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Automating Microsoft® SharePoint® 2010 Administration with Windows PowerShell® 2.0 by Shannon Bray, Gary Lapointe

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Back Up and Restore a Site Collection

Whenever you are at the point where you need to delete a Site Collection, you should first consider whether you will ever need that Site Collection again one day. If you think you might (or even if you don't), we recommend that you make a backup of it just prior to deletion. This will enable you to restore the Site Collection easily when the end user who requested that it be deleted calls you because they need some document or another that was in it. (Alternatively, you can use an unattached Content Database to perform a backup when it's time to restore it—more about that later.)

Another scenario where the Site Collection backup and restore capabilities of SharePoint come into play is during content migration; ...

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