While working with Microsoft BI projects, I am often required to deliver the visualizations through SharePoint. On my current project, I have a SharePoint 2010 development environment on Windows 7 that has SharePoint and all the SQL Server services running. Last week I was preparing to demo our progress when the site became unresponsive. The demo site had the wonderfully descriptive message: “An unexpected error has occurred.” So, I attempted to open the management console but that page could not be found (404 error). I turned on the expanded error messaging by modifying the web.config file and checked the log files. The errors pointed to the inability to connect to a database. Upon further investigation I discovered that three of our databases went suspect including the admin and content databases.
At this point, I proceeded to try to restore my full SharePoint backup. Which works in all situations except for recovering the admin database. Based on the online resources, this is to be expected. After conferring with the coworkers, I was able to determine that the admin database was unrecoverable and the best bet was a reinstall of SharePoint. After working through some options I was able to get the site back up and running without recreating the entire solution. The rest of the blog walks through the recovery scenario and calls out the nuances of having BI components as part of the content.
First, the SharePoint Farm must be Farm backed up. I did this through the Central Administration console.
The next step involves uninstalling SharePoint. I did this by running Setup and choosing the Remove Option. (The Repair option did not work.) Once I had SharePoint uninstalled, I proceeded to reinstall it. After SharePoint was installed, I ran the Configuration wizard. This step recreated the Admin database. Once this was complete, I verified that the starter site and the Central Administration site were operational.
Recovering the Farm
You can recover the farm from either the Central Administration site or by using PowerShell. In this case, I used Central Administration as it is easier to select and understand the options.
I first browsed to the Backup and Restore menu page. From this page, I selected the “Restore from a backup” option under the Farm Backup and Restore header.
NOTE: In order to run the backup or restore farm functions, the Administration service must be running. If it is not running, start it in the Windows Services console.
There are three pages or steps to recovering the backup.
Step 1. Select the backup to restore.
Step 2. Select the components to restore.
For my purposes, I selected the Farm option which restores all of the options to the farm from the backup.
Step 3. Select Restore Options.
The first two selections are the most important. I selected the “Restore content and configuration” and “Same configuration”. This uses the same application and site names for the full restore of your site. The “New configuration” option would have required me to rename all of the applications and services I needed to restore. There were a lot of applications and services to rename which I chose not to do.
When I restored at both the client and on my personal development environments I needed to remove the following services before running the restore:
- Application Registry Service
- Web Analytics Service Application
- User Profile Service Application
- Search Service Application.
When I did not remove these, my restore failed due to duplicate names. You may run into a similar issue, so removing them before the restore is easiest. These applications and services should be removed from the Central Administration site. Once these services are removed, run the restore.
Bringing BI Back Online
At this point, my site would have been operational except I had a Reporting Services webpart on the homepage of my site. Because of that I saw an error below.
As the error message notes, the issue is with the Reporting Services webpart. The issue is that the full restore did not restore the Reporting Services integration. The integration needed to be redone manually.
Once Reporting Services was reintegrated I was able to open the site. However, neither the Reporting Services or PerformancePoint webparts were working.
These issues are primarily security related. To fix the Reporting Services issue, I openend the data source and reset the credentials. Once reestablished, the report webpart came back online.
To resolve the PerformancePoint issue, I first went to Central Administration to refresh the Secure Store Service key. I was able to use my passphrase refresh the key. (NOTE: if necessary you can create a new key.) Next, I went in to the PerformancePoint Service Application settings and reset the unattended service account.
Once these steps are complete, the site was fully restored. While the full backup is extremely useful for site failures it will not recover all of the BI components and as such feels very incomplete. I hope this saves someone some time later.