Restoring a SharePoint Site Collection from a Backup

We had been trying unsuccessfully to do a Sharepoint 2003 backup and restore from production to development for disaster recovery planning for one of our clients, and the restore kept failing with this message:

The database schema is too old to perform this operation in this SharePoint cluster. Please upgrade the database and try again.

We checked the version numbers of SharePoint Portal Server (SPS), Windows SharePoint Services (WSS), and SQL Server 2000, and they all matched exactly.  We finally realized that there was an update available at Microsoft Update called “Windows SharePoint Services for Windows Server 2003 (KB924881) ” that had been applied to production, but not the newer development box.  We applied that update to development, and the restore worked without a hitch.

So, the lesson here is that you need to very carefully match not only the version numbers, but also all of the updates that have been applied to the two boxes to be assured of a successful SharePoint restore.