“Cannot find c:…exportsettings.xml” error when restoring with SharePoint Designer

January 23rd, 2008 | Categories: SharePoint, SharePoint administration

When making a SharePoint Designer backup of a certain Windows SharePoint Services site it’s creating it normally. But when you try to restore the same backup you receive the cannot find … exportsettings.xml error. After digging a lot around I’ve discovered that this is actually a SharePoint Designer Bug.

This error occurs if your backup has more than 25 MB. So to move larger sites we’re in trouble and we should wait for SharePoint Designer team to fix the bug? Yes. Meanwhile there is a workaround that worked for me. Suppose we want to copy the SharePoint site http://www.mysite1.com/ to http://www.mysite2.com.

We need the following:

1. Access to the server where the SharePoint mysite1 is hosted
2. SharePoint designer (you don’t need it installed on the server)
3. Administrative rights to mysite2.com

And the process is as follows:

1. On the server where you have the www.mysite1.com locate the file stsadm.exe (usually in the folder C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWeb Server Extensions12BIN). Copy the stsadm.exe to a location where you’ll run it or make %path% to it or go to that folder in the command prompt.

2. Open the command prompt with the location of the file and type the following command (let’s say we’ll backup to c:.

stsadm -o export -url http://www.mysite1.com -filename c:mysite1.cmp -cabsize 1024 -includeusersecurity

This is the EXPORT backup of the site with some additional parameters:
-cabsize 1024 makes the backup file size 1024 megabytes instead of standard 25 (which is the error limit in SPD)
– includeusersecurity remembers the security settings of the sites

3. Copy the c:mysite1.cmp file to your local computer or where you have the SharePoint Designer installed.

4. You have to have the site collection (or subsite) with deployed Blank site template on address www.mysite2.com. Open the site www.mysite2.com with SharePoint Designer and make a SharePoint Designer restore (how? Read more here)

That should have it working.