When upgrading from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013, there are a number of steps which need to be performed prior to the upgrade. The following steps assumes that your SharePoint 2010 database uses classic-mode authentication. However, event if it is not, these steps can still be performed exactly as they are highlighted here.

  • Create a backup of your content Database in SharePoint 2010. Through SQL Server in SharePoint 2010, right-click the database you wish to back up, click Tasks then Backup. Keep a note of the saved destination of your .bak file.


  • Restore your backup of the 2010 content Database to SharePoint 2013.

In the previous step, you should now have a .bak file associated with your content Database. Copy this file somewhere safe on SharePoint 2013.  Through a SQL Server in SharePoint 2013, right-click the Database node, and select Restore Database. From the Source section, choose Device then click the browse ellipsis. From this window click Add to browse to where you saved the backup file.

  • Creating a new Web Application.            

Creating a web application via SharePoint 2013 Central Administration creates a claims-based web application.  There is an upgrade issue when attempting to attach a 2010 database to a 2013 web application as 2010 databases use classic-mode authentication. In order to avoid this, we create a new web application with classic-mode authentication.

Open SharePoint 2013 Management Shell. Enter the following command, replacing any <text> with your appropriate text.

New-SPWebApplication –Name “<your web application name>” –Port <your port number> -URL “http://<your URL>” –ApplicationPool “<your app pool>” –ApplicationPoolAccount (Get-SPManagedAccount “<domainname><user>”)

  •  Test your 2010 content database against our new classic-mode web application.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Now we have our new application set up, we need to do a pre-upgrade check on our database to ensure there will be no errors during the upgrade. To do this, enter the following into the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell.

Test-SPContentDatabase –Name <your database name> -WebApplication http://<your site you specified in the last step>

If any problems occur, after fixing them re-rnu this step to ensure no other errors are found.

  •  Attach your 2010 content database to our classic-mode web application 

Assuming everything went well with the pre-upgrade check, we are now ready to attach our database to our application. Simply run the following command in SharePoint 2013 Management Shell to begin the process.

Mount-SPContentDatabase “<your database name>” –DatabaseServer “<your server name>” –WebApplication http://<your site name>

Once it has finished attaching our database to the application, we still have a classic -mode application, where for SharePoint 2013, we need a claims-based application. The following step will resolve thi.

  •  Convert your classic-mode web application to claims-based application

It is time to convert our application and attached database to claims-based authentication for SharePoint 2013.

From the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell, running the following command convert our classic-mode web application toc laims-based application.

Convert-SPWebApplication –Identity “http://<servername>:<port>” -To Claims –RetainPermissions [-Force]

  •  Upgrade the site collection

The final step is to upgrade our site collection to SharePoint 2013. To do this, go to our SharePoint 2013 site. The site currently has the 2010 theme, at the top of the site click on the Start now hyperlink, then Upgrade this Site Collection on the following page. A dialog box will appear; so when you’re ready click I’m ready.

After a short while, a page will open informing you that you have successfully upgraded to SharePoint 2013. If you need any local help we have offices in Aberdeen & Edinburgh.

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