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Help with SharePoint 2010 Content DB

Posted on 2016-09-07
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Last Modified: 2016-09-09
I have a content DB from a working SharePoint site that I attached to another completely different unconnected SharePoint farm.  It shows up in Central Admin.  But I have no idea how to make a site that points to it.  What I am finding online is saying to make a new web application but I do not want to.

On our original site, we had one web application with many content databases.  This is one of many.  How do I recreate that ?
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Question by:Demosthenes
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by:SneekCo
ID: 41788493
Here are a few points;

You don't really make a site that points to it, you create a web app that contains it. You can mount the content database with an existing web app, or you can create a new web app to mount the database to. In any case, you need to be able to access the web app before you proceed.

As far as your statement and question, you had one web app with many content databases, mounting this one content database will only allow access to the sites that are within this database, none of the others, so if you truly want to recreate your original farm, you will need all of the content databases. You can of course mount only one content database, but you will only have those site collections available.

You can use the data base with this PowerShell cmdlet;

Mount-SPContentDatabase

Hope that helps...
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Author Comment

by:Demosthenes
ID: 41788519
You don't really make a site that points to it, you create a web app that contains it.

Great to know.

I made a new Web App and mounted the content DB.  When I browse to it I get

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.5
Date: Wed, 07 Sep 2016 19:28:14 GMT
Connection: close

I then went to where the old path would be  http://"oldURL"/departments/ce  and I got a generic team site.
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by:SneekCo
ID: 41788583
Go in to Central Admin and view the site collections within the web app that you mounted the content database in to. You should see the site collections and the URL's. Based on that information you will know that the correct URL should be. Also, the other farm may have some managed paths that the new web app does not have, that would cause errors. The url would be something like this;

New Web App + Managed Path if any + Site Collection name as shown in central admin

http://NewWebApp/ManagedPath/SiteCollectionName/

Also, make sure the account you are using has full permission to the web app, which you can grant in Central Admin. Also the user that the app pools runs as needs access to the content base.

As you can tell, there is a lot going on here, and this is by no means all of it... :-)

Good luck...
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Author Comment

by:Demosthenes
ID: 41789555
Yeah I believe I recreated the managed paths and all that before I did this.  I am pretty sure the username has total and complete access to everything.  I use one username.  Still, it shows up as just a generic new Teamsite.  So no error, just no content from the Content DB.

The mounted content DB is on a different SQL Server instance.  Could that be a problem ?  The reason being when I installed SP standalone it installed a version of SQL that is compatible with the version on our production side.

Any ideas would be appreciated.  I know it is next to impossible to troubleshoot this without being in front of it.
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by:SneekCo
ID: 41789592
Is this for the purpose of migrating to a new farm or do you just need to recover data from the content database and you will be finished with it?
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by:Demosthenes
ID: 41789603
We have a wacky plan.  SP 2010 original is on an isolated network from our SP 2013 online.  I cannot connect the two, ever.  

So I created a new SP2010 on a new network that CAN access our 2013.  My plan was to transport the Content databases to 2010, then use ShareGate to go from the new 2010 to 2013 online.  This isnt going to work 100% but to us, the documents and metadata with the documents is important, and site structure.  But things like workflows and any Farm solutions can be done without for now.

I wish ShareGate could look at content databases but it works only through the API, they told me this on the phone today.
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SneekCo earned 500 total points
ID: 41789676
Does your isolated SP2010 have connectivity to the new 2010 farm? If so, you could use Sharegate to copy content from the old 2010 to the new 2010 and then to 2013.

But if you don't have connectivity, then you can do this. (Not sure of the size of the content db's, but if they are not too large this should not take too long.)

Since the original SP2010 is isolated, you may be able to create a new web app in the new 2010 farm with the same host name or url as in the isolated farm. That is, if your web app in the isolated farm is http://companyname.local, then create the new web app using the same name, http://companyname.local. (Not sure if isolated means different network segments and different DNS's servers, but if they are separate this will work. If there is no DNS involved, then just have the server host to itself.) Creating the new web app will also create a new content database, and there should be only one site collection in it at this time, that is the root site collection created with the new web app. (Make sure this web app works perfectly and that it is accessible with no errors before proceeding. That way you will save a lot of hair pulling later.)

Then there are two options (at least) that should help out. You can take a copy of the content base file from the isolated farm, attach it is SQL then mount it in SharePoint to the new web app you just created. If you do this, then you should see all of the site collections from the content database from the isolated farm. These site collections should be accessible via the browser also, meaning Sharegate can get to them too.

Another option, make a SQL backup of the isolated content database and restore it using overwrite in the new farm replacing or overwriting the newly created content database. This is somewhat riskier, but since the new content database is new, there won't be any production data overwritten. Also, you could create a second content database for the new web app (done via Central Admin) and write over the new database.

Again, make sure access is not getting blocked. If the farm account does not have access to the database (as seen is SQL server management studio), then SharePoint will not have access either.

Another thing to try. If the content is under 20gb, you could make a SharePoint backup in the isolated farm via Central Admin or powershell and restore in the new farm.

Good luck...
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Author Closing Comment

by:Demosthenes
ID: 41791402
The last step that made it work was removing custom master pages in Site Setting.  I got to Site Settings by simply pasting "_layouts/settings.aspx" after the path to the new site/web app.  

The other step I did was make the new site, in a new content db, and then overwrite (or name change my imported content DB to match).  I then had to do a "Change site collection administrators" from Central Admin.  I got that idea from SneekCo
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by:SneekCo
ID: 41791421
Thanks - Glad you got it working.
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