It’s hard to believe that it’s 2012 already, but for all of you SharePoint users out there, this means one thing: It’s been over five years since SharePoint 2007 (MOSS/WSS) was released. My assumption is that all of you are aware that SharePoint 2010 is out there by now, and if not, well perhaps you have traveled to the wrong website.

Just like any “new and improved” Microsoft product that’s released, many end users are hesitant to upgrade right away. Simple math tells you that SharePoint 2010 has been used for over two years, and now that all the guinea pigs have ironed out the wrinkles, guess what? It’s time to upgrade!

So, what are you waiting for? Order the software, throw the CD in the drive and click Setup! Not so fast… SharePoint is not your average Microsoft software that allows you to click Next a couple times and you’re done. There is a whole lot of planning that needs to go in to upgrading from your 2007 version to 2010, and the SharePoint experts are here to walk you through it.

System Requirements

First of all, you can’t upgrade anything unless you have the correct software and hardware. Allow me to point out the most important requirements for SharePoint 2010. (I won’t bore you with all the granular requirements such as hard drive space, memory, processor speed, etc… Those can be found here.)

  • You must be using 64-bit hardware.
  • Windows 2008 or Windows 2008 R2, both also must be 64-bit.
  • SQL Server 2005 SP3 or SQL Server 2008 SP1 or later. Again, 64-bit edition.

Pre-Upgrade Check

There are a few different upgrade methods that I will describe more in depth in Parts 2 & 3 of this 3-part series. Before you take any approach, you must ensure that your current 2007 SharePoint environment is ready to be upgraded. Microsoft has made this fairly easy for us by introducing the Pre-Upgrade Check utility. This option is only available with Service Pack 2 (or later, as SP3 has recently been released) for MOSS and WSS. Now is a good time to update to Service Pack 2 or 3, because you cannot upgrade to SharePoint 2010 without it. To run the pre-upgrade check, open the command prompt and enter the following STSADM command: STSADM.exe –o preupgradecheck as shown below:

pre upgrade check

*Note: if stsadm.exe is not a recognized command, you must browse to the following directory: (*COMMONPROGRAMFILES*)\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\bin\

This is what I like to call a successful pre-upgrade check. Notice there are no errors. Now you may be wondering, where do I find the information for the “Information Only” values above? When the pre-upgrade check completes, it will automatically open the SharePoint Products and Technologies Pre-Upgrade Check Report in a browser window. Needless to say, if any of the above values result in errors, please view the report and resolve any errors prior to proceeding with the upgrade.

This next step might seem a little obvious, but you would be surprised. You now want to browse to your SharePoint site(s) and ensure that all sites and features are working properly. Depending on the size of your site, this could be very time consuming. This is very important because it can help alleviate some of the post-upgrade pain you may experience if you realize there is an issue on your site after the upgrade. If this was a pre-existing condition, you can’t exactly blame it on the upgrade. This is especially important if you perform an in-place upgrade, as you will not be able to compare the pre-upgrade and post-upgrade sites side by side. Which leads me to my next point…


Now that you have all of the correct hardware, and you know your site is fully functional and ready for an upgrade, it’s time to take a backup. It is HIGHLY recommended to take a full backup of your entire environment prior to upgrading. It doesn’t matter if you have a vanilla install, or a highly customized/feature-full environment. BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP! It is well worth the extra storage space, time and cost (if applicable).

Things to Consider

  • If your current environment resides on a 32-bit operating system, it must be moved to a 64-bit prior to performing an upgrade.
  • If the need to copy large databases over a network, plan for the bandwidth usage accordingly.
  • Perform a upgrade using a test or development environment prior to performing on production environments.
  • Perform cleanup tasks on retired data prior to upgrading to shrink the size of the database(s) and shorten the overall upgrade time.

Up Next: Upgrading from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010: Part 2 of 3 (Introduction to Upgrade Methods and Their Pros & Cons) Stay Tuned!

Need help upgrading or migrating your SharePoint environment? Have further questions about the upgrade process? Please contact, world leaders in Microsoft SharePoint hosting.