Now you know how to make backups of the SharePoint data; you also know that some information like custom site definitions, CSS files, and XML files are not covered by the standard backup tools that SharePoint provides. These files need to be backed up with the usual file backup procedures; for example, the Windows Backup tool that comes free with Windows 2003 Server, also known as NTBackup.
But the big question is how to restore data from these backups in case of a disaster. The answer to that question depends on what you need to restore, and what type of backup you have. Remember the first golden rule (what you back up is what you can restore); so if you only run an STSADM backup of site collections, then all you can restore is a site collection; that is, you cannot restore just one specific site or library from that backup set. If this is what you need to do, then you must first restore to a temporary location and then move the data to the production environment.
The following sections describe how to restore different types of data, such as single documents, a site collection, or a complete portal server. Remember that all these descriptions are based on the backup tools that come with SharePoint; later on in this chapter you will learn more about what third-party backup tools can do.
At long last is the Recycle Bin back in SharePoint. It was introduced in SharePoint Portal Server 2001, and then disappeared in SharePoint ...