Archive for the ‘Troubleshooting’ category

User Unable to Create Page (User has Full Control)

April 30, 2009

Ran into an odd little issue this morning where my users in a publishing site could not create new pages. The reason they couldn’t create a new page turned out to be because they did not have read rights on the masterpage gallery.

The symptoms are basically access denied pages when any user with full control or design rights chooses to create a page in a publishing site. When they create the page they get the typical “Error: Access Denied” page and can either sign in as another user or request access.

Hope this helps save someone a bit of time troubleshooting this specific issue in the future,
Richard Harbridge

Query list with Excel Error (Windows cannot find .iqy)

February 10, 2009

A great many people experience this issue and it’s hard to find an answer/resolution for it. When you open the task pane in a SharePoint list and choose Query list with Excel you receive an error with something similar to the following: “Windows cannot find ‘C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Temp\Low\list6856.iqy’. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again.”



The reason you get this message? Odds are your Internet explorer settings have protected mode on, and/or you don’t have the SharePoint address set as a trusted location.

So it’s VERY easy to fix, just turn off protect mode, or add it to trusted sites, or local intranet (if that makes sense) and set those zones to have protected mode off (you don’t need protected mode on a local intranet, trust me).


Do this and you should be golden and the issue should go away.

Hope this helps someone,
Richard Harbridge

Calculated Column Limits (1024 Characters)

February 10, 2009

So hopefully many people out there know there is an 8 level nesting limit on Calculated columns (see Microsoft’s article here: The way to get around this is to probably use choose statements, or to use multiple calculated columns.

I also think I discovered a 1024 character limit today (it’s a huge pain in my butt), but I could only find one comment response that agrees with that being a limit. I honestly can’t guess as to why it’s limited to 1024 characters (query string/url limitation?) but it is a definite limit from what I can see. You can create multiple calculated columns still (in my case I had a 7000 character extremely complex formula, so I probably won’t do this and will just use excel and push it up with excel services) to get around the limit. 🙂

Just wanted to share this with anyone wondering why they keep getting the “The formula contains a syntax error or is not supported.” when they have a large number of characters (over 1024) in their calculation formula.
Richard Harbridge

Application Pool Stopped (Automatically Stops)

December 15, 2008

I am going to put this one up because it has popped up twice now on local vista boxes with WSS installed (I keep forgetting), and hope that it helps some other person out there save time when troubleshooting.

If your application pool(s) are automatically stopping every time you start them and visit a SharePoint site (or any website) then it might be because the application pool identity password has changed.

When this happens it results in a page result like this: (Since the application pool is stopped.)

Service Unavailable HTTP Error 503. The service is unavailable. (This is on a vista box with IIS 7 etc)

An easy way to check/resolve this is to just go to the identity setting of your application pool and re-add the password (as it was) to see if this resolves the issue. (Or in this case add the new password).

In theory your application pool identities password should never change since this is an account designed for this use (in many cases) but when I setup my local vista boxes I normally set it up to use my own identity which has a password that changes so this was something I had to troubleshoot when it came up.

Who knows maybe someone else has a reason for using an account which has it’s password changed periodically. If so then this is going to be something that you should take into account in your planning for whenever that password does cycle.

Hope this helps someone,
Richard Harbridge

Christmas Fun with SharePoint

December 11, 2008

A long ways back Todd Bleeker released a cute content editor webpart which had javascript which made it ‘snow’ in SharePoint. One of those nice things to get your SharePoint team in the Christmas mood.

It still works fine in SharePoint 2007 and everyone should feel free to use it. If you are having trouble importing a dwp file (advanced webpart options, and import) then you can also just manually copy and paste the following code into source view of a CEWP to get the same effect. 🙂

If you embed this code into your master page it will display for the entire site too..


Oh and before I post the code Andy Dale did a similar thing with the content query webpart but this one is a countdown! Found here:

Note: WordPress has replaced all my ” characters and ‘ characters, so when you copy this code make sure you change the quotes or the code won’t work. I have also added it for download here: in txt format.

