Thursday

PDF files in SharePoint

Lately, I was sent a mail from a client requesting why he could not see the content of the PDF files he uploaded into his SharePoint farm. So i started a research... although I am aware that SharePoint indexes PDF files but not its content. Then I came across Microsoft's paper - How to Correct Configure Acrobat PDF IFilter for SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Though this for SPS 2003 but i hope this would work for MOSS 2007.

So I did the following;
1. Download the latest version of Adobe iFilter
http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=2611
or
Adobe iFilter 9 for 64bit platforms
2. Or make sure you download Adobe Reader 9.0 using the Internet access of the WFE or a similar PC with same OS configurations.
http://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/
3. Stop IIS Manager from the services console.

4. Install both the Adobe iFilter and Adobe Reader 9.0 (Well I had to install both to get the results).
5. Then follow the Microsoft resolutions here.. to point 7. Stop. Make sure you take note of this info
6. Follow this document and do points 2 - 5
7. Also you might want to take note of this PDF file
8. Restart your server.

Also note that PDF files are crawled after the installation of Adobe iFilter

Read More:-
-
http://blogs.officezealot.com/mauro/archive/2005/01/31/4017.aspx
-
http://bloggingabout.net/blogs/harold/archive/2008/10/02/index-pdf-documents-on-sharepoint-using-adobe-pdf-ifilter-9.aspx
-
Configuration of Adobe iFilter 9 for 64bit Platforms of MOSS 2007


Search Error "Element not Found"

Hi All,
I was looking at one of my test environment today and I found this error (Exception from HRESULT: 0x8002802B (TYPE_E_ELEMENTNOTFOUND))
And also the site it self http://webserver:418 was not crawled or the crawl log under Hostname Summary... Http://webserver:418 (successfully crawled = 0). That didnt look good!.

So I did a search for similar issues online and came across this solution. http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sharepointsearch/thread/6b204093-4e30-4e6a-b829-1bbede2602a1/ which I applied and it worked.

So my steps were;
1. Go to the IIS Manager check the account under which the sharepoint central admin appool is running (say it is running under com\user1)
2.go to administrative tools -->component services--> drill down to DCOM config
3.Osearch and spsearch properties -->identity--> this user put (com\user1) account there

4. Then perform Full/Incremental crawl on the sites. Voila it worked!

Tuesday

SearchSPSettings.aspx throws error HTTP 403 Forbidden

Problem: After resolving a search account issue, I encountered this problem. I noticed that I could no longer access the Search Settings page. I started to see the 403 Error Page.I also i noticed it was only that page the was not inaccessible.

Solution: The problem is caused by the local wss_wpg server account not having write access to the %windir%\tasks folder, usually c:\windows\tasks folder. This folder is used by Windows Task Scheduler. So to fix the problem the wss_wpg account needs to be given write access to the c:\windows\tasks folder on the index server.
Note: The c:\windows\tasks folder is a hidden folder by default.

Steps:

  1. On Index Server or all server in farm
  2. Open a command prompt and type attrib -s %windir%\tasks
  3. Browse to %windir%\tasks, right click and select properties. Add the WSS_WPG group and grant Read & Write permissions on the tasks folder.
  4. Open a command prompt and type attrib +s %windir% \tasks

Event Type: Warning! Event ID: 7352

I came across this warning in one of my SharePoint farms

Event Type: Warning
Event Source: Office SharePoint Server
Event Category: Publishing
Event ID: 7352
Date: 25/11/2008
Time: 15:40:04
User: N/A
Computer: VC-SPCR0
Description:
Error occured while processing a Content Query Web Part. Performing the following query '450x01040072C05F0DFC594C4D9ADD9BB553F3DCFD' generated the following error: The query cannot be completed because the number of lists in the query exceeded the allowable limit. For better results, limit the scope of the query to the current site or list or use a custom column index to help reduce the number of lists. at the following url: /sites/dadaex/Regions. Web Part title: Content Query Web Part

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Resolution
1. Visited the URL and deleted the Content Query Webpart

Friday

Event 6398 - After Disaster Recovery

After the last disaster recovery i started to receive this error from the Web Front End.

