SharePoint Site Collections Read Only during STSADM Scheduled Backups

This was an interesting discovery, as I try not to work after 10pm (when my automated, scripted Site Collections are due to run).


When I tried to save a document to a document library, I was greeted with the following two issues:


When saving to a document library, I got…

You do not have the correct permissions. Contact the server administrator.


And when trying to add a new item to a list, I got…

Error: Access Denied


That’s what I get for trying to be extra efficient with my current workload. Time to go to bed, like a normal human … helps with the grumpies in the morning as well. Oh right, you are waiting for the answer/solution. Ok, here it goes…


SP2 for SharePoint, modifies the default behaviour of STSADM backups


I have a nightly scheduled Site Collection Backup script that runs at 10pm – I don’t have a huge Site Collection/Content Database and I like the extra security and flexibility I get regarding recovery of a full Site Collection. It’s been humming away for 2+ years and I’ve never had a problem … until now. With the release of SP2, the ‘SetSiteLock’ option is now on by default. Prior to SP2, it was an option/flag you set as a best practice (I didn’t, I forgot, didn’t care at the time, I don’t remember…). But now, it is on by default. Which means my Site Collection is read only during this operation.


In my case, I’m perfectly happy with that. And I’m too lazy to go back to my script and add in the necessary ‘NoSiteLock’ switch (what can I say, I like the idea of the best practice being forced/bestowed upon me – if it bothers me in the future, maybe I’ll change it).


Full details of the issue can be found here: and specifically, the interesting notes/passages are the following:



The force and nositelock parameters were first introduced in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 with Service Pack 2 (SP2).





If changes are made to the site collection during the backup process, the backup can become corrupted. Backing up large site collections can take a long time. To reduce the chance that user activity will interfere with a site collection backup, or that the time that is required to back up large site collections will exceed the available maintenance window, follow these recommendations: