This weekend I had to split a content database into two. The database was used for two site-collections, one of them has approx. 25 GB of data, the other one 150 GB. Splitting the database seems very easy following these steps:

  1. be sure to have a backup of the database
  2. do a backup of the smaller site-collection using STSADM
  3. remove the site-collection
  4. recreate the site-collection using STSADM –o createSiteInNewDB
  5. do a restore using STSADM

I was glad, that I had a backup of the database, because after the third step (removing the site-collection) I had a damaged content database.

What has happened?

I removed the site-collection via the Central Administration. Because of the size, the process lasts about on hour. During the operation, my browser has lost the connection the the Central Administration-web, so the deletion couldn’t be finalized. After that, I wasn’t able to remove the site-collection, and recreating wasn’t possible, because there was already a site-collection at the web address. So, the only way to solve the problem: restore the whole content database from the SQL Server-backup and try the deletion again, this time via STSADM.

So, when you need to delete a larger site-collection, consider to use STSADM –o deleteSite.