Event Type: Error
Event Source: Windows SharePoint Services 3
Event Category: Timer
Event ID: 6398
Date: 24/10/2008
Time: 14:55:05
User: N/A
Computer: VC-SPCR0
Description:

The Execute method of job definition
Microsoft.SharePoint.Search.Administration.SPSearchJobDefinition (ID
dfe5d15e-4a9e-4d4e-8e58-26ca0d11e2fa) threw an exception. More
information is included below.

An update conflict has occurred, and you must re-try this action. The
object SPSearchDataAccessServiceInstance Parent=SPServer Name=VC-SPCR0
is being updated by QUINCY\spconfigacct, in the OWSTIMER process, on
machine VC-SPCR0. View the tracing log for more information about the
conflict.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

This error was populating the Event Log every 5 minutes. Then I found this solution
http://www.eggheadcafe.com/software/aspnet/30460975/updatedconcurrencyexcepti.aspx

Hello JJ,


I found that this issue is caused by a disaster recovery. The file-system cache on the front end is newer than the contents of the configuration database. After a disaster recovery, it may be necessary to manually clear the file system cache on the local machine.



Resolution
++++++++++++++++++=============================+++++++++++

1. Clear the file system cache on all servers in the farm running the timer service manually. To do this, stop the timer service, delete (or move) the contents of the folder at

%ALLUSERSPROFILE% \Application Data\Microsoft\SharePoint\Config\<someGuid>

2. Then, simply restart the timer service. The cache will be rebuilt and the issue should disappear.
This should be done on every machine in the farm running the timer service

Hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Wei Lu
Microsoft Online Community Support

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

So what did I do?

  1. Stopped/Disabled the Timer jobs that run in minutes on the Central Admin Server VC-SPCR0 Deleted the <guid> from every server in the farm at this location C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\SharePoint\Config
  2. Then I restarted all the Timer jobs I disabled.
    Viola, the error disappeared

Monday

How to move SharePoint Content Databases between different storage media within the same SQL Server

This was a solution that I came across when this client of mine needed to free up some space on his SharePoint test environment.

He was running a VM Ware setup and he had run out of space on the C: drive wherein his SQL server was holding his DB files.

I was able to create new drives on the VMWare SQL server wherein the DB files will be kept. Then I created an empty DB (stats_db). This was an “insurance policy” that I wanted to use just in case I loose the site collections if I had to move the content database.

Steps

  1. Create a new drive or identify your new storage media.
  2. In the SQL database create a new database from the Microsfot SQL Server Management Studio.


Right click on Database and select New Database, name it “New_db”

  1. Goto the SharePoint Central Admin >Application Management > Content Databases> and add this database as a content database to the web application you will be moving its content database.


Add the “New_Db” to the Database name and click OK

  1. Remove the old/previous content database.

  1. Then detach the old/previous content database from the SQL server.


  1. Copy the detached Db files (LDF & MDF)to the new media storage.
  2. Reattach the Content database from the new location

Browse to the new location and attach the copied database.

  1. Add the newly attached Db to the web application just like you added the “New_Db”.
  2. Do iisreset.
  3. Test the web application and voila! – this works

SharePoint Recycle Bin


Never ignore your waste bin, it might save you 10days of work and sleepless nights.

Right under my desk i've got a nice little recycle bin, daily i drop in waste, unneeded paper and faulty CDs that didnt copy files as I wanted, but before I drop that stuff, I double check if it needs to be binned!

Over the last week, a client was having issues with restoring a deleted site from backups.

The site was mistakenly deleted by the site admin, and he wanted it back in 10days.

Now, where did that site go? The inhouse SharePoint admin guy gave me a call, breathing heavily...what can you do to help me get out of this predicament. Quite reassuring i sounded. Oh, Steve Jobs no worries I can get you your sites.

I requested for his backups, he didnt have them but had secondary backups eslewhere. He got them for me.

I setup his Db files on a test environment, got them into the SQL server and created a new farm. Got SUSHI to backup and restore the sites. Now while doing this, I remembered my waste bin.


Ohh what a time waster, it has been in the Recycle bin all this while.

The delete sites were kept in the recycle bin temporarily for 30days, so you can restore them if you make a wrong move.


Also I had write a review on the permissions given to SuperUsers/Site Admins such that there are new levels of Site Admin, this means you can have Super Site Admin wherein a normal site admin would not have permission to delete sites except he has the permission to do it.

