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Moving a large SharePoint 2007 list or library with Metadata – Part 1 of 3

Posted by Cynthia Miller on Mon, Aug 22, 2011 @ 15:08 PM

Written by: Cynthia Miller
(This is a 3 Part Blog Post- all parts will be published this week)

The Problem… 

How do you move a large list or library and keep the metadata?

To move smaller lists and library within the same site collection, Site Owners frequently resort to saving the list or library as a template with content.   If the list or library is larger than 10MB, this will not work.

If the files in a Library are moved by using Explorer view and dragged and dropped into the new Library the metadata, such as Created By and Created date, are not preserved.

Another solution is to open a command window and write a set of stsadm commands to export and import the data.  The problem with this solution is the user must have very high level SharePoint permissions to be able to access and run stsadm commands.  This option is not available to most Site Collection Administrators or Site Owners.

The fourth possible solution is to use Content and Structure.  This solution can be used by either Site Collection Owners or Site Owners who have full access to both the source and destination sites.  This is the solution covered here.

Known Limitations

  1. You cannot copy items from one site collection to another.

  2. Only 1000 items can be copied at a time.

  3. If you are coping documents from one list or library to another, you must make sure the empty destination Library or List already exists.  Items cannot be copied to a non-existent area.

  4. Libraries with Folders cannot be copied in one action.  Instead the folders in the destination library will need to be created in advance and the documents copied to the new folders.

  5. Documents that are checked out must be excluded from the copy otherwise they will cause the copy to fail.

  6. The total copy cannot be greater than the upload limit set for your farm.  It if is, break the copy into smaller chunks.

  7. Custom Views are not copied.

Before Getting Started…

There are two ways to get to the Content and Structure feature.  You can use either use the Content Management and Structure or Content and Structure path.

To use the Content Management and Structure feature you must be a Site Collection Administrator and you must be working at the top level of the site collection.   In SharePoint 2007 you can only copy items within the same site collection.

If you are a Site Owner of two sites in the same site collection, you can use the Content and Structure feature to copy items between the two sites.

Both the features will be covered in the following postings. 

Stay tuned this week for Part 2 and 3 to continue on to either ‘Moving a List’ or ‘Moving a Library’…


Topics: moss, MOSS 2007, lists, limitations, SharePoint 2007, list, Library, Metadata, SharePoint How-