Upgrade WSS2.0 to WSS3.0 on Server 2008

July 27th, 2010

There’s a lot of forum activity from people bewlidered about how to migrate from WSS2 to WSS3, especially when it involves a change of underlying OS too.

I started this process myself about a month ago and downloaded a document from MS about the migration process – the document is here (do not download it, at 128 pages, it’s about 127 pages too long)

I’ll now show you in a few easy steps how to migrate and upgrade, using the following assumptions

  • You have a WSS2.0 instance (either as part of TFS 2005/08 or not) on a server called ‘oldserver’
  • You have a test server called ‘testserver’ with an installation of WSS3.0 running on SQL 05/08.
  • Your migration destination is a server called ‘newserver’, and is also running WSS3.0

First of all you’ll be wanting to download and run the pre-scan tool. This has to be run on the ‘oldserver’ as it will mark the database as being ready to upgrade. Follow the instructions here

After this tool has be run, you’ll be wanting to take a SQL backup of your WSS content database. (i just used SQL Server Management Studio) If it’s part of TFS 2005/08 it’s probably called something like ‘WSS_Content_TFS’ . *You can find the name of your old content db name by checking the the WSS2.0 Central Admin pages.

Now, restore your database on ‘testserver’ (again I used SQL Management Studio). Once restored, you’ll now need to tell your WSS3.0 instance to attach the db. We do this through the SharePoint command line utility stsadm. The command for adding the content db into WSS is as follows:

stsadm -o addcontentdb -url http://testserver -databasename WSS_DB_NAME -databaseserver testserver

Now, you have a WSS2.0 database attached to your testserver, which is running WSS3.0 so you’ll be wanting to upgrade that now… Again, on stsadm, we use

stsadm.exe -o upgrade -inplace -url http://testserver

So now we have a WSS3.0 instance with a bang-up-to-date db attached. It’s now just a case of ‘moving’ this db onto your new server. If you’re moving to TFS 2010, you will almost certainly want to edit the Site Collection URL. For this reason (and many more) we use the stsadm commands again. At this point, I’m just interested in moving the root Site Collection from my testserver to the newserver, so we run the following

stsadm.exe -o backup -url “http://testserver” -filename sitecollection.bak

This will create a file called sitecollection.bak in the following folder:
c:\Program Files\common files\microsoft shared\web server extensions\12\bin

Now, copy that file to the same folder on your ‘newserver’. Now log on to your newserver and run the following command to restore the collection

stsadm.exe -o restore -url “http//newserver/sites/whateveryouwant” -filename sitecollection.bak

You’ve now got an up-to-date WSS3.0 site collection running on your new server, whilst the old server remains running WSS2.0.

One or more files in the restored site collection will exceed the maximum supported path length

July 27th, 2010

If you’re using the backup/restore functionality of stsadm for moving WSS3.0 site collections, you may well come across this error.

In my situation, I’m moving a site collections from




The total difference in path length between the old and new URL’s was 22. So my task was the ensure that no path lengths in my old site collection exceeded 260 (the limit) minus 22, as otherwise the new Site Collection would exceed the 260 limit once migrated.

In order to examine your WSS content Db, you’ll be wanting to run the following query in your WSS content db

LEN(DirName + N’/’ + LeafName) AS Total,

Then it’s usually a case of just tinkering with your longest URL’s until nothing exceeds your particular limit.

Search across Team Project Collections with Search Server Express 2010

July 24th, 2010

If you’re using TFS 2010, you’ll be familiar with the idea of Team Project Collections. The Team Project Collections are completely independent from one another, and so you’ll need to decide how many Team Projects will live together in each TPC. To determine your approach to this, you’ll need to consider the following;

Each TPC is a distinct database in your Date Tier, and therefore, a TPC is now your lowest unit of restore. Whilst this gives some much needed restore granularity (which TFS 2005/2008 did not have) it also means that each Team Project Collection will be mapped to a SharePoint Site Collection. If you’re using WSS3.0 this means that you will not be able to search content across these Site Collections. The end result is that your developers may not be able to search each others documents/work items etc.

