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How to move WSS 2 on W2k3 to WSS3 on W2k8

Posted on 2010-09-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I need to move a Windows SharePoint Services 2 environment on a hosted Windows 2003 server to a Windows SharePoint 3 environment on a Windows 2008 server located at a different hosting company. I am a Network Engineer who's new to SharePoint. I'm not a developer in any way so scripting and editing code will be difficult to accomplish.

System Info/Requirements:
- Single server in the farm with a single Site Collection
- Single content database with a single config database
- Content database is about 14GB and config is about 2MB
- Storage is not a concern
- NO 3rd party tools are installed
- AD pass-through integration is NOT configured; users have to login using the domain account when accessing SharePoint
- URL to access the site will remain the same
- Source and Destination servers have different names and are in different domains
- WSS 3 is already installed on the destination server and a site collection has been created; no data has been added and no configuration has been done on it

I keep reading conflicting instructions on this process so I'm not really sure what the proper process is. Some say I only need the move the content database. Some say I need to upgrade to WSS 3 on the source server first. Some say I need to use the default web.config file on the destination server and customize it for the SharePoint environment that's brought over from the source server.

I'm lost in a sea of information comprised of bits and pieces of information. Does anyone have a complete step by step list from start to finish on how to accomplish what I need to do here? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:iVenture_Solutions
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Justin Smith earned 500 total points
ID: 33748841
Honestly, I would do an inplace upgrade to WSS 3.0 on your current server.  Run a farm backup beforehand, in case you have to roll back.  Once you test and confirm that the site is performing correctly on the 3.0 platform, then think about migrating to your other server.

If you don't have any custom code/web parts in your environment, the easiest thing to do would be creating a new farm on your 2008 server.  Create your web app with the appropriate URL on your 2008 box (but don't update DNS yet obviously).  You don't need to create a site collection in your web app yet.

Then run a site collection backup on your 2003 server via STSADM.  Save as a .bak file.  Move the backup file to your 2008 box.  Run a restore via STSADM on your 2008 box to the web app you created.  

I would set the HOSTS file on your 2008 server to point your URL to the 2008 box, which will allow you to test the site before switching DNS.  

This all assumes the servers are in the same domain.  
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Author Comment

by:iVenture_Solutions
ID: 33749400
1.) The servers are in different domains. How do I overcome that?

2.) Shouldn't I pull over the IIS site and Web.config files from the source server (after doing the inplace upgrade)? If not, why? I don't see how moving the backend only is going to work. Maybe I'm missing something.
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Expert Comment

by:chapmanjw
ID: 33749513
I would actually migrate the content database from your SQL 2000 instance to your SQL instance for SharePoint 2007.  Tutorial here: http://farhanfaiz.wordpress.com/2008/05/23/sharepoint-upgrade-database-migration/
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Expert Comment

by:Justin Smith
ID: 33769926
1. Well the site will still restore just fine, but obviously security will be messed up.  You can manually fix the security, or you can run STSADM commands to translate old domain accounts into new domain accounts, if the users are changing domains as well.

2. With SharePoint, content isn't saved in the IIS site, it's all in the databases.
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Author Closing Comment

by:iVenture_Solutions
ID: 34035685
We did a backup of the SQL DBs and restored them on the new server. Everything for the config was in the SQL DB. Nothing else needed to be done.
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