Backing Up a Complete Farm with Stsadm

  1. Log on to the SharePoint server as the administrator.
  2. Open a command window and run the following command:
        Stsadm --o backup directory c:\bkup --backupmethod full
  3. Open the c:\bkup folder and verify that it contains a newly created folder starting with “SPBR” and an index number.
  4. Open SharePoint Central Administration, and switch to the Operations page; click “Backup and restore history” in the Backup and Restore section. The backup process you started in step 2 should be listed here.
Improtent When running this backup process, you will see a lot of details listed. To stop STADM from showing these details, add the command switch “-o quiet” at the end of step 2.

Backing Up a Single Site with STSADM

  1. Log on to the SharePoint server as the administrator.
  2. Open a command window and run the following command:
        Stsadm --o export --url http://srv1/sitedirectory/it -includeusersecurity↩ --filename c:\bkup\it.bak
  3. Open the c:\bkup folder and verify that your backup file is there, along with a log file.
  4. Next, restore this file to the URL http://srv1/sitedirectory/sales/it:
        Stsadm --o import --url http://srv1/sitedirectory/sales/it↩ -includeusersecurity --filename c:\bkup\it.bak
  5. Log on to the new site and verify that it works and that it has the same user permissions.

Update on “Cannot find… exportsettings.xml” error when restoring site with SharePoint Designer. Go get SP2.

Remember the “Cannot find… exportsettings.xml” error when trying to restore a site with SharePoint Designer? The reason for the error was the default 25MB file size limitation for the CMP files used to store the backup.

If you tried to use SharePoint Designer for site backup and ran into this error, you just have another reason to upgrade your SharePoint farm to Service Pack 2. Why? Here’s what the TechNet article on SharePoint Designer site backup says:

If you have not installed Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 with Service Pack 2 (SP2), backups that are performed by using Office SharePoint Designer are limited to 25 megabytes (MB). After you install Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 with SP2, the limit is increased to 2 gigabytes (GB).

For sites larger than 2GB the same workaround still applies, you can get the rest of your backup from the Site Collection Recycle Bin and manually reconcile it.

Thanks to Alex Kirillov who brought my attention to this change in WSS v3 SP2.


SharePoint Designer Backup and Restore

To backup:
  1. Open the site with SharePoint Designer
  2. Select Menu “Site” –> “Administration” –> Backup web site
  3. You can select to backup also the subsites
  4. Select where to save the backup file and write file name 

To restore:
  1. You have to have the created blank site (in the same language)
  2. Open the blank site with SharePoint Designer
  3. Select Menu “Site” –> “Administration” –> “Restore web site”
  4. Browse the file from your local computer
  5. After backup is made you can delete SharePoint’s temp file on site 

1. Easy backup, keeps meta data (like “Created” and “Modified” dates, “Created by” and “Modified by”) – Even if restoring to different sites. Can migrate between different sub-versions of same WSS 3.
2. You don’t need access to the server, just administrative rights on the site.

1. A BIG con is that you can make a backup of the sites that have under 25 MB. Looks like this is a bug in SharePoint designer and I hope it will be fixed soon. If you are backing up a site with over 25 MB you will encounter a problem “Cannot find ….. exportsettings.xml”. There is a workaround to this (I’ll post that in one of my later posts).
2. It doesn’t keep any custom data-views created with SharePoint Designer. After you restore and if you have any data-view-web-parts that you’ve created with SPD and are not working – you have to fix them. Read how to fix them here.