Share via

Demo: Back up and restore farms and site collections by using built-in tools

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

This Office product will reach end of support on October 10, 2017. To stay supported, you will need to upgrade. For more information, see , Resources to help you upgrade your Office 2007 servers and clients.


Topic Last Modified: 2016-11-14

Back up Office SharePoint Server 2007Watch the video

Several tools are available to back up Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. This demo focuses on the built-in tools: the stsadm command-line tool and the Perform a Backup page in Central Administration.

Before you back up Office SharePoint Server 2007, you should understand a few concepts:

  • The differences between the two built-in tools

  • The files that each tool can back up

  • The files and folders that each tool creates in your backup location

  • How the created files and folders relate to the information provided on the Backup History

To perform the steps shown in this video demo, you must first create a backup location to store your backup files. For information about creating a backup location, see Back up and restore Web applications by using built-in tools (Office SharePoint Server 2007) (

You don't need to take notes during the demo. When you finish watching the demo, just print this article, which includes a summary of the information presented in the demo.


You can perform many but not all of the same tasks by using either of these built-in tools. This table shows some key differences between them that you should be aware of so that you can choose the right tool for your needs.

Key differences between backup methods

Task Perform a backup page in Central Administration Stsadm command-line tool

Back up the entire server farm



Back up Web applications



Backup the SSP



Backup individual site collections



Backup content databases



Schedule backups


Yes, if used with Windows Task Scheduler

Things that you cannot back up by using the built-in tools:

  • Configuration changes including:

    • Internet Information Services (IIS) settings, including:

      • Host headers

      • Dedicated IP addresses

      • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates

    • Alternate access mappings

    • The inetpub directory

  • Customizations including:

    • Workflow definitions

    • Alerts

    • Properties

For more information about things that you cannot back up, see Data protection and recovery for Office SharePoint Server (White paper).

Full and differential backups

A full backup backs up all the data that you specify, and a differential backup backs up only the data that have changed since the last full backup. Because full backups require more time and disk space than differential backups, you should perform differential backups more frequently than full backups. We recommend that you perform a full backup when:

  • You have not yet created one.

  • You are about to install a service pack or update.

  • You have just installed a service pack or update.

  • A new Web application or content database has been added to the farm. You must do a full backup if a new Web application is created before you can do a differential backup of that Web application or the entire server farm.

  • You are about to reassign the index server role to a different server in the farm.

Other information

You can use the stsadm command-line tool to back up any site collection in your server farm or all site collections in a Web application. Doing so backs up all SharePoint sites in the site collection or Web application that you specify. Because backing up individual site collections places more load on the server farm than backing up an entire Web application, only back up an individual site collection when absolutely necessary.

Restoring backups of the configuration database and Central Administration database is not supported. For more information, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 948725: Restoration of the configuration database is not supported in SharePoint Server 2007 and in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 ( for the latest information. For this reason, we recommend that you document all configuration settings that have been done in Central Administration.

The spbrtoc.xml file contains information about each of your backups, regardless of which built-in tool you used to create them. Because this is an XML file, you might be tempted to edit it, but we recommend that you don’t edit it. Any editing mistake can render some or all of your existing backups unusable. Instead of editing this file directly, we recommend that you follow the instructions provided in Knowledge Base article 941330 to remove entries from backup history that are no longer needed.

See Also


Back up a farm by using built-in tools (Office SharePoint Server 2007)
Back up and restore an entire farm (Office SharePoint Server 2007)
Backup: Stsadm operation (Office SharePoint Server)