Friday

Event 7888 and 5555 populating the Event Viewer

This has been a pain for about 5 days now. I had blogged this before.

The main issue is that I had sometime ago performed a resolution on these events but I didnt perform the solution on all the Web Front Ends. So after the upgrade of clients SharePoint installation, I was performing a restore operation due to the fact that an SSP i restore was having search issues. So i created another SSP, on finally resolving this problem, I then deleted the new SSP, now the problem started.. I tweaked alot of timer jobs but it didnt help ..see a view of the error



Then I also had this




Solution
run stsadm -o sync -DeleteOldDatabases 0
:)

Wednesday

SharePoint Deployment

You might be thinking of the hassles of creating your site in development and getting it deployed in your production environment.. no big deal..use the SPDeployment Wizard.!

Simple enough it can help to export your sites and you can do an import unto the live site.

Tuesday

My Sojourn with Event ID 27745, 5585 & 18456

For over a week, I kept seeing this event ID, all over the Web Front End server, it also had along side it Event 5586. It was a bother as the only known fix which I found here was to do a restart of the SQL server. As I waited for the weekend so I do perform the maintenance, the entire farm went down like the drowning noise of a power generator when it's out of gas.
Now the panic started..Where is the problem? Why did MSSQL go down?

Well I took the following steps;
1. Perform a farm reset. Restarted all the servers in the farm.

When all servers came up, it helped abit as the errors cleared out.
Now I faced the MSSQL server.
During this period, I had been faced with another dreaded issue which started as a result of one of my consultants deleting a Shared Services Provider which he created in a bid to fix another issue. So the DB created was still hanging around in the MSSQL brains..but needed to be cleared out.

Solution was... from this link.
Phew! what a relief. now let me watch the servers for a while..

Thursday

Site Access from Authenticated Users

I got a mail from a client who was having problems with Site Authentication.
His problem was that after recent setup of a SharePoint installation he was having problems with Site User Authentication. So whenever a signed in user tries to access the Team site/ Collaboration then he/she gets a prompt to login to the sharepoint site.

His intial plan was that users will be authenticated with thier Windows logon.

The simple solution was to add the intranet site to the Local Intranet Settings.

1. Open IE, click Tools, Internet Options, Security, Local Intranet, Sites, Advanced
2. Type in the local intranet address and press Add.
3. Ok

Voila! Your sites would load as planned

Wednesday

Using SharePoint Designer 2007 to Backup & Restore Sites

Sometime ago, I stumbled on this. Its quite useful. Once you need to move sites between servers. You can make use of the SharePoint designer 2007.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointdesigner/HA100699391033.aspx

I hope you find it useful

Thursday

SharePoint Administration Tools

Recently, I was searching for SP Admin Tools.. you know some apps that can simulate SP admin on a day-to-day basis, that could give you a quick picture of whats happening to any installation.

I embarked on this because, for a while now, I have encountered different installations of SP. And this has created a load of different trouble scenarios. Then I thought, whats if you had a "magic wand" you could wave at that server.. Then it would tell you whats wrong and where..

I came across Eamon Barker's blog here. Its a good compilation, but my search continues.

Besides the Microsoft SharePoint Administration Toolkit which you can find here . It can only add the Batch Site Manager.



Which is added under the Apps Mgmt can only be used for Site Collection. I will rate this tool 30%.


The Facts..about SHAREPOINT

  1. SharePoint is the fastest-growing product in the history of Microsoft
  2. More than 100 million licenses sold
  3. Has attracted over 17,000 user companies
  4. Over $1 billion in sales for Microsoft
  5. 3/4 of the Fortune 100 companies use SharePoint
  6. SharePoint is positioned as a leader within the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals products
  7. Six focus areas : Collaboration, Portal, Search, Enterprise ontent management , Business process management and Business intelligence

Free SharePoint Host

I just found this website.. you get a free sharepoint portal.

http://www.freesharepoint2007.com

How to remove Orphaned Sites

Sometime ago, I had a problem with a SharePoint installation. The Event Log was populated with errors that was referring to a particular site collection that did not exist.
The problem was a site collection was deleted by the site administrator without doing this via Central Admin.
This infact affected the upgrade of this SharePoint installation to SP1. It was pain as you could see it under Site Collections List but it reports this site collection cant be deleted.
The simple solution was;

1. Goto Central Admin > Application Management
2. Select Content Databses under SharePoint Web Application Management
3. Click on the Top Level DB > scroll down and remove database
4. Do not delete DB or contents
5. Go back to Content DBs and add DB, Type the name of the one your removed to attach it again.

