How to Recover ConfigMgr SCCM Secondary Site

ConfigMgr 2007 and 2012 RTM versions don’t support the recovery of the secondary site. However, Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 RTM officially supports the restore. In ConfigMgr 2007, this is not a supported option.

Hence, the communities always suggest the fresh installation of secondary sites and redistribution of packages.

NOTE! – ConfigMgr Current Branch Secondary Site Recovery Guide – Recover Secondary Site Fix SCCM Secondary Server Recovery Failed Issue | ConfigMgr

But in a real-world scenario with tight SLA and PCK files availability at remote site/s, this option may give SCCM admins loads of problems even if we go with the package preload option using ‘PreloadPkgOnSite.exe.’

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How to Recover ConfigMgr SCCM Secondary Site 1
Recover ConfigMgr SCCM Secondary Site

In ConfigMgr 2012 SP1, If the content library is available then the recovery process itself validates and uses the content during the recovery process. This means there is no need to perform some ‘additional’ activity to get back the full functionality of the site server.

One another interesting point is that back in SMS 2003, the recovery of the secondary site is supported.

Points to be noted before the start of recovery activity:-

Recover a site server using the “Recover Secondary Site” action from the Sites node in the Configuration Manager Admin console.


CM 2012 SP1 secondary site doesn’t use ConfigMgr backup file to restore. This site will reinitialize the data from Parent Primary Server.

If the content library is available at the time of recovery then the secondary site will validate the contents and use them. Otherwise, need to redistribute the packages.

The Restoration and Validation process may take time depending upon the size of the DB and the content library size.

The secondary server should have the ‘same’ name, FQDN, installation path, security rights and this should be installed with all the prerequisites for a successful restoration.

Unlike the original installation, the ConfigMgr Secondary site won’t install the SQL Express version as part of recovery. If it’s not installed, already, then need to install it manually before starting the recovery process.  Should have the same version and instance name of SQL to complete the recovery process.

More Details about the recovery of the SCCM 2012 SP1 Secondary site are here !!


13 thoughts on “How to Recover ConfigMgr SCCM Secondary Site”

  1. Anoop,
    I’m new to SCCM 2012 SP1. I have a package that isn’t being validated by a secondary site server. Do you have any steps to go through to fix this issue? The site server has validate many other packages but this one. I believe the issue to with the package because I have 57 other secondary site servers validating it. Any suggestions?

  2. Hi Anoop, Greetings! I tried this recovery option after installing the secondary site and roles. But when i tried to recover secondary site server it warned me that it will automatically re-install it. I proceeded further. But once I have done with the installation sucessfully. I dont see the packages in the content tab that has already been in content library.I find only configMGR client in content tab. Is it something I mis-understood that it will automatically validate the old content in the machine DP drive (prior to reinstall) and show in content tab . Or do I need to do something like re-distributing the content of the all the packages again 🙁 . Please guide me.

  3. I got it fixed by adding the DP groups in group relationship immediately after adding the content in the local library replicated in console, since all those packages got distributed to DP group. Thanks.

  4. Hello Anoop, Trust you are good. Got a question. Is there a particular log or logs that can be used to monitor secondary site recovery progress. I have a Secondary site recovery action that has been running for 48 hours now with site state showing ‘Recovering’. When you click ‘show Install status’ the entry stops at prerequisite check complete. I am currently investigating the ConfigMgrSetup.log

    • Hi ! – I’m good 🙂 Even I had similar issues and there was some log file which will tell you more details. Sorry, I don’t remember it correctly now. Probably, configmgr setup or some other log file at secondary site. Also, I still remember some log files like Hman, sitecomp at SCCM 2012 primary server will also provide some details.
      But something to remember is “During a secondary site recovery, Configuration Manager does not install SQL Server Express if it is not installed on the computer. Therefore, before you recover a secondary site, you must manually install SQL Server Express or SQL Server. You must use the same version of SQL Server and the same instance of SQL Server that you used for the secondary site database before the failure.”


      • Hi Anoop,thanks for your quick response. There is an existing SQL server database on the site server so this was not a problem. I ve looked at logs like hman, sitecomp, configmgrsetup and no concrete info so far. Do you remember how you managed to get the secondary site recovery out of ‘recovering’ state? Every option is greyed out at the moment except ‘show install status’. Could a warning during pre-requisite check cause it to be in perpetual recovering state. Many Thanks.

      • Secondary server also should have SQL express DB. What is the status of that in secondary server? Why happened to secondary server? Why are you trying to recover it? Please let me know.,.

  5. My infrastructure is SCCM 2012 r2 RTM with CU3.
    Is there any benefit/harm of installing a full version of SQL on a secondary site vs SQL Express?

  6. Anoop,

    I want to share something here in this case, While recovering a secondary site it will automatically get fail in recovery stating SQL not found. In this case what we can do is we can retry secondary site option for getting the site recovered automatically[while performing this we need to select install SQL server option for SQL installation]. Post completing installation what we required is we need to get those content redistributed. That’s it.

  7. Hi Anoop,

    Am trying to recovery a secondary site.
    Checked ports, all allowed.
    AV completely uninstalled and rebooted.
    SCCM 1706 is the primary site version.

    Failed to connect to the SQL database is the error.

    Please help!


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