The amazing adventures of Doug Hughes

Have you ever wanted to export all of your settings from ColdFusion but didn’t think you could? What if you had to reinstall your server for some reason, or simply wanted to backup your settings? What if you wanted to move your configuration to another server? Well, many people don’t know that it’s very easy.

Follow these instructions to export your settings:

  1. Login to the ColdFusion administrator
  2. Click Archives and Deployments under the Server Settings section in the left hand navigation menu. This screen will let you create an archive of settings. Ostensibly, the purpose of this is to export settings for a single application. However, you can use it to export all of your settings (and import them too!)
  3. In the Create New Archive form type an archive name. I typed “My Settings”. Click create. The page refreshes and you see your new archive listed in the Current Archives Definition List.
  4. Click the edit icon (the pencil and paper) to the left of your archive. This opens a popup window where you can select the settings you want to export. You can give this a description if you want. Simply click the Select All button to select all the settings on your server. (I think this might be the default.) If you don’t want to export all your settings go though the items on the left of this window and select what you do want to export. When done click Close Window. You archive has now been configured.
  5. To export your archive click the Build icon (looks like a pyramid and paper, to the right of the edit icon). This opens another popup window. The first page reviews the settings you’re exporting. Click the next link in the lower right corner. The next page ask where you want to create the archive. I tend to just stick these in the root of my C: drive. You have to name the file with a “.car” extension. I called mine
  6. Click next again. The archive is created and you will receive a popup indicating that it was successful. You will now have a file on your server wherever you indicate it should be created! This can be backed up, emailed, copied, or whatever.

Follow these instructions to restore your archive:

  1. Login to the ColdFusion administrator
  2. Click Archives and Deployments under the Server Settings section in the left hand navigation menu.
  3. Type the path to your .car file in the Deploy an Existing Archive section. Click Deploy.
  4. Review the settings in the popup window.
  5. Click next in the lower right corner. Your settings will be deployed to your server.

This can be VERY useful when working with a large number of clustered ColdFusion servers. Imagine manually adding a data source to 10 servers without messing something up! All you need do now is type them in one location, export your settings and import on 9 other servers.

Comments on: "Export ColdFusion 7 Settings" (16)

  1. Rob Brooks-Bilson said:


    I’ve used this strategy successfully several times in the past. One potential issue to be aware of has to do with the JVM settings. Macromedia generally warns against exporting these to the CAR file as if the new environment differs in any way (say the JVM is installed in a different directory), the server might not start.


  2. Doug,

    I am assuming this a function of Enterprise CFMX…’cause I’m not seeing an Archives and Deployments under CFMX Standard, correct? Any suggestions for us lowly "Standard" users (beside upgrading)?


  3. Doug Hughes said:

    Rob: Good point. When I used this last it was on a set of identical blade servers so copying all settings was exactly what we wanted to do. However, I can see the danger of someone trying to send their development settings up to a production server (or somewhere else!) and breaking things badly.

    Jim: I honestly don’t know what versions of CF this functionality is in. Sorry if it’s not there for you in standard. (I’m not going to tell you to upgrade! You shouldn’t have to!)


  4. This backup procedure deosn’t work in the CF7 Administration web tool, there’s not “Archives adn Deployments” item under the “Server Setting” section.


  5. Paul Riker said:

    The simple process of backing up settings and restoring them is only available to the higher paying Enterprise customers. Thanks Macromedia/Adobe.


  6. Christodoulos Kourris said:

    Can i use this procedure for any data that my server may contain or just for the server settings??



  7. Doug Hughes said:

    @Christodoulos – This is specfic primarily to the settings in your ColdFusion server. However, car files can include arbitrary files from your server.


  8. Anuj Gakhar said:

    Did anyone find a way to do this on the standard versions yet ? Also, is there a way to do this from a Coldfusion 5 server to a Coldfusion 8 . Coldfusion 5 didnt support car files so how would one migrate hudreds of datasources/mappings from one server to another ?