Voila! all orphan sites have disappeared

Restoring a SharePoint backup .fwp file

Well I got a question from my expert support site and I did a google and I got this

https://www.frontpages-web-hosting.net/esupport/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=96

I suggest using SharePoint Designer 2007

Restoring permissions to sharepoint subsite

Question: I accidently deleted myself from my sub-site which i am the only owner of because i decided to use unique permission and not inheritance.
How can i get access back to my sub-site.

Answer:
  1. Go to the Central Admin
  2. Click Apps Management
  3. Click Site Collection Administrators
  4. Add yourself as a site collection administrator.
  5. Go back to your site and you will be able to modify site settings

Change the Title Icon

I got this from a Support Site email I subscribed to as an Expert in SharePoint..

Question


How do i change the icon (left side of the title 'Internal Project Group' on top left)..



Do I need sharepoint designer to change it?




Solution
  1. Move your mouse over the image, right-click on it and view the properties
  2. Note its name down
  3. Goto your Front End Server, wherein the site is hosted. Perform a search for the file name.
  4. Pronto you will find it among your search results.

Else, Use SharePoint Designer to change it!

Using IE6 to view document libraries

Some days ago, I got a mail from a client of mine complaining of unable to view his document libraries using Windows Explorer.

This is what I mean..

When you visit your document library, and click on Actions then select Open with Windows Explorer. Then you get this:

Solution
1. Upgrade your Internet Explorer to IE 7
2. Obtain the hotfix 325355 for Internet Explorer 6

Wednesday

Event ID 2424 Gatherer

This is a very common error in the Event Log
______________________________________________
Event Type: Error
Event Source: Windows SharePoint Services 3 Search
Event Category: Gatherer
Event ID: 2424
Date: 02/06/2008
Time: 16:55:01
User: N/A
Computer: SP-STAGE-SEARCH
Description:
The update cannot be started because the content sources cannot be accessed. Fix the errors and try the update again.

Context: Application 'Search', Catalog 'index file on the search server Search'
For more information, see Help and Support Center

______________________________________________
Solution.
1. http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/MS-SharePoint/Q_22759959.html

2. http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/927012




Upgrading Staging Environment to SP1

Background
The Staging Environment of WebWox is a replica of the Live environment.
This SharePoint Installation includes a Server Farm of 5 servers + and IIS server as follows;
  1. IIS-Stage-WFE01 – Hosts the HomePage
  2. SP-Stage-APP01 – Runs Excel Services
  3. SP-Stage-Search01 – Runs Office Search Services
  4. SP-Stage-WFE01 – Hosts the Central Administration
  5. SP-Stage-WFECr01 – Acts as a Front End Web Crawler
  6. SP-Stage-SQL01 – Hosts the Staging Database

webwox-stage.webwox.com and mysites.webwox.com are subdomains used to hosting the Web Applications and Site Collections. These 2 are SSL enabled and obtains the SSL certificate from the domain controller

The following steps were implemented;