<script type=”text/javascript”>

* Snow Effect Script- By Altan d.o.o. (
* Visit Dynamic Drive DHTML code library ( for full source code
* Last updated Nov 9th, 05′ by DD. This notice must stay intact for use
* Updated by Todd Bleeker for use within a CEWP Dec. 2005

//Configure below to change URL path to the snow image
var snowsrc=”;;

// Configure below to change number of snow to render
var no = 10;

// Configure whether snow should disappear after x seconds (0=never):
var hidesnowtime = 0;

// Configure how much snow should drop down before fading (“windowheight” or “pageheight”)
var snowdistance = “pageheight”;

///////////Stop Config//////////////////////////////////

var ie4up = (document.all) ? 1 : 0;
var ns6up = (document.getElementById&&!document.all) ? 1 : 0;

function iecompattest()
return (document.compatMode && document.compatMode!=”BackCompat”)? document.documentElement : document.body

var dx, xp, yp;    // coordinate and position variables
var am, stx, sty;  // amplitude and step variables
var i, doc_width = 800, doc_height = 600;

if (ns6up)
doc_width = self.innerWidth;
doc_height = self.innerHeight;
} else if (ie4up)
doc_width = iecompattest().clientWidth;
doc_height = iecompattest().clientHeight;

dx = new Array();
xp = new Array();
yp = new Array();
am = new Array();
stx = new Array();
sty = new Array();

for (i = 0; i < no; ++ i)
// set coordinate variables
dx[i] = 0;

// set position variables
xp[i] = Math.random()*(doc_width-50);
yp[i] = Math.random()*doc_height;

// set amplitude variables
am[i] = Math.random()*20;

// set step variables
stx[i] = 0.02 + Math.random()/10;
sty[i] = 0.7 + Math.random();

if (ie4up||ns6up)
if (i == 0)
document.write(“<div id=\”dot”+ i +”\” style=\”POSITION: absolute; Z-INDEX: “+ i +”; VISIBILITY: visible; TOP: 15px; LEFT: 15px;\”><a href=\”\”><img src='”+snowsrc+”‘ border=\”0\”><\/a><\/div>”);
} else
document.write(“<div id=\”dot”+ i +”\” style=\”POSITION: absolute; Z-INDEX: “+ i +”; VISIBILITY: visible; TOP: 15px; LEFT: 15px;\”><img src='”+snowsrc+”‘ border=\”0\”><\/div>”);

// Main animation function
function showsnow()
doc_width = ns6up?window.innerWidth-10 : iecompattest().clientWidth-10;
doc_height=(window.innerHeight && snowdistance==”windowheight”)? window.innerHeight : (ie4up && snowdistance==”windowheight”)?  iecompattest().clientHeight : (ie4up && !window.opera && snowdistance==”pageheight”)? iecompattest().scrollHeight : iecompattest().offsetHeight;

// iterate for every dot
for (i = 0; i < no; ++ i)
yp[i] += sty[i];
if (yp[i] > doc_height-50)
xp[i] = Math.random()*(doc_width-am[i]-30);
yp[i] = 0;
stx[i] = 0.02 + Math.random()/10;
sty[i] = 0.7 + Math.random();
dx[i] += stx[i];
document.getElementById(“dot”+i).style.left=xp[i] + am[i]*Math.sin(dx[i])+”px”;
snowtimer=setTimeout(“showsnow()”, 10);

function hidesnow()
if (window.snowtimer)

for (i=0; i<no; i++)

if (ie4up||ns6up)

if (hidesnowtime>0)
setTimeout(“hidesnow()”, hidesnowtime*1000);


Hope someone else enjoys this one,
Richard Harbridge

SharePoint Browser Support and SharePoint Browser Compatibility

December 2, 2008

Also going to post this one in response to a question I just had related to Browser Compatibility.

Ever wonder what SharePoint supports in terms of each level browser? Microsoft released (way way back) two great articles that fully explain how SharePoint supports each browser and the level in which they support it.

WSS 3.0 –

SharePoint 2007 –

If you ever wonder or need to explain why users should use the latest version of IE over those other browsers when viewing SharePoint just refer to these articles.

Hope this helps someone,
Richard Harbridge

Name.dll Prompt in IE 7 Fix (Feature, and Easy Deployment)

December 1, 2008

Great news! Ever receive that name.dll prompt on a SharePoint site of yours when viewing in IE 7?

This issue occurs if the Name ActiveX control (Name.dll) is not added to the list of preapproved controls in Internet Explorer 7. The Name ActiveX control is included in the 2007 Microsoft Office system.

The way to fix it? They have 3 ways, add the site to trusted sites, change the registry, or modify each master page.

Typically option 3 is most appealing. (Quick note, make sure you comment all function lines in their example, it is wrong and if you don’t will result in a js error.) However it has a significant drawback. Imagine how much effort it would take to update hundreds of site collections with many customized master pages?

The good news is that just a short time ago Larry J. Riemann wrote a terrific feature for codeplex based off of Randy Drisgill’s workaround (in response to issues people were having):

The feature (which makes me happy) is located here:

What is great about this feature is that it is scoped to the web application level so the number of site collections, and sub sites don’t matter. What’s more the way it’s designed should not be effected by any customizations or the number of master pages. Making it a very appealing resolution.

