to choose Extend or upgrade virtual server

7.The next screen that appears may show the site that you are interested in. If you do not see the new site you may have to choose to display the complete list which is a link at the top of your window. Select the correct website and on the next screen you want to choose Manage Content Databases under Virtual Server Management.

8.You should now see the generically named STS_*** database that was created on your SQL 2000 Server for this new site

9. You will now need to go back to the SQL 2000 server and restore the database you backed up in step 1. Right click anywhere in the database folder menu and choose All Tasks>Restore Database...

In the Restore as database field type in the new name of the database. This will be the actual name of the new database that is created by your restore process so make it nice and simple. On the show backups of database dropdown select the database you backed up in step 1. You will see the backup for that database and can now click ok. It may take several seconds or minutes to restore the database to this place depending on the amount of data.

10. Go back to the Sharepoint Central Administration > Extend or upgrade virtual server. Find the website of interest and select it. Choose Add a content database from this screen under Virtual Server Management and specify the database server settings. You will be required to type in the correct name of your SQL 2000 Server along with the content database name that you just restored your data into in step 9. For the following fields use:
Number of sites before a warning event is generated: 9000
Maximum number of sites that can be created in this database: 15000

11. You will now see that there are 2 content databases listed. You can go into the Manage content database settings and select the old STS** database. Put a checkmark into the Remove content database field and select OK. Your done! Your sharepoint website is now on the 'NEW SERVER' and it is pointing to the correct content database on the SQL 2000 Server that has a customized name.

Another Quick Tip from Rhian:
If things get messed up and you get wierd errors you can always get back to a fresh start with the new site you are attempting to setup. Right click the new site in IIS and select All Tasks>Sharepoint Central Administration
... Under the Virtual Server Configuration category choose Extend or upgrade virtual server.
Select the website you wish to have the sharepoint services removed from in the list and choose Remove Windows Sharepoint Services from virtual server under the Virtual Server Management category. Select Remove and delete content databases from the next screen and select ok. You can then start at step 1 again.


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