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"Cannot find c:\...\exportsettings.xml" error when restoring with SharePoint Designer

When making a SharePoint Designer backup of a certain Windows SharePoint Services site it's creating it normally. But when you try to restore the same backup you receive the cannot find ... exportsettings.xml error. After digging a lot around I've discovered that this is actually a SharePoint Designer Bug.

This error occurs if your backup has more than 25 MB. So to move larger sites we're in trouble and we should wait for SharePoint Designer team to fix the bug? Yes. Meanwhile there is a workaround that worked for me. Suppose we want to copy the SharePoint site to

We need the following:

1. Access to the server where the SharePoint mysite1 is hosted
2. SharePoint designer (you don't need it installed on the server)
3. Administrative rights to

And the process is as follows:

1. On the server where you have the locate the file stsadm.exe (usually in the folder C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\BIN). Copy the stsadm.exe to a location where you'll run it or make %path% to it or go to that folder in the command prompt.

2. Open the command prompt with the location of the file and type the following command (let's say we'll backup to c:\.

stsadm -o export -url -filename c:\mysite1.cmp -cabsize 1024 -includeusersecurity

This is the EXPORT backup of the site with some additional parameters:
-cabsize 1024 makes the backup file size 1024 megabytes instead of standard 25 (which is the error limit in SPD)
- includeusersecurity remembers the security settings of the sites

3. Copy the c:\mysite1.cmp file to your local computer or where you have the SharePoint Designer installed.

4. You have to have the site collection (or subsite) with deployed Blank site template on address Open the site with SharePoint Designer and make a SharePoint Designer restore (how? Read more here)

That should have it working.


Anonymous said...

Thanks - I just encountered this a few days ago.

It also looks like SPD leaves some files (temp files?) in the site you back up. Can these be deleted?

Boris Gomiunik said...

Glad I could help. I had serious problems with this and I saw a lot of forum posts all over the newsgroups and forums with the same error.

You can delete those temp files. Looks like another bug of SPD. Hope someone from SPD designer team is reading this. :)

energizerrylle said...


First thanks for finding out what is wrong, but...:o)

The backup was completed, but we have 6 cmp files. If I start with the first one is just comes up and says that the restore was not completed succesfully.

What is now going on...

Boris Gomiunik said...

How big is the whole site? Did you set the parameter for cab file size? If you have more than 1 GB you might be in trouble. Perhaps you can use the stsadm -o export and stsadm -o import feature with -includeusersecurity option. stsadm -o import knows to work with multiple files.

Jose Antonio said...

The correct command is:

stsadm -o export -url -filename c:\mysite1.cmp -cabsize 1024 -includeusersecurity

replace "cabfilesize" for "cabsize"

Jose Antonio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Boris Gomiunik said...

Thanks, Jose. The post is updated.

Tony said...


Somehow the procedure did not work for me.

Trying to backup and restore a web, not a site collection. Even with -cabsize 1024, I still get 2 cmp files. The total size is about 35 MB.

While doing restore via SPD, I specified the first file as the input, but I still get the same error message.

Did you miss anything?


Anonymous said...

Thx - saved me many houers of work :)

Anonymous said...

btw, a nice tool with GUI for exporting SP content. You can choose only part of the site, or the entire collection.

A nice alternative for using the stsadm..

tires 12r 22.5 said...
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