Backup and Restore SharePoint from Windows Internal Database

I was presented with an instance of SharePoint (WSS 3.0) that was installed on a single server that utilized SQL Server 2005 Embedded Edition or as it is now called “Windows Internal Database.”  This instance of WSS was being used internally be a select group of savvy users to “test” out the functionality of SharePoint before the roll out to the rest of the company.

We had reached a point in the process where we wanted to sunset the test instance and move the content that had been generated over several months to the production server.  The next step was to backup the web application containing that content.  The backup through Central Admin went fine, but the restore on the production server did not work.  The problem was that the service account that was restoring the database in production did not have rights to the instance that was backed up on the single server.  My first thought was, fine, I’ll just add the production service account to the security login for that content database on the single server in SQL Management Studio…  I’ll just connect to it from there.  It was then that I realized this was a “Windows Internal Database.”  How do I connect to the database?  After a little research, I found that the best way was to install SQL Server Express on the single server and connect to it using a somewhat odd connection string: “\\.\pipe\MSSQL$MICROSOFT##SSEE\sql\query”   I installed SQL Service Express, added the production service account and gave it dbcreator and securityadmin server roles in SQL Server.  The import was successful after that change. 

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