I have been working on upgrading SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013.  Here are some notes on steps taken to update a content database for your default web application.

Please note:  

  1. A backup of your default (primary) SharePoint 2010 content database is needed.
  2. These steps are for those who have already installed SharePoint and have a functioning central administration site working.

Step 1 – Backup of content database.

In order to upgrade and mount your SharePoint 2010 content database in SharePoint 2013 you will need to create a backup of the content database and restore this onto the database server chosen to server as your SharePoint 2013 database. While a new server is not required (space permitting) you may do this on the same database by restoring with a different name.

Step 2 – Create new (in my case) default application site

To attach the restored SharePoint 2010 database to the SharePoint 2013 installation, we need to create a new application site.

  • Open Central Administration
  • In Central Administration, select Application Management then select Manage Web Applications 
  • One under the Manage Web Applications, click  New to create a new web application
  • This bring you to the ‘Create New Application setup model.  There are many options here. In my case I am setting up just a new SharePoint site.
  • Create a new IIS website – For my setup I am keeping the default name. If the site runs on port 80 no need to change this. I am keeping the default site path, and being that this is part of an upgrade of a SharePoint 2010 database I am calling the database WSS_Content_delete_me as a reminded to delete later.
    Click OK and you will see the following popup
  • Followed by a message indicating that your application has been created.
  • We now want to make our way to Central Administration > Application Management and select, Manage content database 
  • Selecting the database we created above: ‘WSS_Content_delete_me’ we choose the option to remove the content database from the newly created application
  •  Click ‘ok’ to complete this action

Step 3 – Upgrade and Mount (attach) Database

The next steps require us to use SharePoint 2013’s Management Shell to mount the SharePoint 2010 database and in doing so upgrade it to function with SharePoint 2013.

We run the following command syntax to mount  the database:

To mount: Mount-SPContentDatabase -Name <database_name> -WebApplication http://<sharepoint_server_application>

To test: Test-SPContentDatabase -Name <database_name> -WebApplication http://<sharepoint_server_application>

Depending on the size of the content database, you may have to wait for a short period of time for the upgrade to complete.

* note * you may encounter error messages at the end of the upgrade once completed indicating customization’s that are not supported in SharePoint 2013.