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Microsoft provides three approaches for upgrading from WSS 2.0 to WSS 3.0. More here.
If you are installing WSS 3.0 on a different server than the existing WSS 2.0, the only approach available is the “Database Migration”. This approach is considered "advanced" and requires additional steps. If you have a WSS 2.0 that has not been customized, this seems likes overkill for such a simple upgrade.
The following approach lets WSS do some of the behind the scenes work for you. This approach has WSS 3.0 creating the files needed for a new Web application and configuring IIS.
  • Using Central Administration, create a new Web application in WSS 3.0  
    • Create with all of the “production” values desired EXCEPT create a temporary content database. 
  • Using STSADM, attach the V2 content (which WSS 3.0 will upgrade to V3) . 
  • Using Central Administration, remove the temporary database. 
  • Install WSS 3.0 on the new server (if you have not already done so)
  • Copy the WSS 2.0 content database to the database you wish to use for 3.0
    • (copy MyContent2 to MyContent3). 
  • Using WSS 3.0 Application Management:
    • Create a new Web Application          
      • Create new IIS Web site with a temporary database
      • Database Name : wss_Portal_Temp (this database will be deleted, you must use a name of a database that does not already exist when creating a new Web application) 
  • Attaching content from WSS v2
    • Verify the SetupService account is a dbowner for the  MyContent3  database
    • Run stsadm
      • stsadm –o addcontentdb –url http://wss/ -databaseserver MyWSSServerName –databasename MyContent3
      • This might run a while if you have a large database
    • Review log file: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\LOGS\Upgrade.log
    • Review the Application event log on the WSS 3.0 server
  • Using WSS 3.0 Central Administration remove the temporary database
    • Application Management tab
    • SharePoint Web Application Management section
    • Content Databases Link
    • In the “Manage Content Databases”
      • Select desired web application in the Web Application dropdown
      • Click the link for the Temporary Database
      • In the “Manage Content Database Settings”
        • scroll to the last section and check “Remove Content Database”
        • Click “OK”
Posted on Friday, October 26, 2007 8:59 AM WSS | Back to top

Comments on this post: Upgrading from WSS 2.0 to 3.0: Another Approach

# re: Upgrading from WSS 2.0 to 3.0: Another Approach
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Your method does not include running the prescan tool sourced from V3 against the V2 database...why not?

I like your method because I don't have do the detach step (which scares me as I know next to nothing about WMSDE). Would you recomend running > net pause mssql$sharepoint < before making a copy of the content db?

Is there any reason that I can't run the V2 server and the new V3 server (with V2's content) side by side to allow for testing V3 with real data?

Thanks so much for your post! I think this is the most concise migration method I've seen for moving wssv2 wmsde to wssv3.
Left by Ariel on Jan 24, 2008 9:57 AM

# re: Upgrading from WSS 2.0 to 3.0: Another Approach
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I have WSS v2 content from a server that I had to reinstall Windows (2003 std server) on. I have the all of the mdf and ldf's (not backups, copies). What process should I use on the reinstalled server with 3.0 to attach/upgrade the v2 databases? Thanks in advance!
Left by Brian on Mar 14, 2009 7:16 PM

# re: Upgrading from WSS 2.0 to 3.0: Another Approach
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I've migrated the database as described above. When I brouws to the http:/servername/ I get 404 Error.? Can you tell me why?

Left by ERP on Nov 09, 2009 11:58 PM

# re: Upgrading from WSS 2.0 to 3.0: Another Approach
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Very helpful, thanks wvhoki! :)
Left by Kevin Israel on Aug 15, 2011 5:50 AM

# re: Upgrading from WSS 2.0 to 3.0: Another Approach
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I ran into some issues following the directions, as well. Specifically, the prescan tool requirement. I found a site that said to change the Sites table BitFlags entry to 262144. The command was
Update Sites
Set BitFlags=262144

This allowed the stsadm command to then run against the database.

Thanks for the help in getting this finally accomplished!
Left by Kristina Van Aken on Jan 18, 2013 9:54 AM

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