Error=The file /_catalogs/masterpage/WelcomeLinks.aspx does not exist

The error is what you get in ULS or SharePoint Logs after moving your Site Collection using Backup\Restore stsadm command.

This comes up when you are trying to move publishing Portal (or Portal with Publishing feature turned on) along with Publishing Layouts and Master Pages (Custom or Out-box) under a new webapplication in a new environment.

On UI, you will see various errors like “File Not Found” or “Object reference not set to the instance of the Object” or some other typical SharePoint or application related error pointing you towards missing files or references are wrong.

The Reason – The Stsadm Restore command does correctly change the url’s for layout pages like WelcomeLinks.aspx while moving it under a new url(or new web application).

The Fix:

You would either have to change the url’s for layout pages using stsadm command or create a custom stsadm command to that stuff.
You can see the details about creating Custom stsadm command Here


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