Category SharePoint

Build a SharePoint 2010 Test/Development Farm

    In this post I am going to step through my process of spinning up a test/development SharePoint farm. In this scenario I decided to combine the testing and development on one farm. This will be a copy of the production farm on its own separate domain. I know there are posts on this out there already on this process but I decided to post about this anyway as I found some of the other posts hard to follow. With this post I want to spell out my own steps for my specific scenario in a clear concise format and hopefully this will help someone else at some point.

    The first thing that needs to be done is build the test/development domain and the servers that will be used in the new farm. Here is a list of what I would put in the test/development domain:

    • Domain Controller
    • DNS
    • Exchange Server
    • SQL Server
    • SharePoint servers (Web Front End Servers and any Application Servers you need.)

    The Exchange server is not required. I wanted one in my test/development environment for some email testing. The production SharePoint farm consisted of 7 servers in but I went with 4 servers in the test/development environment. You do have the option to scale back on the amount of servers in the test/development farm and have a solid environment for development and testing. Ok. I will jump right into the steps now.

    Deploy test/development SharePoint farm

    I used a couple of tools to speed up this process. The first tool is called SPDocKit. (Thanks Sean Mcdonough for telling me about this.) I used SPDockit to go through and document every little detail of the production environment so that I knew what I was dealing with. This gave me a list of all web applications, site collections, the content databases that were being used, all services and service applications being used in the farm, any 3rd party solutions that were deployed as well as other any other data I wanted to know about such as email configurations.

    I was able to take this data and create a plan for the test/development farm to ensure it matched the production farm as close as possible even with the amount of servers scaled back.

    SPDockit can be found here:

    The second tool that I used is the SPAutoInstaller. SPAutoinstaller is a tool that can be used to install and configure a SharePoint farm via scripts. It is easy to use and works well. This saves you time because you simply go and build out the script and input the configurations you need. Once you run the script it will completely build the farm for you. Now for me in this particular scenario I let the SPAutoInstaller do everything except for the site collections. I needed all the site collections that came over to be placed in their own content databases. That is why I skipped creation of the site collections within the script. These have to be restored in SQL as you will see later on in this post. I did however let the script create the web applications and all the managed paths that I needed.

    The SPAutoInstaller can be found here: and a great tutorial for the SPAutoInstaller can also be found here:

    Please note that you need to go and deploy and custom solutions or any 3rd party solutions to your test/development farm. Now that we have the new environment spun up. Let’s move on to copying our site collections over from the production farm to the test/development farm.

    Copy production site collections over to test/development farm

    So my method here is that we built a replica farm over in a separate domain for test/development. We let the script tool create the farm along with service applications, web applications and the managed paths. We did not create the site collections and here is why.

    #1 in my scenario these need to each have their own content database and #2 these are what we will be brining over and they will contain all the data we need including any custom master page and CSS...

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  1. When doing a people search some of the people returned in the results show up twice.
  2. When pulling up the Org Chart on a user’s profile in SharePoint sometimes they have all the people they should above and below them in the organization and sometimes they don’t.


There is two potential causes to the double results in people search but only one that I know of for the other.

1. Content Sources needs to be correct.

2. You must enable NetBIOS domain names on the corresponding User Profile service application.

Option number two is the only fix I know of for the org chart issue.


What is wrong with my content source?

Here is what needs to be fixed in the Content Sources:

Check your content sources under for multiple entries of sps3. If you have multiple entries remove one. To get there go to: Central Administration >>Search Service Application>>Search Administration>>Manage Content Sources>>Edit Content Source (This should be on your current content source.)

Your Start Addresses should look like this:


not this:

clip_image002 or this clip_image003

Having the Start Addresses for your content sources on the sps3:// setup like the two above screenshots will cause the content to be crawled twice and cause people to show up twice in the people search results. It should simply be set like the first screen shot to sps3://NAMEOFYOURWEBAPPLICATION. SharePoint is smart enough to crawl everything under that including your user profiles. Sps3 is used by SharePoint to call a specific web service hosted at whatever address is followed by it. If this was the issue in your case it will fix the double results in people search but not org chart incomplete info issue. Move on to the next solution if you have the org chart issue.

