Restore or copy a farm configuration (Search Server 2010)

Search Server

Applies to: Search Server 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2010-04-13

The information in this section does not apply to Microsoft Search Server 2010 Express. It applies to the full version of Microsoft Search Server 2010 only.

You can restore a backed-up configuration that was extracted from a configuration database or copy the farm configuration to another farm. Situations in which you might want to restore a configuration from one farm to another farm include:

  • Disseminating a standardized farm configuration template to be used throughout an environment.

  • Moving configurations from a development or test environment to a production environment.

  • Moving configurations from a stand-alone installation to a farm environment.

  • Configuring a farm to serve as part of a standby environment.

In earlier versions of Microsoft Search Server, you could not restore the configuration database and, therefore, you could not restore the configuration of a farm. In Microsoft Search Server 2010, you do not have to restore the configuration database because you can restore the farm configuration directly.

A configuration can be restored to the same server farm, or any other server farm. When a configuration is restored, it overwrites any settings contained within the configuration that are present in the farm. If any settings present in the farm are not contained in the configuration, they are not overwritten. For more information about configuration backup, see Back up a farm configuration (Search Server 2010).

Farm-level configuration recovery is performed only after a failure that involves the configuration database but does not involve other farm data, such as a content database or Web application. If restoring the farm configuration does not solve the problems, you must restore the complete farm. For more information about how to restore the complete farm, see Restore a farm (Search Server 2010). You can restore the configuration from a farm backup that used either the Backup content and configuration settings option or the Backup only configuration settings option.

To restore service application configuration along with the farm configuration, you must restore the content and configuration of the service application.

Procedures in this task:

You cannot use SQL Server tools or Data Protection Manager to restore or copy the farm configuration.

You can use Windows PowerShell to restore a farm’s configuration.

To restore a farm’s configuration by using Windows PowerShell
  1. Verify that you meet the following requirements: See Add-SPShellAdmin.

    You must also be a member of the sysadmin fixed server role on the database server where each database is stored.

  2. In the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell, at the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type the following command:

    Restore-SPFarm -Directory <BackupFolder> -RestoreMethod <Option> -ConfigurationOnly -PreserveChangeLog -Verbose


    • <BackupFolder> is the path of the backup folder

    • <Option> is one of the following:

      • Overwrite, if you want to restore the configuration to the same farm.

      • New, if you want to copy the farm configuration.

    This command uses the PreserveChangeLog parameter to preserve the search database change log so that the next crawl of the content databases is not a full crawl. To view the progress of the operation, use the Verbose parameter. For more information, see Restore-SPFarm.

  3. If you do not use the Verbose parameter, the Command Prompt window displays no message if the operation succeeds. If the job does not finish successfully, the Command Prompt window displays an error message such as the following:

    Restore-SPFarm: The job failed. For more information, see the error log that is located in the restore directory. At line: <line> char:<column>+ restore-spfarm <<<< <Error Message>

  4. If there are errors or warnings, or if the job does not finish successfully, review the Sprestore.log file in the backup folder.

You can use Central Administration to restore a farm’s configuration. To copy the farm configuration to another farm, you must use Windows PowerShell.

To restore a farm's configuration by using Central Administration
  1. Verify that the user account that is performing this procedure is a member of the Farm Administrators group and a member of the sysadmin fixed server role on the database server where each database is stored.

  2. In Central Administration, on the Home page, in the Backup and Restore section, click Restore from a backup.

  3. On the Restore from Backup — Step 1 of 3: Select Backup to Restore page, select the backup job that contains the farm backup from the list of backups, and then click Next.

    You can view additional information about the backups by expanding the row that contains the backup.
    If the correct backup job does not appear, in the Backup Directory Location text box, enter the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path of the correct backup folder, and then click Refresh.
  4. On the Restore from Backup  — Step 2 of 3: Select Component to Restore page, select the check box that is next to the farm, and then click Next.

  5. On the Restore from Backup — Step 3 of 3: Select Restore Options page, in the Restore Component section, ensure that Farm appears in the Restore the following content list.

    In the Restore Only Configuration Settings section, ensure that the Restore only configuration settings option is selected.

    In the Restore Options section, select the Type of Restore option. Use the Same configuration setting to overwrite the current farm’s configuration or use the New configuration option the copy the farm configuration to another farm. A dialog box will appear that asks you to confirm the operation. Click OK.

  6. Click Start Restore.

  7. You can view the general status of all recovery jobs at the top of the Backup and Restore Job Status page in the Readiness section. You can view the status of the current recovery job in the lower part of the page in the Restore section. The status page updates every 30 seconds automatically. You can manually update the status details by clicking Refresh. Backup and recovery are Timer service jobs. Therefore, it may take several seconds for the recovery to start.

    If you receive any errors, you can review them in the Failure Message column of the Backup and Restore Job Status page. You can also find more details in the Sprestore.log file at the UNC path that you specified in step 2.