Restore a list or library in WSS v2

This might be a pretty obvious tip but hopefully it will help someone!

The version of SharePoint that comes with SBS is a little unforgiving if you delete something. Out of the box there is no recycle bin so if something is gone it’s gone.

On the backup section of there is document (also available here) that explains how to setup the following command as a scheduled task to backup the sharepoint on a daily basis (you are doing this? right?)

“%SystemDrive%\Program files\Common files\Microsoft shared\Web server extensions\60\Bin\Stsadm.exe” -o backup -url http://Companyweb -filename target path -overwrite

Where target path is where you save the backup of your internal Web site. You must type the quotation marks.

I’ve wrapped this in a vbscript to give me five days worth of backups, just in case and i’ll post this another time

The idea then is if you need to retrieve a document or a list item you restore the whole site to a temporary location and copy back what you need using this command

“%SystemDrive%\Program files\Common files\Microsoft shared\Web server extensions\60\Bin\Stsadm.exe” -o createsiteinnewdb -url http://companyweb/sites/RestoredSite -ownerlogin DOMAIN\administrator -ownere-mail administrator@DOMAIN.local -databasename STS_RESTORE

where DOMAIN is your server domain and administrator@DOMAIN.local is your administrator’s e-mail address.

Once your finished you tidy up after yourself by deleting the restored site using Sharepoint central administration and deleting the SQL database (the exact details for this are in the document i mentioned above)

I did this last week and it’s a pretty straightforward thing to do

However my client wasn’t after a specific document or list item. They were after the whole thing as they had “accidentally” deleted an important list

Once i’d restored the site i initially thought i’d have to re-create the list by hand, adding all the columns and the views then copy the items back

I thought there had to be an easier way and this what i did

Go to the restored version of the list (or library) and click “Modify settings and columns”

Then click the “save as a template” option. Enter a filename and title and most importantly ensure the “include content” checkbox is checked and click OK. This saves the template to the site templates gallery

Then click on the “Site Settings” option, then “Go to Site Administration” and finally “Manage list template gallery”.

In here you will see your saved item. Click on the file name and save the STP file to file location of your choosing

Go to the production site and repeat the steps to get into the List Template Gallery.

From here you can now upload the saved STP file

The click on the CREATE item at the top and you will see you can create a new list based on your restored item.

Once created everything will be back in place including all the content inside! (I’m guessing security will need to reset by hand if it originally didn’t inherit from the site)

You can then delete the list template as it’s not needed


As i said from the start on reflection this seemed pretty obvious but in the past i’ve done plenty of things that seemed obvious only for them to turn up in another blog a couple of days later so hopefully someone will get some use from this!

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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