List restore might fail after parent site is restored from SharePoint 2010 SP1 site collection recycle bin

September 20, 2011

SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 1 introduced several exciting features, including the long-waited-for site recycle bin. This allows you to restore a deleted site within 30 days (default setting that can be changed) after deletion. The functionality is available to site collection administrators and can be huge relief for organizations where users tend to spend too much effort on keeping the site hierarchies “neat” and deleting everything that seems to be “not important any more”.

However, there is a gotcha you should be aware of if you rely on this functionality. The issue is already fixed in August 2011 Cumulative Update Package, but I thought I would share the info, since I could not find any KB describing it. Here you go:

Issue. A list cannot be restored from recycle bin after the parent site is deleted and restored from SharePoint SP1 site collection recycle bin.

Details. A list or document library is deleted in a SharePoint 2010 SP1 site and is available in the user recycle bin. The parent site itself is then deleted and appears in the administrator recycle bin on the site collection level. After you restore the site from site collection administrator recycle bin, the deleted list still appears in the user recycle bin, but any attempt to restore the list fails. List contents is unavailable to users.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Create a new site in the site collection. For example, the name is New Product Version Team Site: http://MyPortal/sites/MyProduct/NewProductVersion
  2. Create a document library in the newly created site (Project Specs) and upload several documents.
  3. Delete the newly created document library. The library appears in the user recycle bin in the New Product Version site.
  4. Delete the site. The deleted site appears in the site collection recycle bin.
  5. Restore the site from site collection recycle bin.
  6. Open the restored site and go to the user recycle bin. The document library appears there as expected.
  7. Select the document library (Project Specs) and click Restore.

Expected result: The library should be restored from Recycle Bin.

Actual result (on SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 1 without August 2011 Cumulative Update Package): Restore attempt fails with error: “A list with this name “Project Specs” already exists. To restore the list, move or rename the existing list and try again.”

In addition, deleted document library (Project Specs) unexpectedly appears in the “All Site Content” after the site restore. An attempt to open the Project Specs document library from All Site Content page fails with 404 error.

Resolution: Luckily, the SharePoint team already fixed this issue, all you need is obtain and install SharePoint 2010  August 2011 Cumulative Update Package before trying to restore the deleted site. You can find information about August CU here for SharePoint Sever and for SharePoint Foundation. I only posted this issue description for reference, since there seems to be no description of the symptoms in Microsoft Support KB articles.

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2 Responses to “List restore might fail after parent site is restored from SharePoint 2010 SP1 site collection recycle bin”

  1. Anax Says:

    You are not posting anymore. I hope everything is fine at your end. Willing to get some more excellent posts from you.


  2. Thanks Anax. The focus of my day job shifted a bit from recovery to overall SharePoint administration and governance. Are there any specific topics you wanted to see posts about?


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