Monday, April 30, 2012

The path for the index location is not valid

"The path for the index location is not valid"

I recently faced this issue with the Sharepoint on the Central administration page that gives "The path for the index location is not valid" error message on the Manage search settings page on Application management

The problem occurs when you have changed the default location of the index file path


+ Either you can try bringing the index location back to where it was
+ Try stopping and starting the Osearch service give it the new location, and start it again, to do this make command line your friend.
+ To stop and start WSS search with command line use
+ To stop and start Office search with command line use
+ Try giving WPG group as full permissions on the index file location folder
+ Also give permissions to the C:\windows\tasks folder
+ As its a system folder and it will not give you permissions to edit the attributes on the command prompt run attrib -s C:\windows\tasks the go to security tab and add permissions and then again on command prompt run attrib +s C:\windows\tasks, to get the system folder attributes in place

Assume that the new index location you have provided is Drive D,
so go to the D drive and add the network service and the Worker Process Group (WPG) group as the following permissions listed


Traverse Folder / Execute File, List Folder / Read Data, Read Attributes, Read Extended Attributes, and Read Permissions

And I bet it going to work, if you are wondering why, this is because O search is controlled by a service named Office server web services and this service runs with the service account as Network service.

you can determine this from the IIS

Search does not work for me since I splitted the indexer and the query server

I came across a rather interesting problem yesterday,
I came to know that we were not able to search the portal site since we decided to have a dedicated Search server in the farm.

The environment was
1 Application server 32 BIT Windows Server 2008 also running search query service
1 Search server 32 BIT Windows Server 2008 running Search Indexing Service
1 Database server which was SQL 2005
Interesting catch was that everything was running under FQDN

The search started getting rude to us since we added a search server to the farm and gave it an Indexer role. also the search was set crawl all the Dedicated WFE (which might not be a good idea)

First thing you have to check is the Crawl logs, which might give you a better direction, mine gave me error as - could not access the url
The site was browse able on the client and the application server
we RDP'd to the Index server and tried browsing the site & it did not show up
Tried pinging, tracert, nslookup; no response- by this time we were sure that it was a network problem

What's the catch ?

The Domain Controller was running on Windows Server 2003, which means IPv4 we saw that Sharepoint was running on Server 2008 which is IPv6.
when you give role to a server as Indexer it writes entries to the host file with the url of the sites and from there we saw that it was IPv6
we disabled the IPV6 networking layer on Sharepoint and the sites were now browseable and searchable
checkout the following links to support that :

Golden Point to remember:

Incase you have separate Query and Index server in the farm make sure that the site should be up and browse able on the Indexer server

A Site owner of a Sub site cannot save any list as Template gets Access Denied.

Here we have a site collection with site admins and we have some sub sites under it, every sub site is governed by different site owners (and admin’s as well but they do not step into another territory) 

When a site owner tries to save any list as template he gets Access denied 

The issue lies with the List template gallery in the Main site o look at that log on to main site > site actions > site settings > Galleries > List template gallery 

We saw that the Site collection admin was running it with unique permissions and the site owner for the sub site was given Read access out there 

We then added him as contribute on list template gallery and it fixed the issue for us

Friday, April 27, 2012

Playing with the Sample master pages for Sharepoint

I have been concentrating on the master pages and the look and the feel for quite some time no, let me tell you creating a custom theme or a master page is not easy work at all, I am a BIGGG fan of heather Solomon, I am referring to the link for the CSS reference and believe me even TechNet cannot provide such details.
That was when I was trying to create a custom theme, i got success to some point but some cases kept me busy, then my VHD crashed, so every thing is gone :( but as said 'A busy bee has no time for sorrow' I will be re doing it again ...

How as I told you that creating a custom site theme and Master page is a Verrrrry big task (believe me). so let checkout the available resources. I came across the a link that contains some sample master pages (how cool is that) so lets explore. (like every one I like things that I get for free ;) )

so the link to download free cool master pages to your site is

Here it gives you a MasterPage.exe file, Save that file on your desktop, Run that .exe extension and save it to a folder, this contains 4 folders that means 4 master pages those are

1. Block
2. Clarity
3. Horizon
4. Reverse

Each type of the master page is made in different colors like blue, purple, red, green, orange

the Big question is how do you make this work which is actually quite simple to do the download has a very easy to understand and read Readme.txt with it.

