Troubleshooting XML backups that fail on restore

XML site backups are only necessary for migrating to a new database. Upgrading Confluence, Setting up a test server or Production Backup Strategy is better done with an SQL dump.

Seeing an error when creating or importing a site or space backup?



Exception while creating backup

See Troubleshooting failed XML site backups

Exception while importing backup

See instructions below

On this page:

Related Topics:

Resolve Errors When Attempting To Restore An XML Backup

The errors may be caused by a slightly corrupt database. You will need to find the XML backup file entry that is violating the DB rules, modify the entry and recreate the XML backup:

  1. On the instance being restored, follow the instructions to disable batched updates (for simpler debugging), log SQL queries and log SQL queries with parameters at Enabling Detailed SQL Logging.
  2. Once all three changes have been made, restart Confluence.
  3. Attempt another restore.
  4. Once the restore fails, check your log files to find out what object could not be converted into XML format. For Confluence distribution users, check your Confluence install directory under the /logs/ and check both atlassian-confluence.log and catalina.out file. The correct file will contain SQL debug output.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the file and identify the last error relating to a violation of the database constraint. For example:

    2006-07-13 09:32:33,372 ERROR [confluence.importexport.impl.ReverseDatabinder] endElement net.sf.hibernate.exception.ConstraintViolationException:
      could not insert: [com.atlassian.confluence.pages.Attachment#38]
    net.sf.hibernate.exception.ConstraintViolationException: could not insert: [com.atlassian.confluence.pages.Attachment#38]
    Caused by: java.sql.SQLException: ORA-01400: cannot insert NULL into ("CONFUSER"."ATTACHMENTS"."TITLE")
    at oracle.jdbc.driver.DatabaseError.throwSqlException(
    at oracle.jdbc.driver.T4CTTIoer.processError(
    at oracle.jdbc.driver.T4CTTIoer.processError(

    This example indicates a row in your attachment table with ID = 38 that has a null title.

  6. Go to the server that the backup was created on. You must have a copy of the database from which the backup was created. If you do not have this, use a DBA tool to restore a manual backup of the database.
  7. Open a DBA tool and connect to the original database instance and scan the table names in the schema. You will have to modify a row in one of these tables.
  8. To work out which table, open catalina.out, check the first line of the exception. To work out what table an object maps to in the database, here's a rough guide:
    • Pages, blogposts, comments --> CONTENT table.
    • attachments --> ATTACHMENTS table.
  9. To correct the example error, go to the attachment table and find that attachment object with id 38. This will have a a null title. Give a title using the other attachments titles as a guide. You may have a different error and should modify the database accordingly.
  10. Once the entry has been corrected, create the XML backup again.
  11. Import the backup into the new version.
  12. If the import succeeds, revert the changes made in your SQL logging to re-enable disable batched updates and turn off log SQL queries and log SQL queries with parameters.
  13. Restart Confluence.

Troubleshooting "Duplicate Entry" for key "cp_" or "cps_"

If you are encountering an error message such as:

com.atlassian.confluence.importexport.ImportExportException: Unable to complete import because the data does not match the constraints in the Confluence schema. Cause: MySQLIntegrityConstraintViolationException: Duplicate entry '1475804-Edit' for key 'cps_unique_type'

This indicates that the XML export came from a version of Confluence with a corrupt permissions database, caused by some 3rd party plugin. This is an issue that was fixed when CONF-22123 was implemented in Confluence 3.5.2. The simplest workaround is to export the space again after upgrading the instance to 3.5.2 or above. If that is not an option, then either the export will need to be edited manually to remove the duplicate permission entries or the source instance will need to have the offending entries removed. The following SQL queries can be used to look for such entries:

Remove all matching entries and perform the export again.

Troubleshooting "Duplicate Key" related problems

If you are encountering an error message such as:

could not insert: [bucket.user.propertyset.BucketPropertySetItem#bucket.user.propertyset.BucketPropertySetItem@a70067d3]; SQL []; Violation of PRIMARY KEY constraint 'PK_OS_PROPERTYENTRY314D4EA8'. Cannot insert duplicate key in object 'OS_PROPERTYENTRY'.; nested exception is java.sql.SQLException: Violation of PRIMARY KEY constraint 'PKOS_PROPERTYENTRY_314D4EA8'. Cannot insert duplicate key in object 'OS_PROPERTYENTRY'.

This indicates that the Primary Key constraint 'PK_OS_PROPERTYENTRY_314D4EA8' has duplicate entries in table 'OS_PROPERTYENTRY'.
You can locate the constraint key referring to 'PK_OS_PROPERTYENTRY_314D4EA8' in your table 'OS_PROPERTYENTRY' and locate any duplicate values in it and remove them, to ensure the "PRIMARY KEY" remains unique. An example query to list duplicate entries in the 'OS_PROPERTYENTRY' table is:


Troubleshooting "net.sf.hibernate.PropertyValueException: not-null" related problems

If you're receiving a message like:

ERROR [Importing data task] [confluence.importexport.impl.ReverseDatabinder] endElement net.sf.hibernate.PropertyValueException: not-null property references a null or transient value:

This means there's an unexpected null value in a table. In the above example, the error is in the name column in the USERS table. We've also seen them in the ATTACHMENTS table.

Remove the row with the null value, redo the xml export, and reimport.

To Help Prevent this Issue from Recurring

  1. If you are using the embedded database, be aware that it is bundled for evaluation purposes and does not offer full transactional integrity in the event of sudden power loss, which is why an external database is recommended for production use. You should migrate to an external database.
  2. If you are using an older version of Confluence than the latest, you should consider upgrading at this point.

The problem with different settings for case sensitivity varies between databases. The case sensitivity of the database is usually set through the collation that it uses. Please vote on the existing issue

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6 Archived comments

  1. User avatar

    J van Strien

    I was sort of expecting to see how to repair a backup file that fails on restore. How is this going to help people that have a crashed server and are trying to restore their backup, but can't because they have a broken XML? They don't have a running server to do some queries on and then generate another backup XML.

    08 Mar 2013
  2. User avatar

    Florian Heigl

    This document basically says that the XML backups are worthless for most cases?

    This is not funny.

    29 Mar 2013
  3. User avatar

    Niraj Bhawnani

    Hi Florian,

    Can you let us know what case you would like to use XML backups for and why you think they won't work for you?


    02 Apr 2013
  4. User avatar

    Bill Bailey

    One of the things that frustrate me with Atlassian documentation is the amount of links you have to follow, rather than having the content appear here using an excerpt (taking advantage of Confluence). For example, this page send a user to the following page to find out how to enable SQL logging:

    Enabling Detailed SQL Logging

    Then on how to enable in the console, sends the reader to this page:

    Working with Confluence Logs#runtime

    Which then sends the reader to this page:

    Configuring Logging

    Ideally, the content on the last page, should just be replicated here via an excerpt (we use the multi-excerpt macro). Much easier for the user to follow what is going on.

    22 Jan 2015
  5. User avatar

    Chris Hyzer

    I am restoring my site, and tomcat dies altogether with no logs partway through.  I am using the latest confluence 5.7.1 on oracle.

    03 Apr 2015
    1. User avatar

      Giles Brunning [Atlassian Technical Writer]

      Hi Chris,

      Best to contact support with this one.

      07 Apr 2015
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