Our current SharePoint WFE VM is on its last leg, we can't RDP into it or connect to it in any way. We're looking at moving our intranet which lives on this WFEs onto a new SharePoint farm.

I'm trying to prove out whether or not this will work, here are the steps I've followed:

  • Create a new SharePoint farm (new SharePoint WFE VM connecting to a new SQL Server)
  • Restore a backup of our content database onto the new SQL Server
  • Create a web application on the new SharePoint farm
  • Create a new site collection (Collaboration Portal) on the new SharePoint farm
  • In Central Administration, select the web application, go to Content Databases, and set the web application's content database status to offline
  • Use stsadm to associate the database we copied over to the web

stsadm -o addcontentdb -url [http://server:port] -databasename [database name] -databaseserver [database server]

The operation succeeds, however when I bring up my site I get the following error:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.0 Date: Thu, 04 Jun 2009 14:14:43 GMT Connection: close

I don't expect this to work 100% right out of the gate, but I'm just looking for some indication that my content database is truly attached to the new web application.

Would appreciate any feedback or hearing about peoples' experience in moving sites around farms.

1 Answer 1


You don't mention whether this is a single server SharePoint installation or whether the SQL Server lives on another machine.

The reason why this is important is because you can save a lot of time by simply building up a new server, installing SharePoint to the same patch level as your original server, and connecting the new one to your existing server farm. Then run SharePoint Configuration Wizard on the old server to disconnect it from the existing SharePoint config, and finally amend your DNS entries.

If you are able to do this it will save a lot of pain!

  • Hey Alex, I never thought of this approach. Our SQL Server installation is on a different physical server. The only issue I have is that I can't RDP into the WFE - we're just seeing a black screen - so I can't get into there to run the wizard. Let me see if I can get around that. Jun 4, 2009 at 14:57
  • If you absolutely can't RDP it is still possible to remove the old server through SharePoint Central Administration. However you obviously need to move SCA to the new server first! I'm not sure how you can do that without being able to use RDP and run the SharePoint Config Wizard.
    – Alex Angas
    Jun 4, 2009 at 15:55
  • Figured out how to RDP. Looks like an unexpected shutdown dialog was on the screen (even though I couldn't see it!). I alt-tabbed to it and escaped out, and I was able to login. Patching both environments up to SP2 and following your recommendation. Thank you Jun 4, 2009 at 16:32

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