Adventures in Migrating from WSS 2.0 to MOSS 2007

"Your backup is from a different version of Windows Sharepoint Services and cannot be restored to a server running the current version."


That was the error I have been facing for a couple of days and it was driving me utterly crazy.

This was my situation: I was tasked with migrating the sharepoint data on an ancient server (PIII 512 RAM) running WSS 2.0 and SQL 2000 to a new server running MOSS 2007 and SQL 2005 - I have done plenty of backups and restores on SharePoint, and they are suprisingly easy.  This should be no problem...

Wrong. This turned into a classic battle of me vs. some software, and I refused to let it win! (plus, my boss would be pissed).

You can read the [Details of the battle] or just read on for the solution.


Turns out that even though WSS Backup/Restore was supposed to be compatible with SQL 2005, they didn't actually make it compatible until SP3.  So, despite not even being the same version anymore, it seemed to work just fine EVEN THOUGH THE ERROR CLEARLY STATED THAT MY VERSIONS WERE DIFFERENT!  I think they need to revise that error message before someone stabs their eyes out!

So it turns out that all you have to do is this:


  1. Update both servers to WSS 2.0 SP3
  2. Backup your initial server using stsadm
  3. Restore to your new machine using stsadm
  4. Upgrade your new system to MOSS 2007 


That's it... thats the whole answer to my week long battle with WSS.  Now I just have to upgrade to MOSS 2007.  You can get SP3 here: (6.19 mb) - hopefully this saves someone a whole bunch of hours on a ridiculous problem, though no one even uses WSS 2.0 anymore...

Comments (4) -

  • I got a comment in email today and realized 2 things.

    Number one is that my email system is broken on my website, I get name and message, but not the email address.

    Second, I realized that my solution for this problem was not very clear. So... I added it in there (bolded list).

    Also, I will be fixing my email system within the week. Sorry about the inconvenience.

    I hope the person that sent me the question reads this Smile
  • RJ
    Hmmm, you know installing WSS 2.0 isn't a trivial ordeal, right?  That's especially true given how few sites on the net cover WSS 2.0 at all.  I'm currently getting this error each tmie I attempt to install it:

    Setup Errors
    There are errors in Windows SharePoint Services setup.

    Extend Virtual Server : The server administration programs and the extended virtual server for Windows SharePoint Services on this Web server are not compatible. Ensure that the administration program is the same version as the virtual server.

    I have uninstalled and reinstalled IIS, SQL, etc. without any luck.  What to do....

    If I discover anything I'll be sure to post it.
  • RJ
    OMG!  So I figured it out after 1.5 days of work! :O  When I would open up the Central Administration page after the installation I received a similar error related to the one above.  When I tried to extend the Virtual Server, as mentioned in the Wiki I believe, it told me that it was "Not Administrable" and I couldn't do anything else.  The version was but that didn't catch my eye until later.  That version happens to be the latest MOSS 2007 version number.  Since I had to uninstall MOSS 2007 before trying to install WSS 2.0, my CA page continued to see that version number.  The strange thing is that I found the registry entry for the installation and it had my version correctly as  Hmmmm, why the mismatch in versioning info?  It turns out that uninstalling IIS does not clean up the inetpub folder and all of the contents.  I had to manually delete that in addition to the uninstall of all SharePoint products (from MOSS 2007 to WSS 2.0) to get everything to work properly.  So I hope this is a useful addition to your page since this post is specifically about WSS 2.0 migration to MOSS 2007 on a different server.  I wouldn't doubt that someone else would come across this issue, but I'm not so sure that your page is coming up in Google search results - at least not yet.
  • "No one still uses WSS 2.0"

    This guy does! Thanks for the tips, i'll be trying it.

    I ran into a similar nightmare last year when doing CRM 3.0 -> 4.0 upgrade... let's just say I got a crap load of overtime that week Smile
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