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How do I restore a sharepoint site that was not properley backed up

Posted on 2011-03-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi:
Here is the situation.
A client has about 100 users.
They have a single server that acts as a domain controller, file server and sharepoint site.
The server has 2 Zeon processors, 8 GB of ram and enough horsepower to do the job and has been doing it very well since last year.
The server is running Windows 2008 standard 64 bit, sharepoint 2010 foundations, SQL 2008 express.

During a recent (february 24th) windows update, the operating system broke and many services started to fail.  (Thanks, Microsoft)  After much effort, it was decided to install a fresh copy of Server 2008 and rebuild the active directory and install SQL and Sharepoint 2010.  A copy was saved of the inetpub folder and the SQL data folder along with a copy of all the directories & files on the hard drive.

The big question is:  Can I rebuild the sharepoint site from the data files that have been saved?

Looking forward to any positive insight.  Thanks.
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Question by:softecsolutions
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Assisted Solution

by:Justin Smith
Justin Smith earned 1500 total points
ID: 35068345
Luckily you have the mdf (and hopefully ldf) files, so there is some hope.

You need to attach these mdf databaes back into SQL first off.  Only attach the web app content db's, don't bother with the config or admin or service app databases (for sake of ease).

Go ahead and run the SP config wizard to create a new farm.  Open up Central Admin and manually create your service apps and web apps to match the previous environment.

Once your web apps are created, restore the databases from Central Admin - App Management - Content Databases.  You can remove the db's that were created when you made the new web apps.

So the end result will be a new farm with new web apps with your old databases attached to them.  
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Author Comment

by:softecsolutions
ID: 35068429
Thanks for your response.  I will try this this morning, I hope.  I am still creating users, not a huge job, but takes some time.  The Sharepoint site did not have much in the way of special applications, it is just the content that had all the time and effort.  I hope this will work.
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Accepted Solution

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Pstry earned 500 total points
ID: 35068433
I believe that restoring files does not make SharePoint work. What you should do is:

Install SharePoint with the same configuration (names are most important)

and...

If you do have full farm backup: restore SharePoint from backup
if you do not have farm backup:

Create the same application(s)
Delete content databases: Central Administration -> Application Management -> Manage Content Databases -> Select application and database -> Select 'Remove content database' -> Confirm
Restore databases from backup on your SQL Server
Make sure that new logins are mapped correctly to database users (might not be necessasry if you restore AD)
Attach database to existing application(s): Central Administration -> Application Management -> Manage Content Databases -> Select application -> Add a content database -> Enter existing database name and confirm. Note: depending on situation stsadm -o addcontentdb command or Mount-SPContentDatabase powershell cmdlet may be required instead.

I will not try to restore files. Of course - if you previously had some custom features or solutions installed - install them again. If you modified web.config - try to apply changes (line by line, do not replace content).

Your search settings, profiles, BDC and so on will be lost. However - almost all of these can be restored manually.

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Expert Comment

by:KoenVosters
ID: 35069327
Pstry, I think that is what Achilles is saying, he just misused the word restoring in his explanation. Have you identified the root cause of the problem with the update? It would be good to know the reason or at least upgrade your server to the latest version to be sure the update runs fine this time.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Justin Smith
ID: 35069391
Correct.  The user has already installed SP again, so the next step is to run the config wizard to create the farm, as I noted.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:softecsolutions
ID: 35069655
Thank you all very much for the input.  We are still creating the ldf file to import the users with.  A bit of work, but gives us a backup of users to work with too.  As for what update went wrong, we are not entirely sure.  There was a powershell update and a couple of others.  We saved the event files and with look at them once the server is finished.  I know automatic updates should be turned off on a server and this has been a harsh reminder, but can't Microsoft be trusted to do a better job of protecting the server operating systems from a total collapse.  (I know the answer to that question), AND, why the change to operating systems that can't be re-installed over themselves?  How many times has a re-install fixed issues in the past, and Microsoft took it away.  (Thanks MS)

Anyway, thank for the quidance so far.  I will try these suggestions and anything other ideas that get posted, if necessary.  Back soon.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:softecsolutions
ID: 35073158
HI
Finnaly got a chance to work on this, now that the server is up and running.  I am missing a point, and I hope it is a small one.  How do I attach the old databases back into SQL?  (I hope this isn't too obvious.)
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LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:Justin Smith
Justin Smith earned 1500 total points
ID: 35073176
Through SQL manager.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:softecsolutions
ID: 35073195
Opps, it was that obvious.  But I do have one issue.  When I try to attach the old database into SQL, it fails because it already has one with the same name.  Is it an issue to rename the one I am re-attaching to?
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:softecsolutions
ID: 35074054
Still working away with this.  My current road block is a security issue with the old file.  It would appear that the original file had a different users attached ot it.  I am working with SQL Manager, trying to give the new user access to the database, but when I go back to Sharepoint to add that content database, it reports that the login failed for the user.   Any thoughts.  I am not strong in SQL at all, as you may have noticed.
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LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:Justin Smith
Justin Smith earned 1500 total points
ID: 35074082
Farm admin account needs owner role on all db.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:softecsolutions
ID: 35074518
Yes, you are right.  Thank you.  It looks as though the site is now up and running.  At least all the content is there.  A couple of things to fine tune in Sharepoint, but it is there.  Very cool.  Thank you.  I think this puppy is about done.
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Author Closing Comment

by:softecsolutions
ID: 35074588
Thank you both for your comments.  Pstry, your step by step solution really helped when changing the content in Sharepoint.  Ach1lles, you were very quick with responses and helpful in the SQL portion as well.  Have a great week.
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