· Create a Sharepoint site collection
· Open this Sharepoint site from the Sharepoint Designer, for that Open Sharepoint Designer in the File menu, click Open Site. In the Open Site dialog box, type the URL of the site that you want to open in the Site name box, and then click Open.
· Import the master page files into your site.
On the File menu, select Import > File...In the Import dialog box, select Add Folder... Browse to location of the extracted master page files, and then browse to a specific master page, lets suppose you select 'Clarity' Select the "_catalogs" folder and click open. Repeat steps for the "images" folder and the "styles" folder. Click ok to finish importing the files.
That means now you have attached the files necessary for the master page to the Sharepoint site.

· Select the folder _catalogs under the master page menu, open the folder master page now you will see a new list of master pages

1. Clarity_lay1 blue.master
2. Clarity_lay1 green.master
3. Clarity_lay1 orange.master
4. Clarity_lay1 purple.master
5. Clarity_lay1 red.master

so you can select any one of them and set it as Default masterpage from the designer

· Then log in to the site and just go to site actions > site settings > Master pages under Look and feel category and hit the Drop down button select from the master pages and there you go

Some things that I noticed while working with the master pages

· I tried using a Team site template but it just screwed up my master page so use collaboration site template if you are using MOSS
· When you set a master page as default to your site you cannot delete that master page from your site template gallery if you try to do taht it gives you an error this is a known issue with the master pages

10 Free SharePoint Themes full configuration for Dummies

As we know that share point does provide you some set of themes to work with you can locate them in at your site, go to site actions > site settings > under the look and feel category hit the site themes to go there, if you are working with MOSS you have an option to apply the master pages to your site as well, master pages are predefined pages which gives your site a uniform look and feel,

The difference between Themes and master pages is that themes needs to be applied on a site level and in master page you can set up an option to inherit to the sub sites, but if you use the sushi 3.4 you can set themes on all you sub sites in one go.
Incase you are still wondering how do we go about these you can refer a superb article by Heather Solomon difference between master pages and Themes difference between master pages and Themes, and you will know which one to implement,
As mentioned in my earlier posts I did discover some hidden themes in SharePoint packed with the product but they were not released because of there non uniform CSS, now Microsoft has released free themes which will work with you MOSS site these are available as free download here, you can checkout the preview this looks super cool on site but the implementation is not that simple

Pre requisites:
You need Visual Studio 2008 installed on your machine
You need Visual Studio 2008 extensions for SharePoint – available here:


V1.3 CTP
Now after you are done with the pre-requisite you can install the new cool themes for SharePoint from here
and enjoy a new look to your portal site, I am in a process of implementing these but will surely comment about the look and feel as soon as I am done :)
Alright addition to my earlier post today on 5/5/2009 why? not because the SharePoint themes were tough but because I had jus too much work
Okies now everywhere we see that the ten themes are just given with the links to understand the complete configuration you must refer to my older post at SharePoint Hidden themes; here I talk about Editing the SPthemes.xml file
so if you go step by step

1. Download and install the ten themes for SharePoint

2. Install Visual studio 2008 on the server

3. Download visual studio extensions for SharePoint

4. Then locate the Ten themes folder

5. Select any theme folder eg SportingsiteTheme folder

6. double click on the folder go to > Sporting site theme > Template > themes > SPORTING

7. copy this folder and paste it into c:\program files\common files\Microsoft shared\web server extensions'\12\template\themes

8. Also copy sporting_preview.jpg to the c:\program files\common files\Microsoft shared\web server extensions'\12\template\images folder

9. Now Modify the SPthemes.xml (Take tips from SharePoint Hidden themes;) located at C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\1033
just add a chunk of code in between as:


this makes the theme available on site actions> site settings > site themes. so its easy to apply, save the file and close it.
10. now if you try applying this theme it will be applied to your site but will show something as this

11. Now comes the visual studio part, you have to go back to the place where you original Ten Themes for SharePoint are located and sportingsitetheme > double click and run the file SportingSiteTheme.sln, it will load and run the project in Visual studio 2008

12. Once that is done click on Debug button (green start button) the project will take its own sweet time to compile
then it gives you message as Activating feature sporting site template, and succeeded

13. you can check the featured being deployed at the Central admin > Operations tab > Solution Management > sportingtheme.wsp incase this is not deployed you can use the command prompt to do that, catch the links here

14. now try to refresh the site or apply the same thing… it works !!!!
Here’s the new look

My recommendation try the Construction site theme its awesome

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Backup and recover SharePoint faster than ever

Backup and recover SharePoint faster than ever!
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Get fast, easy, and reliable backups with these features:
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bulletFull-Farm Protection – Covers content databases, farm config, service applications and more!
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bulletSelf-Service Document Recovery – Recovery for site users that saves time
Download a free 14-day trial today!
Here’s what one happy customer had to say:

“The best part of working with SharePoint backup is that it’s easy to use and configure. Compared to similar products, it offers features that are easier to use and cost less!” –Gerald Parish, SharePoint Architect, Resurgent Capital

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Problem connecting exsisting SharePoint list with Microsoft Office access 2007 database

Error message:
You do not have the necessary permissions to use the ‘<ListName>‘ object. Have your system administrator or the person who created this object establishes the appropriate permissions for you.
Problem description:
When you try to add an existing SharePoint list to a Microsoft Office Access 2007 database then you receive an error message that resembles the following:

·         Checked the number of groups which are present on the site and user permissions on the site as well as for the specific list that we trying to connect
·         User has Full control on the site as well as for the list also so problem is not from SharePoint end
·         Checked the office application installed on the system and found multiple version which consist of office 2003 as well as office 2007
·         Checked the access version and found out it belongs to Office 2007 suite
·         Checked on my machine to reproduced the same and we are able to reproduced it so the problem is not from the Office suite
·         User conveyed that it’s working on one of the SharePoint site and compare both the sites and found out some differences in terms of columns and characters but to make sure did research and found the Microsoft KB
Microsoft KB states that it’s a known issue. Details as follows:

This problem occurs because the Access 2007 database engine disallows columns that have names that contain more than 64 characters.
To work around this problem, use only column names that contain less than 64 characters in SharePoint lists.
Resolution for this issue:
There was one column which has more than 64 characters, we shorten the column name and tried connecting the list to access and it works without any issues.
How to reproduce the problem:
·         In a SharePoint Web site, click Lists in the View All Site Content pane.
·         Click Create, and then click Custom List in the Custom Lists column.
·         In the Name box, type Test List, and then click Create.
·         Click Settings, and then click Create Column.
·         In the Column name box, type NewColumnWithColumnHeaderLengthOfMoreThan64Characters1111111111111111111111, and then click OK.
·         Click New, type First Value in the Title box, type Test Value in the NewColumnWithColumnHeaderLengthOfMoreThan64Characters1111111111111111111111 box, and then click OK.
·         Start Access 2007.
·         Click Blank Database in the New Blank Database section, and then click Create.
·         Click the Create tab, click SharePoint Lists, and then click Existing SharePoint List.
·         In the Site Address list, select the Windows SharePoint Services Web site in which you created the Test List, and then click Next.
·         Click to select the check box for the Test List, and then click OK.

How to export user information to Excel

SharePoint provides you “Export to Spreadsheet” feature across almost all list, allowing you to export your list content to Excel. But not all lists have such functionality. For example, this option is not available for User list.
Here are the details:
We can achieve this by using two methods:
1. OWSSVR Functionality
2. Open with access

OWSSVR Functionality:
This export functionality is just using owssvr.dll, so you can use the following URL to open your users in Excel
Everything you need is getting the right ID of the list and its view. To get these values follow the next steps:
·         Go to the “People and Groups” page of your site
·         Navigate  to “Settings->List Settings” options via Toolbar
·         Click on “List View” in “View” section to edit the List View.
·         Choose the fields you want to export (need to click OK and open view for edit again)
·         Copy the “List” and “View” IDs from URL in this the page, where you edit List View.
·         Save copy-pasted ID and replace [LISTID] and [VIEWID] in our URL.
·         Open original URL http://[site]/_vti_bin/owssvr.dll?CS=109&Using=_layouts/query.iqyin browser, with the right values

Open with access method: this is the most simple method to extract the data.

·         Open any custom list by using the option “open with access”
·         When the list will open in access then you will see the option of “user information list” in the left hand side.
·         Copy and paste it in excel and that’s it. You are done.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

ZIP files do not appear when we select upload multiple documents option.

ZIP files do not appear when we select upload multiple documents option.
For some odd reason, we can’t see our zip files when choose “Upload Multiple Documents”  

Microsoft KB suggests that it is a design behavior with windows vista machines and needs registry modifications to fix it completely.

Fix Suggested:
To fix this problem you need to delete the following registry keys. 

Unknown Error Trying To Lock File

An error screen while try to edit Office 2007 documents uploaded in SharePoint Document library
Unknown Error Trying To Lock File

This is mostly related to operating system and already been fixed in SP1, though sometimes we have to modify below registry settings.

On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Multi-String Value.
Type AuthForwardServerList, and then press ENTER.
On the Edit menu, click Modify.
In the Value date box, type the URL of the server that hosts the Web share, and then click OK.
Exit Registry Editor.