  9. Stephen Farrar said:

    Yes, a way to do this in standard would be very useful. I note that in standard there is a section called ‘packages and deployments’ which allows you to create new ‘J2EE Archives (.ear/.war)’ – would this be the right place to start perhaps?

    Anuj: The best way for this might be to install cf8 to the same server, set the install to ‘coexist’ and then the installer should migrate all your settings (although I haven’t tried this with CF5 only CF7), without ‘taking over’. Then you can probably just install on the ‘new’ server, and copy the install over the top – worth a try anyhow.


  10. John Thornton said:

    I just deployed this little method successfully on a new server. One thing I found, that may help those not able to see the Archives and Deployment, this was not directly under the Server Settings Category. The last category was Packaging and Deployment, which I clicked and found Cold Fusion Archives (.car). After that, the instructions worked great. I am using CF7 Enterprise, so I cannot claim this works in Standard, but I noticed some above were unable to find the category. Good luck.


  11. We are planning to migrate from Coldfusion Mx 6.1 to Coldfusion 8 While we deploying the CAR file created from MX 6.1 into Coldfusion , None of the SQL datasource is working . Log file containts the below erorr message

    Error occurred while updating datasources:tedy” “Error”,”jrpp-10″,”08/20/08″,”13:49:36″,,”An error occurred while trying to encrypt or decrypt your input string: com.rsa.jsafe.crypto.dr: Could not perform unpadding: invalid pad byte.. ”

    After adding this in JVM config below
    error occurs


    Complete JVM Args java.args=-server

    -Xmx512m -XX:MaxPermSize=192m -XX:+UseParallelGC -Dcoldfusion.rootDir={application.home}/../ -Dcoldfusion.classPath={application.home}/../lib/updates,{application.home}/../lib,{application.home}/../gateway/lib/,{application.home}/../wwwroot/WEB-INF/flex/jars,{application.home}/../wwwroot/WEB-INF/cfform/jars -Dcoldfusion.libPath={application.home}/../lib -Dcoldfusion.disablejsafe=true An error occurred while trying to encrypt or decrypt your input string: Given final block not properly padded. ”


  12. Doug Hughes said:

    @Vishnu – I’m not sure you an move car files between platforms, honestly. I think the car file simply holds the XML configuration files used by CF. This undoubtedly change between releases so you might not have luck using them.


  13. Chas Randal said:

    To make CAR file from Standard edition:
    1. Stop Cf service
    2. edit “” file
    3. remove serial number (leave sn= , that’s all). Note what it was before (don’t put # to comment line, it will remove it)
    4. Restart CF service – should be in Dev mode
    5. Create and build CAR file
    6. Repeat steps 1 – 4 but add serial number back in (no quotes). Should restart in Standard mode.

    I’m not sure CF8 will load a CAR file built with CF7. (See “copy neo*.xml files” if not)


  14. DJ Sanderson said:

    There is a way to do this in the standard version of Coldfusion MX7. The trick is that it is not documented anywhere… until now. I’m breaking the silence because I think the world deserves to know how simple this is. It’s only a matter of copying a few files. Just follow these easy steps. Please keep in mind that this will NOT copy any ODBC data sources it ONLY takes care of the ColdFusion datasources. Exporting ODBC data sources is already well documented on several internet sites.

    1. Stop all coldfusion services on both the source and destination servers.

    2. Copy all files with *.inp extension from the CFusionMX7dbslserver54admin folder to the same folder on the new server.

    3. Copy the CFusionMX7libneo-query.xml file to the same location on the destination server.

    4. Copy the CFusionMX7dbslserver54cfgswandm.ini file to the same location on the destination server.

    5. Start all ColdFusion services.


  15. Chas Randal said:

    Re: To make CAR file from Standard edition (2 posts back)

    I upgraded from CF8 Standard to CF9 Standard and this method worked fine. Uncheck the JVM setting as it recommends.


  16. Peter Smith said:

    Hi found this thread whilst looking for “almost” this situation….

    i need to be able to document 100+ datasources so am looking for a way to “dump” all the settings into a readable format ?? the CAR file is encrypted and therefore unreadable but does anybody have any suggestions that i could try please to get this data ??


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