Archive for the ‘SharePoint Administration’ Category

Central Administration Navigation in 2010

Working on a migration project has given me apple opportunity to use the revised Central Administration web site provided by SharePoint 2010. Unfortunately I’d have to conclude that in some respects it represents a retrograde step, especially in terms the usability of the site navigation.

The problem is that the navigation is not always updated based upon the context of the page you are viewing, in many cases leaving you with no option but to return to the home page and navigate through several pages to get back to your original context.

This is perhaps best illustrated with one of the more commonly used Service Applications, the User Profile Service Application. Here we are, happily browsing the User Profile Service Application:

User Profile Service Application

Clicking on the Manage User Profiles link takes us to the Manage User Profiles page:

Manage User Profiles

So far, so good you might say.

However, should you wish to return to the User Profile Service Application page you can’t using the navigation provided by the Central Administation site. The site breadcrumbs offer only one choice, to return to the Central Administration home page, and the Quick Launch links are entirely static. This is very frustrating.

I thought I had a cunning workaround for this issue; after all Central Administration is a SharePoint Foundation site and we can edit the Quick Launch ourselves to add-in commonly used links as we would any other site?

Central Admin Quick Launch

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and no matter what you add to the Central Administration’s Quick Launch navigation configuration none of the links are ever displayed in the Quick Launch navigation bar.

So for now I’m reduced to using browser bookmarks to navigate between Service Applications.

Interestingly this isn’t the case for the administration of Timer Jobs which provides a context-based menu located above the main Quick Launch navigation:

Manage Timer Jobs

I don’t know why this wasn’t implemented for other areas of the Central Administration site. If it had been, it would make the site a lot easier to use.


MOSS Search Issues related to User Profile for Service Account

Hopefully this may prove a sanity saver for anyone else who encounters this issue…

When executing a crawl from Search Administration, the crawl log shows the following error:

The protocol handler cannot be found. Check that the handler has been installed.

Within Event Viewer management console, the Application log had the following Warning:

The start address cannot be crawled.

Context: Application 'SharedServices', Catalog 'Portal_Content'

The protocol handler cannot be found. Check that the handler has been installed. (0x80040d1a)

This prevents any crawling of SharePoint content and no amount of starting and stopping the Office SharePoint Server Search service will fix the problem.

…and this Error:

The gatherer service cannot be initialized.

The Temp folder is on a drive that is full or is inaccessible. Free up space on the drive or verify that you have write permission on the Temp folder. (0x80070660)

On starting the Office SharePoint Server Search service, the same error was noted:

Windows cannot log you on because your profile cannot be loaded. Check that you are connected to the network, and that your network is functioning correctly.

DETAIL - The system cannot find the file specified.

What happened was that the local User Profile of the service account identity used for the Office SharePoint Server Search had somehow become invalid.

Add Web Server role before installing SharePoint

September 21, 2009 1 comment

The Web Server role should be added to the server prior to installing SharePoint otherwise slipstreamed updates are not deployed correctly on Windows 2008 R2.


Having followed the instructions listed on TechNet for a Windows 2008 deployment using a slipstreamed installation source, the following error was encountered when attempting to create a Publishing site collection:

The Office SharePoint Server Standard Web application features feature must be activated at the web application level before this feature can be activated.

Looking at the version number reported by Central Administration and that shown for Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.dll it was clear that the SP2 update had not been correctly applied; the dll was reporting the original version number whereas Central Administration reported the correct version number for SP2.

This was confirmed when running the stand-alone SP2 update packages; the update package for WSS 3.0 claimed that the update had already been applied but the Office SharePoint Server update package did not detect that SP2 had already been applied. Re-applying the SP2 update for Office SharePoint Server fixed the problem quoted above.

To prevent this from happening in the first place, add the Web Server role before installing SharePoint and the updates will be applied correctly.

