Upgrading to SharePoint 2010, a Brief Overview

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While upgrading or migrating to a new version of SharePoint can be time consuming, it is often worth the effort. That said, sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start. For an in depth description of the process, you can check out Microsoft’s recommendations, but for a bird’s eye view this outline should clarify the process.

Run pre-upgrade checker 

  1. Run the server as an administrator.
  2. From the command prompt, navigate to %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\bin
  3. Type “STSADM.EXE -o preupgradecheck” and press ENTER.

Do a trial upgrade – This minimizes any problems you will run into during the upgrade or transfer. The process is essentially the same as those discussed below, but it is attempted on a virtual test farm, or a simplified, but similar, real farm. The trial should inform you of how customizations and unique circumstances will impact the procedure.

What type of upgrade? – First, you will need to choose between an in-place upgrade and a database attach upgrade, or some combination of both. For simplicity, this guide will focus only on these two choices.

For an in-place upgrade: 

  1. Run SharePoint Setup on the server running the SharePoint Central Administration Web site. If a previous install is detected, the in-place upgrade option will be chosen automatically.
  2. Run Setup on the remaining servers.
  3. Run SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard on the Central Administration Web site server.
  4. Run the Configuration Wizard on the remaining servers.
  5. Confirm successful installation.
  6. If using Visual Upgrade, preview it with the 2010 look, then complete the changeover to the new look.

For a Database attach upgrade:


  1. Run Setup on a new server farm. Customizations are transferred to the new farm and tested.
  2. Detach databases from the old server farm and take them offline.
  3. Attach databases to the new farm and upgrade the content.
  4. Confirm successful migration and configure the new farm for use at the new URL.

By Mike Marcin, DynamicPoint, a California (CA) Microsoft SharePoint Partner





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