Backup-Restore WSS Site using SMigrate/FrontPage

on August 22, 2006

When I arrived at the current client ofice, I looked for a solution to duplicate WSS and Areas and also to perform ad-hoc backup of sites or sections. I found out that MS Front Page 2003 has Back-Restore and Export-Import capabilities on WSS Sites.

Throughout my tests, I encountered many problems. Most of them had been resolved. All except one. While you perform a FrontPage Backup you create a .fwp file. That file is in fact a renamed .cab file. My problem was that the Manifest.xml inside was always corrupt. All the “src="” ” attrributes were emtpy. So no way to restore the files.

After a while, MS came to me we a PC version of SMigrate.exe. Using this from my PC provided me with all I needed to duplicate the WSS Site from server to server.

Installation Instructions and Usage
1. Download the Smigrate.exe from the above link
2. Run the downloaded file, Extract it to a valid location
3. In the command prompt change to the location where the files were unzipped
4. Run the command as shown below

smigrate -u administrator -pw administratorpassword -w http://Sitename -f c:SiteBackup.fwp

You can try out other options if required. You can create a batch file separately for each website with the above command and execute them when ever required. You can also schedule the batch files to be run at a specific time

To Restore, use the exact same syntax but add -r.

There are 2 ways to do this. The first one is to create a new Site from IIS and extend it from the interface. This is not very good since we are working with Sharepoint and want to be listed in the “Sites” area and see the sites in the menus etc.

Approved and confirmed by a Microsoft Engineer, the best path to the solution is to go through the Site Settings and Delete the Site. If there is a huge problem on that site and you cannot use Site Setting, there is another work around. You can go through Sharepoint Portal Server Central Administration -> Windows Sharepoint Services -> Delete Site Collection. Than, just fill the URL of the Sites and click OK.

To continue on the procedure to Restore… When you are done with deleting your Site, you need to recreate it. From the Portal, go to Sites and click Create Site. Fill the URL, email etc and continue to the next page. You will reach a page where you are asked to select the template you want for your new Site. DO NOT SELECT ANY. Just close the browser. Yes that’s it. Close the browser without selecting any Template. If you reopen your browser, it will go back to the Template selection again.

Now that we have our site half way recreated, we are ready to properly restore.

And restore your site using the command line I showed earlier.

Note that everything should be restored except the security. You need to put back the security yourself.Try your site, it should now work.