To demonstrate the problem…


To solve this problem, you can use MS Search Server Express 2010. I’d heartily recommend using a standard SQL Server 2008 instance for the databases, as the alternative is to use the Microsoft Internal database which SharePoint can install automatically (which is very unpleasant to have to manage)

Once you’d installed the pre-requisites, (which come with the download) and you’ve installed SSE, chose the ‘Farm’ option (not standalone) – this will allow you to specify a SQL instance. Then, in the Search Application, you can simply create a new content source, and point the indexer to your SharePoint root Site Collection address. The indexer will then crawl all your Site Collections and your users can then search across all the TFS Project Portals.

No Search Results in Windows Sharepoint Server or TFS Project Portal?

July 24th, 2010

If you’ve got a WSS3.0 Installation, (as part of TFS 2010 or not) then you may be struggling to get ANY search results from your project portal.

This is caused by a bug with WSS3.0 (with SP2) whereby Sharepoint will not index any Site Collection content, UNLESS a root Site Collection exists.

Typically with TFS 2010, you would normally simply create a site collection at
and this is where your TFS Site Collections will live.

Unfortunately, unless you can actually browse to content at
You’ll never see any search results!

The easiest way to fix this, is simply to create a new site collection in the root. If you’re doing this as part of TFS 2010, you’re best of making a Wiki Site, or at least NOT chosing a ‘Team’ Site, otherwise the Site Collection will moan about not being connected to a TFS 2010 Team Project Collection…

TFS 2010 Build’s fail to GET files larger than 2MB

July 24th, 2010

You might find that in TFS 2010 your builds fail whever they attempt to GET a file over 2MB in size. This ocurrs if you’re using IIS7.5 (on Windows Server 2008 R2) and is in fact another IIS bug, and not a TFS 2010 Problem.

This issue occurs because the idle connection time-out for the HTTP service expires prematurely. This causes the network connection to disconnect unexpectedly. You will get a message through Visual Studio informing you which files failed to download. Usually with this error message:

Unable to read data from the transport connection: An existing connection was forcibly closed by the remote host

To solve this issue, you’ll need to install a patch on one (or all) of your Application Tier Servers. The patch and conditions for install can be found here


Scale-out Application Tier Servers for TFS 2010

July 24th, 2010

Just a quick post about scaling out Application Tier servers in TFS 2010.

To Scale-out TFS 2010 and Windows Sharepoint, you can follow the TFS Guides, and it’s usually a fairly painless process as long as you follow all of the pre-requisites. Scaling out SQL Reporting Services does have a slightly bigger gotchya though.

Unless you’ve installed SQL Server Enterprise Edition, you cannot scale out your SQL RS, as you will simply get a message saying it’s an unsupported feature.

This can be something of a kick in the teeth if you’ve successfully scaled out everything else, and then fail at the last hurdle…

The good news is, SQL Server 2008 Standard can be very easily upgraded to Enterprise Edition without disrupting your SQL RS instance, it’s just a case of running the Enterprise install media and following the upgrade option.

This post gives more detail

Cannot upload large files to WSS3.0 running on IIS7?

July 24th, 2010

This is an issue a lot of people have been seeing recently – Unfortunately, due to the massive number of different Apps which sit atop IIS, it can manifest itself in a huge variety of ways. You might see the error through Windows Sharepoint like this;

Error message when you try to upload a large file to a document library on a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site: “Request timed out”

Or you might see the error through Team Foundation Server, like this:

Microsoft Visual Studio
Attachment upload failed. Check that you have a network connection and that the Team Foundation Server is available. If the problem persists, contact your Team Foundation Server administrator.

Or any other number of errors from various applications.

The problem lies with IIS7′s maxAllowedContentLength. This is by default set to a value of 30000000 bytes (~28.6 MB)

The fix the issue, make the following change to your web.config file

<requestLimits maxAllowedContentLength=”2000000000″/>

You can change the value of ’2000000000′ to be whatever you want.