Troubleshooting Content Migration Issues in SharePoint

The scenarios I’ll talk about in this post will describe some of the issues I recently ran into while trying to do a content migration from one server to another. I’ve outlined each scenario that was tested, the errors I ran into, and what resolutions I was able to come up with.

Please note that in all of the scenarios below, I am working with two separate servers, both running on a different server farm, but within the same domain.

Scenario 1

  1. A web application and a site collection already exist on the source server based on the Collaboration Portal template.
  2. You create a web application on server2 with a SINGLE site collection, based on the Team Site template.
  3. You configure a path from server2 to server1 and a job that will do a full content migration.

Result: Content migration will fail with an error similar to the one below:

Cannot import site. The exported site is based on template FOO but the destination site is based on the template FIN. You can only import sites based on the same template as the exported site.

Resolution: I will explain the reason for this error in Scenario 2. Please continue reading.

Scenario 2

  1. A web application and a site collection already exist on the source server based on the Collaboration Portal template.
  2. You create a web application on server2 with a SINGLE site collection, based on the Collaboration Portal template.
  3. You configure a path from server2 to server1 and a job that will do a full content migration.

Result: Content migration will fail just as in Scenario 1

Resolution: When migration from one site collection to another, the destination site collection must be based on the Blank Site template, otherwise, migration will fail.

Scenario 3

  1. A web application and a site collection already exist on the source server based on the Collaboration Portal template.
  2. You create a web application on server2 with a SINGLE site collection, based on the Blank Site template.
  3. You configure a Path from server2 to server1 and a job that will do a full content migration.

Result: Content migration should succeed. Again, when doing a migration from one site collection to another site collection on a different server, within a different web application, you’ll need to ensure that your destination site collection is based on the Blank Site template.

Scenario 4

  1. A web application and a site collection already exist on the source server based on the Collaboration Portal template.
  2. The destination web application is already created and contains A SINGLE site collection with the same content as the source site collection, either through a previous content deployment job that copied to that location, or via some other method like stsadm. We’ll refer to that as sitecol1
  3. You create a second site collection within the same web application on server2 based on the Blank Site template. We’ll refer to this one as sitecol2. You should now have 2 site collections within your destination web application: sitecol1 and sitecol2.
  4. Configure a Path from server2 to server1 and a job that will do a full content migration to sitecol2.

Result: Content migration will fail with an error similar to the one below:

Unable to import folder _catalogs/masterpage/Forms/Page Layout. There is already an object with the Id 62b662s-3344b-332bbs33-a334d-233k in the database from another site collection.

Resolution: Delete the extra site collection (so in this case, sitecol1) or move it to another web application. The error above is somehow related to having two different site collections within the same web application sharing the same content within the same content database, This seems to generate errors indicating that an item already exists.

Scenario 5

  1. A web application and a site collection already exist on the source server based on the Collaboration Portal template.
  2. The destination web application already contains a SINGLE site collection with the same content as our source site collection.
  3. You configure a Path from server2 to server1 and a Job that will do a full content migration. You may also create a new job that will only migrate changes. Either will produce the same results.

Result: Content migration will fail with an error similar to the one below:

The specified name is already in use. A list, survey, discussion board, or document library cannot have the same name as another list, survey, discussion board, or document library in this Web site.

Resolution: Delete the site collection from the web application. Create a new site collection based on the Blank Site template. Do a full content migration. Once that is successful, any new jobs that you create should be successful. The key thing to note here, is that you must begin with a Blank Site template. It’s not enough to have a site collection that contains the same content on the destination server, even though that’s what you essentially end up with after the first successful full deployment.

Once the migration has completed successfully, it’s important to hit a few pages within the site to ensure that branding/content is as it should be. If you do notice that the masterpage or stylesheets have not been set, then you’ll need to do that yourself.

I hope that helps anyone out there who was experiencing similar issues. Please drop me a note if you have any questions.

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