Granular Backup and Restore in SharePoint 2010 (Part 2)

Written By: Arshad Ali -- 11/3/2010 -- join -- contribute -- (5296) comments -- printer friendly version

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Categories: Configurations, Infrastructure, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010, System Administration

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Backing-up and Restoring Site Collection using STSADM (SharePoint Administrative) tool

STSADM is a SharePoint administrative tool which generally resides in...

 "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\BIN"

...on a SharePoint 2007 server and in...

"C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\14\BIN"

...on a SharePoint 2010 environment.

This command is run on the server, by the people who are member of Administrators group. In this section we are going to see how this tool can be used to backup a site collection and restore it back when required. These are general command formats for abackup and restore of site collection.

stsadm -o Backup -URL <url of the site collection to be backed up> -Filename <location and name of the file which gets created to store backed up data> -Overwrite

stsadm -o Restore -URL <url of the site collection to restore to> -Filename <location and name of the backed up file to restore from> -Overwrite

The Overwrite switch is required to overwrite a file if it already exists on the specified location during a backup operation and, similarly, overwrite a site collection if it already exists with same name on the specified URL during restore operation. To learn about the parameters of this command, follow this link.

stsadm -o Backup -URL http://mktaraliw2k8r2:8081 -Filename \\MKTARALIW2K8R2\SharePointBackupFolder\PrimarySiteCollection.dat -Overwrite

stsadm -o Restore -URL http://mktaraliw2k8r2:8081 -Filename \\MKTARALIW2K8R2\SharePointBackupFolder\PrimarySiteCollection.dat -Overwrite


  • Please note: Though you can still use old the STSADM (SharePoint Administrative) tool to perform backup and restore operations it is not recommended to use this tool (unless you are forced to use it for backward compatibility) as this tool has been deprecated and provided in SharePoint 2010 only for backward compatibility. To learn more about mapping between STSADM and PowerShell cmdlets, click here.

  • To improve the performance of backup/restore operations, use a local path to minimize the latency; if required you can then move a backed up file to a network location after a backup completes or before a restore you can move from a network location to a local path and then start restore operation.

  • If your SQL Server version supports a database snapshot (Enterprise and Developer editions) , it is recommended to use the UseSqlSnapshot parameter with the Backup-SPSite command for a more consistent backup.

  • Additional related PowerShell cmdlets are, Get-SPSite, Move-SPSite, New-SPSite, Remove-SPSite, Set-SPSite, Get-SPSiteAdministration etc.

  • You need to make sure the SharePoint 2010 Timer windows service is running before taking a site collection backup using Central Administration.

  • The recommended maximum size for a site collection backup is 15GB in SharePoint 2007 and 85GB in SharePoint 2010.

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