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Todd Klindt's home page > Todd Klindt's Office 365 Admin Blog > Posts > Reinstalling SharePoint without reinstalling SharePoint
January 07
Reinstalling SharePoint without reinstalling SharePoint

This blog post is the heartwarming tale of two warring factions putting their differences aside and working together for a common good. That's right, devs and admins, hand in hand, figuring out this beast we both love called SharePoint.

A couple of days ago I got an IM from a buddy of mine, Dan Attis. Like many of us he's been playing with SharePoint 2010 pretty heavily and that day he had poked it pretty hard and it didn't like it very much. It decided not to work anymore. Dan didn't want to rebuild his VM. Heck, he didn't even want to reinstall SharePoint. So his question to me was essentially, "Is there any way for me to reset SharePoint, without reinstalling it?" Now, keep in mind this was a test dev VM he was working on, it wasn't a production environment of any kind. Because of that I figured I had some latitude. The first thing that came to mind was just creating a new ConfigDB. That resets SharePoint. It's a pretty extreme measure though. I almost felt dirty suggesting it. I told Dan to run the SharePoint Config Wizard and remove the server from the farm. Then run the SharePoint Config Wizard again and instead of connecting it to an existing farm, create a new one. The important step is to give the new ConfigDB a different name than the old one. The server will now essentially be reset with a fresh version of SharePoint. Dan walked through the steps and it did exactly what he wanted. Now he was free to do whatever horrible, torturous things that devs do to SharePoint. Another dev/admin cooperation success story.

Here are screenshots of what it looks like:

The normal config wizard welcome screen.

This is the old, bad farm information. Make sure when you rerun the wizard you use a different name for your ConfigDB than what is listed here.

Click yes, this is exactly what you want to do.

That's all there is to it. The SharePoint binaries are still installed, but it's no longer configured. If you go into IIS you'll notice all your SharePoint related sites have been removed.

Now rerun the Config Wizard and create a new farm.

Click Next.

Click "Create a new server farm."

On the next screen input your farm information. Make sure your Database name is different than what your old ConfigDB was.

You'll have to set up a new farm passphrase, since this is a new farm.

You'll also need to set up Central Admin, since the previous Central Admin instance was removed when the server was removed from your old farm.

That's all there is to it. Look over your settings and hit Next.

Now, fairly quickly you'll have a fresh new SharePoint farm to use, or abuse if you're a dev like Dan.

tk

Comments

Custom features/solutions

Note, that this will not delete installed custom features and hacks to the SharePoint root files that may have funked up your machine.
 on 1/8/2010 8:26 AM

VM steady state

You could also exploit the versioning of your VM client saving states every time before doing hard dirty changes.
 on 1/12/2010 4:25 PM

Re: Reinstalling SharePoint without reinstalling SharePoint

Think for better solution
 on 3/16/2010 12:03 PM

existing sites

Will my existing sites be undamages, and be available after new farm configuration
 on 5/16/2011 9:23 PM

Re: existing sites

Your sites are all stored in the Content Databases. Your new config database won't be referencing your old content databases, so your old site won't show up. To get them back, just attach your old content databases to a web application in your new farm. You can do that in Central Admin > Application Management > Content Database Management or with mount-spcontentdatabase in PowerShell.

tk
Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 5/21/2011 10:18 PM

missing dll files

Hi Todd,

Great post! So we are trying out SharePoint 2010 at my office and for some reason, every so often I notice that some of our sites crash. When I take a look at it, I notice that there are missing dlls from random folders such as the _app_bin and App_GlobalResources folder. as soon as I copy and paste the missing dlls, the site starts working properly again. After some time, the files will go missing again. I was thinking of reinstalling SharePoint server 2010 but didnt want to lose the sites I already have. Would what you have mentioned above help me?

Thanks!
 on 1/3/2013 3:28 PM

missing dll files

Hi Todd,

Great post! So we are trying out SharePoint 2010 at my office and for some reason, every so often I notice that some of our sites crash. When I take a look at it, I notice that there are missing dlls from random folders such as the _app_bin and App_GlobalResources folder. as soon as I copy and paste the missing dlls, the site starts working properly again. After some time, the files will go missing again. I was thinking of reinstalling SharePoint server 2010 but didnt want to lose the sites I already have. Would what you have mentioned above help me?

Thanks!
 on 1/4/2013 8:53 AM

missing dll files

Hi Todd,

Great post! So we are trying out SharePoint 2010 at my office and for some reason, every so often I notice that some of our sites crash. When I take a look at it, I notice that there are missing dlls from random folders such as the _app_bin and App_GlobalResources folder. as soon as I copy and paste the missing dlls, the site starts working properly again. After some time, the files will go missing again. I was thinking of reinstalling SharePoint server 2010 but didnt want to lose the sites I already have. Would what you have mentioned above help me?

Thanks!
 on 1/4/2013 9:21 AM

missing dll files

Hi Todd,

Great post! So we are trying out SharePoint 2010 at my office and for some reason, every so often I notice that some of our sites crash. When I take a look at it, I notice that there are missing dlls from random folders such as the _app_bin and App_GlobalResources folder. as soon as I copy and paste the missing dlls, the site starts working properly again. After some time, the files will go missing again. I was thinking of reinstalling SharePoint server 2010 but didnt want to lose the sites I already have. Would what you have mentioned above help me?

Thanks!
 on 1/4/2013 9:22 AM

missing dll files

Hi Todd,

Great post! So we are trying out SharePoint 2010 at my office and for some reason, every so often I notice that some of our sites crash. When I take a look at it, I notice that there are missing dlls from random folders such as the _app_bin and App_GlobalResources folder. as soon as I copy and paste the missing dlls, the site starts working properly again. After some time, the files will go missing again. I was thinking of reinstalling SharePoint server 2010 but didnt want to lose the sites I already have. Would what you have mentioned above help me?

Thanks!
 on 1/4/2013 2:34 PM
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