For more information refer to the answer given in this TechNet post: Error trying to activate Publishing Infrastructure

SharePoint Database Sizing – a request for information

September 2, 2009 Leave a comment

When planning a deployment, one of the fundamental issues that needs to be addressed is providing sufficient capacity to accommodate the anticipated growth of the SharePoint environment. Microsoft provides some detail on best practices for capacity planning and management for SharePoint, mostly focussed on content or search database sizing and the effect upon performance.

Information on the size of SharePoint configuration databases is however decidedly thin on the ground. The second of the TechNet articles linked above lists the configuration database as being around 1.5 GB in size and states that the “configuration database will generally not grow past this size” although this is “not a hard limit”.

So this begs the question: just how large can the configuration database get? And how about the other supporting databases such as the Central Admininstration (SharePoint_AdminContent) and SSP database (SharedServices1_DB)?

And for the answer to this I’m turning to you good readers. Please vote to indicate the size of your configuration and other supporting databases so that we can all benefit from being better able to plan for the growth of SharePoint. If you have some interesting findings you’d like to share, please leave a comment.

Renaming a single-server MOSS Virtual PC

September 23, 2008 5 comments


Virtual PCs are commonly used for SharePoint development, an organisation might create a virtual server environment and allow developers to each have a copy.   In this scenario, SharePoint will typically have been installed and essential services such as Central Administration and Shared Services configured.


Each virtal environment will initially have the same computer name which must be changed to prevent problems with resolving the correct server if the virtual servers are added to the network.


Unfortunately renaming a SharePoint server is fraught with difficulty.   


Renaming a single-server MOSS virtual server

What is presented below is a step-by-step guide to renaming a single-server MOSS farm, with SQL Server on the same computer, which is typical of a developer virtual environment. 


Note: before starting this process, ensure that the virtual machine being renamed is not connected to the network, this will prevent inadvertently accessing the wrong Central Administration site.


The key is to rename SharePoint before renaming the server: 

  • Start the virtual machine and login
  • Open the Central Administration site for the server
  • On the Operations page, click on the Alternative Access Mappings link and update the link for the Central Administration site to use the new server name
  • Rename the SharePoint server using STSADM.  Open a command window and type:
    • stsadm -o renameserver -newservername <new name> –oldservername <old name>
  • Rename the computer to match.  Right-click on My Computer and select Properties.  Click on the Computer Name tab and then click the Change… button.  Type in the new server name.
  • Reboot when prompted
  • Update the farm administrator credentials.  Open a command window and type:
    • stsadm –o updatefarmcredentials –userlogin <new name>\<farm admin account> –password <password>
  • Reset IIS using the command window by typing:
    • iisreset /noforce
  • Open the Central Administration site:
    • Click on the server name in the Farm Topology
    • Click on the Office SharePoint Server Search link and update the accounts to use new server name
    • Click on the Windows SharePoint Services Help Service and update the accounts to use the new server name
  • Still within Central Administration:
    • Click on the Operation link in the left-hand navigation
    • Click on the Service Accounts link
    • Update the Service Accounts for both of the Shared Services and My Site Windows SharePoint Service Web Applications to use the <new name> in place of <old name>
  • Open the Shared Services Administration site:
    • Click on the Personalization Services permissions link
    • Update the accounts listed to use the <new name> in place of <old name>
  • Check the services on the farm by typing in the following URL: http://<central admin site>/_admin/checkfarmservices.aspx?source=/default.aspx
    • If the Search Service cannot be started, click on the link within the report and ensure that the accounts use the new server name
  • Reset IIS using the Command Window by typing:
    • iisreset /noforce
  • Open the SQL Server Management Studio and connect to the database called <new server>:
    • Expand the server tree to display the contents of the Security > Logins folder
    • Open the properties window for the service account used for the SharePoint Timer Service
    • On the User Mapping tab, ensure that the Map checkbox is ticked for each SQL Server database to which the account requires access (especially the Shared Services databases)
    • Rename each of the service accounts to use the <new name> in place of <old name>; just right-click on the account and select rename 

At this point the virtual machine should be ready for connection to the network.



An alternative to doing this configuration on a per-machine basis is to create a clonable environment, Paul Horsfall describes just such an approach on his site.