Find out more about the codeplex activex override at Larry’s blog here:

Warning: Through testing this feature I have noticed it causes critical errors when using InfoPath Form Services.

Thank you Randy and Larry we all appreciate it,
Richard Harbridge

Lesson Learned: Outlook and Changing SharePoint Site URL’s

October 21, 2008

In outlook connected libraries, calendars, tasks, contacts and synchronized SharePoint areas information will no longer synchronize (and rightly so) if you change the related SharePoint site’s url.

So if you notice you cannot see newly added calendar events, or documents and the synchronization is off, double check the URL of the site has not changed.

The solution’s seems pretty simple if this does happen to you, you just reconnect the libraries using the out of the box SharePoint connect options and the existing outlook entries will now be properly connected (no need to delete and re-add for document libaries), but Calendars DO seem to need to be removed, and then re-added to update appropriately, and seemingly the same result with tasks, contacts, etc…

In fact I would say the key here is to really think about the impact changing a URL has, from bookmarking to services, applications, and things that reference the url externally (in this case, outlook 2007).

So why am I sharing this?

So during a conference this weekend I was setting up for my presentations (on SharePoint as an Idea and Innovation Platform) and opened up my synchronized sharepoint libraries in outlook.

I immediately noticed something that makes any presenter groan. The version of my presentation that was synchronized was several versions back. Well of course I connected through a VPN tunnel to my exchange and SharePoint environment and performed an update… but for some reason all of my SharePoint Lists in outlook didn’t update.

I navigated to the SharePoint site, downloaded the presentation and continued on for the next several hours with the different groups and presentations but then as soon as the presentations were over and I had resolved any outstanding questions I sat in the corner and scratched my head as to what had happened.

Then it hit me: Recently I had changed the site properties of the SharePoint site housing the connected library. In SharePoint 2007 you can modify the title, logo, description, and “URL” of the site.

What I had done was cleaned it up a little bit to account for a new managed path and architecture I was putting in place, what I forgot to think of is how this could impact anyone who has synchronized the libraries and calendars within the site.

In this case it was a minor hiccup, but could you imagine if this had been a site with important data hundreds of people were viewing? Now all those off site who might rely on Outlook synchronization would be unable to see new changes, and because it might not be immediately obvious this could happen for sometime creating a huge cost in misinformation. Not to mention that obviously I had not fully considered the impact other services might experience if they are referencing that previous site url.

(To be fair I also knew I was the only person using this site, and the only person who has access to/uses the site’s materials right now, so (and this could be me trying to excuse it) really I fully expect had this been a different situation I would never have changed the URL without considering the impact in far greater detail.)

Well I won’t make that mistake again! And hopefully someone else out there reading this avoid the potentially extremely costly and dangerous mistake I made.
Richard Harbridge

AD, Audiences and AD Group Memberships

October 2, 2008

Today I was working on attempting to determine the impact of various AD changes to SharePoint. This is because (like many many organizations out there) the AD structure must be revised and groups must be removed and renamed as a great many are no longer used (such as SharePoint Admin 2001 etc).

First of all “How can I find out the memberships (or the users) who are contained in an AD group?” This should be a simple thing to answer but if you don’t have access to AD directly (as I do not) then my recommendation is to use the Audience management functionality of SharePoint as a good alternative.

  1. Add a new “Test” Audience.
  2. Add a new rule with “Member Of” being the AD group you want to know more about.
  3. Compile this new Audience.
  4. Click “View Membership”

Now you can see the users in various AD groups from within SharePoint and you don’t need access to AD directly (with your user).

So now you can start to look over AD groups (in SharePoint) and you can see them all listed (ignore the nickname ones etc created by SharePoint). You might notice a couple odd things next.

The first one that stands out is multiple listings of an AD group. I struggled with this one for a bit and found this article: (Thanks Monty for writing this one.)

So let’s summarize: “What do you need to know about AD and SharePoint?”

  • Changing an AD Group’s canonical name can result in duplicate entries in the audience targeting searches.

If I discover anything else I will be sure to update this post and let all of you know,
Richard Harbridge

Cumulitive Updates for SharePoint 2007

September 30, 2008

The Office Team has made an announcement on the SharePoint msdn blog explaining the new methodology that will be used for cumulative updating (or hotfix resolution) here:

Keep in mind that this is only for if you are experiencing issues that are resolved by these hotfixes and that SP2 for MOSS will include this cumulative update (and any up until the SP2 date).

There should be a new update every two months (cumulative) so keep your eyes posted and make sure to read over the hotfixes to see if any apply to some issues you may be experiencing.

Best of luck,