Upgrade from SharePoint 2010 to 2013 - Part 3

We have learned the what are required for proper upgrade of SharePoint in part1 and upgrade improvements in part 2.

During this part 3 of the upgrade from SharePoint 2010 to 2013 where we will be looking at the upgrade process.

What are the various stages involved in the SharePoint migration process and we will be doing one POC so that you all get an idea how to implement the same in the real world.

Please check the part1 and Part 2 upgrade from SharePoint 2010 to 2013 of this series here.

Let's  dive in....

In the database-attach method, we first create and configure A SharePoint 2013 farm.

In the next step we copy the content and service application databases from the SharePoint 2010 Products farm, and then attach and upgrade the databases.

First Stage:

In the stage 1 we have make the existing farm to read only and create a new farm by installing require components for WFE, Application and Database server for SharePoint 2013.

During this stage gather the information from SharePoint 2010 environment because database attach upgrade method does not carry the settings and configuration from SharePoint 2010 environment to SharePoint 2013 environment.

Second Stage:

Backup and restore the content databases from SharePoint 2010 to new SharePoint 2013 farm.

Supported databases:

Below are the list of supported databases.

  • Content Database.
  • Project databases.
  • Search Admin.
  • User Profile.
  • User profile social.
  • Managed metadata.
  • Secure store.
  • Access database.

UnSupported databases:

  • Configuration Databases.
  • Search Index.
  • User Profile Sync.

upgrade the service application databases:

Use Windows PowerShell cmdlets to create new service applications and upgrade the service application databases. You must also create proxies for the upgraded service applications and add the new service application proxies to the default proxy group. 

POC (Proof Of Concept ):

Take SQL server DB backup from SharePoint 2010 farm:

In our POC we are assuming that the first stage has been completed i.e. Existing farm to read only and create a new farm by installing require components for WFE, Application and Database server for SharePoint 2013.

We will start taking the SQL server DB backup from SharePoint 2010 farm (existing farm).

  1. Login to the SQL server.
  2. Open the SQL server management studio and select the database which we want to perform the backup of the database.
  3. Right click on the database and navigate to the tasks option and select the BACKUP DATABASE.

DB backup from SharePoint 2010 farm

4) Select to the backup type as Full in the dropdown list which is the default selection.

5) Select back up to option to Disk as we need to take the backup to disk.

DB backup from SharePoint 2010 farm

6) If we want to provide the specific disk path, Click on Add button to provide the disk path where backup files will get created And we will get the below browse window to provide the same.

7) Provide the path where more space is available, so that backup file of database size can be created and click ok.

DB backup from SharePoint 2010 farm

8) Select OK in the main Backup form to start the backup process. You can see the progress of the backup on the left side form. Once it is completed we will be receiving the completion message.

9) Go to Backup path which was provided during the backup process to verify and validate the same.

Perform above steps for all the databases you want to restore it in new SharePoint 2013 Farm.

Good!! Half job is done, you have taken the backup successfully from existing farm I. e. SharePoint 2010.

Now you have restored all the databases which you have taken into SharePoint 2013 .

Restore Databases in new SharePoint 2013 Farm environment:

10) Open the SQL server management studio and select the databases and select restore database.

DB backup from SharePoint 2010 farm

11) Enter the newly database name in “To database” section below and Select “From Device “option for providing the path as mentioned in the above screenshot and click on the file browser button to provide the backup the file path and we will receive the window like below.

DB backup from SharePoint 2010 farm

12) Click on add and provide the Backup file to be restored and click on OK to complete the file selection process. Select the checkbox which will be available Restore column after selecting the backup file, please check the below screenshot.

DB backup from SharePoint 2010 farm

13) Click on “Options “button available on the left side of the Restore form .Once after selecting the options page we will receive the below window.

14) Select the below option

a) Select the “overwrite the existing database” checkbox.

b) Select the first radio button available under the Recovery state and the database should be in Read and write mode as mentioned in the above screenshot.

15) Click on OK to start the restore process.

Nice, you have completed the restore.

Third Stage

Create new web applications in SharePoint 2013 Farm based on existing web applications in SharePoint 2010 farm environment.

And Install all the customizations in a SharePoint 2010 farm to a SharePoint 2013 farm.

Upgrade Content Database:

Now you have to upgrade the content databases. To perform this operation you have to use powershell.

Tip: Use Start-Transcript for capturing all the details which are shown in the powershell command window.


Which will greatly help us see all the details in notepad. please check the below screenshot format, so we can analyze the details of powershell commands which we execute during migration.


We will continue the POC which we started to do upgrading content DB from SharePoint 2010 farm to a SharePoint 2013 farm. For that we will use below powershell commands.

Use “Test-SPContentDatabase” and “Mount-SPContentDatabase” to perform the upgrade activity.


Running “Test-SPContentDatabase” is very safe, Read only and can be run very often so that we can get more information on errors and warning in that database. See the below screen where we have run the power shell command.

As a best practice try to run this command as many times as possible and try to resolve all the errors and warnings. This is the best place to resolve all the issue before attaching the content DB to web application.

Note: Never ignore any warnings.

"Test-SPContentDatabase -name "databasename" -webapplication "webapplicationname".

Get help for "Test-SPContentDatabase" by

Get-help Test-SPContentDatabase -examples >c:\Test-SPContentDatabase.txt

Once you execute the above command you can see the syntax Test-SPContentDatabase.txt file in C drive.

After we resolve all the errors and warnings raised by “Test-SPContenDatabase” perform below step.


Please check below “Mount-SPContentDatabase” powershell command and its status.


Once we complete the above powershell command content database to the respective web application.

Content Database

If there are any errors while mounting the database it will show the below message in the screenshot.

errors while mounting the database

%COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\15\LOGS.

You will get two types of files with Upgrade-‘date’ and Upgrade-‘date’-error formats. You can check both of these files and see if we can if there are any issues with upgrade of content Dbs.

Upgrade log and Upgrade error log

After up gradation completed then try to open the site, you might the error in most of the cases.

We will see how to troubleshoot the issues.

In SharePoint 2010 we use perform till these steps, where as in SharePoint 2013 we will have one more step, i.e. Upgrade site collection. In next post part4 we will see how to perform upgrade site collection.

Hope you have enjoyed the SharePoint migration part 3 of this series.

Please check the Part1 and Part2 upgrade from SharePoint 2010 to 2013 of this series here.

› Upgrade from SharePoint 2010 to 2013 - part3

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About Author

Devendra Velegandla is a five-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award (2014-2019) for Office Apps and Services, Office Servers and Services MVP and  SharePoint Server. He received the MCC award for his contributions in Microsoft MSDN/TechNet forums. He loves sharing articles, videos, and tutorial on SharePoint and Office 365.