Why would I need to enable NetBIOS in SharePoint?

In your SharePoint farm the user profiles could appear to be corrupt because they may have imported in on what appears to SharePoint to be multiple domains. This will cause each users profile to be imported twice causing the double results for each user in people search results and some of the manager fields in the profiles will not match causing the Org Chart to not have correct information. This is caused when your Active Directory has different fully qualified domain name (FQDN) and NetBIOS names (User Logon name (pre-Windows 2000) for the domain.

For example: your domain FQDN may be but the NETBIOS name might be buchatech. If that is the case your users will import in as buchatechnical\USERNAME and buchatech\USERNAME showing up twice. See the following screenshot:


To fix this or avoid the issue all together SharePoint needs to be made aware that your domain is configured this way and then SharePoint will know how to handle the user profiles when importing them.

This text is from a TechNet article on setting up the User Profile Service Application:

If the NetBIOS name of any domain that you are synchronizing with differs from its fully qualified domain name, you must enable NetBIOS domain names on the User Profile service application. If all NetBIOS names are the same as the domain names, you may skip this procedure.

Here are the overall steps to fix the issue and enable NetBIOS for SharePoint:

NOTE: These steps are for going back and enabling NetBIOS on SharePoint after the User Prof...

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SharePoint 2013 Sandbox

CloudShare is offering a SharePoint 2013 sandbox to try out the new SharePoint.

The environment has:


  • A SharePoint 2013 web front end
  • A server with SQL Server 2012
  • A server with Active Directory

Visit: to sign up.

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Central Admin – Unavailable HTTP Error 503

Recently after installing a new SharePoint 2010 farm I tried to access Central Admin. The site was giving me “Service Unavailable  HTTP Error 503”. I checked in IIS and the Central Admin application pool in IIS  was stopped. I started it and waited for a little bit it was still running. When I went to hit the Central Admin site the application pool would stop immediately. I had not run into this issue before.

The application poo...

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On-premise SharePoint & Office 365 Cloud Hybrid

Thinking about moving your SharePoint to the cloud? If Office 365 is on your list of cloud options but you are not sure you can do a Hybrid solution. This allows you time to evaluate SharePoint on Office 365. There are many other reasons to consider a on-premise/cloud hybrid environment but you need to know the "got-chas" of doing this.

Here is a quick list of a few common things to consider when looking at a Hybrid.

  • How will ...
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SharePoint PowerShell cmdlet Builder

Microsoft has released a web based tool that can be used to build PowerShell cmdlets for SharePoint. This is a great tool for those that are new to SharePoint PowerShell or PowerShell in general. It allows you to drag and drop a PowerShell verb and noun into a design surface and then input your specific SharePoint information such as farm, site collection database etc to complete the cmdlet...

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Team Foundation Server 2010 to SharePoint White Paper

For you devs out there, A colleague of mine Luke Grindahl recently published a white paper about the pro/cons of the different deployment methods when deploying from Team Foundation Server 2010 to SharePoint. You can download the whitepaper here:

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You notice new users that have been added to Active Directory recently are not showing up in your SharePoint. The User Profile Synchronization stopped syncing and If you go in to edit  or configure a new sync it gives you a MOSS MA not found error.


This error occurs because the Forefront Identity Management Service has stopped...

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SharePoint Event

Check out this free SharePoint event in Minnesota.

Twin Cities SharePoint Saturday IV on March 20, 2010

The 4th Biannual Twin Cities SharePoint Saturday! (Formerly known as the Twin Cities SharePoint Camp.)  Spend a day with other SharePoint Administrators, Developers and End Users and come away with tips, tricks and a richer understanding of how you can leverage SharePoint to meet your needs.

SharePoint Saturdays are about ...

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My SharePoint IT Kit

Do you need to track equipment, software, and IP addresses in your IT department? These are a given. The issue is many IT budgets have been cut. Well I have had the same issue. There is a solution. If you have SharePoint 2007 you can use it to manage and track all of these things. If your company has not or does not plan to purchase SharePoint 07 dont worry. You can get Windows SharePoint Services 3...

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