  1. Perform a backup job of the entire farm – to \srv-pencil\serverbackups$\stage.
  2. Ensure that the backup is successful (Incomplete backup cannot be used)
  3. Disconnect from farm SP-Stage-APP01, SP-Stage-WFECr01, SP-Stage-Search01.
  4. Uninstall SharePoint from all servers that have been disconnected from the farm.
  5. Reinstall SharePoint on all the servers that have been disconnected from the farm
  6. Run Configuration Wizard on WFECr01 setup a new farm – WXSPConfig
    Connect Search01, APP01 for the new farm
  7. Assign Services to these servers. – Office Search Server and Windows Search setup on SEARCH01 using (WSS_Search_SPSTSCH) as DB
  8. Point webwox-stage & mysites to WFECr01. Add the xxx.16.xxx.163 to WFECr01.
  9. Run restore job to restore the backup taken from WFE01.
  10. Select New Configuration
    Databases used for restore;
    WSS_Content_MS
    WSS_Content_MyS
    WSS_Content_SShP
    WXShSDB
    WXShSSearchDB
    WSS_Search_SPSTSCH
  11. Ensure that restore was successful
  12. Setup SSL on the Websites mysites-stage and magellan2-stage by assigning a new SSL certificate using the DNS names webwox-stage.webwoxd.com & mysites-stage.webwox.com
  13. Perform tests to ensure staging environment is functional
  14. Perform the upgrade to SP1 by installing all the files on the servers APP01, Search01, WFECr01 following the Microsoft Documentation on upgrading MOSS 2007 to SP1.
  15. Perform Testing after the farm has been upgraded.
  16. Turn on the Firewall on all servers and click Office Web Servers, Secure HTTPS and HTTP access. Add Secure MySite Connection 8083. Allow this traffic
  17. After SP1
    Go to search setting from the SSP, click Crawl Rules and Apply new Crawl Rule to https://mysite-stage.webwox.com and uncheck
    "Follow links on the URL without crawling the URL itself".

Office Server Search Broken

PreSP1 Search service on MOSS 2007 can be a pain sometimes, this is beacuse you get search service crashing/frozen, you sometimes get this error..
________________________________________________
Event Type: Error
Event Source: Office Server Search
Event Category: Gatherer
Event ID: 10034
Date: 29/05/2008
Time: 11:44:00
User: N/A
Computer: SP-SEARCH01
Description:
Could not access the Search service configuration database.

Context: Application '76d822a2-1c3c-4cc8-aa02-5c16fe104138'

Details:
The filename or extension is too long. (0x800700ce)
For more information, see Help and Support Center

_____________________________________________________

Simple solution restart the search service on the Office SharePoint Search Server.
Make sure that you confirm that the service account is given permission on the SQL database and also the WSS_Content Search DB.

Moving Sites and Limiting Databases

You can move Content/Sites between databases by first determining the size of the database. You can use smigrate.exe and stsadm.exe

To ensure DBs dont grow beyond a certain size is to limit the number of sites and employ site collection quotas. By using these 2 elements togther you can ensure your content DBs dont grow beyond a pre-determined size.

Event 10016 DCOM Error

This Error has been populating the sp-stage-search for weeks

________________________________________________

Event Type: Error
Event Source: DCOM
Event Category: None
Event ID: 10016
Date: 30/06/2008
Time: 10:50:25
User: test\SPConfigAcct
Computer: SP-STAGE-SEARCH
Description:
The application-specific permission settings do not grant Local Activation permission for the COM Server application with CLSID
{3D42CCB1-4665-4620-92A3-478F47389230}
to the user test\SPConfigAcct SID (S-1-5-21-1430212151-832525293-1231754661-36867). This security permission can be modified using the Component Services administrative tool.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at
________________________________________________________

Here lies the solution
http://geekswithblogs.net/mhamilton/archive/2006/12/19/101568.aspx

View the above to resolve the problem

Installing Applications for WSS 3.0

Steps taken to install Solution/Features Web Application on SharePoint Farm.
  1. Copy the apps to a folder on the CA WFE server
  2. Open cmd and dir to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Connections\12\Bin\
  3. Add Solution to SharePoint - use the command stsadm -o addsolution -filename \application.wsp press Enter
  4. After Successful addsolution. goto CA>Operations>Solution Management
  5. Select the application name and click, once it opens click deploy solution.
  6. Once its successful, it can now be used

User Profiles in WSS and MOSS

I have been having issues with Profiles on the Site collections not giving updated information.
The context of the problem is as follows;
A particular web part was added to a site, this webpart was expected to display the names and photos of staff in a particular group that was selected for the web part.
The web part worked but did not display so particular profiles photos. Also when you click on the user profile it takes you to a user profile display page "userdisp.aspx" which does not display updated profile.

The fix is a simple one and would require adding some settings to all the site collections.
1. Login to any Site Collection as Admin
2. Click Site Actions >Site Settings>Modify All Site Settings
3. Click Profile Site Connection under Site Collection Administration
4. Select Connect to a portal Site and add https://mysite.domain.com
5. Ok and exit

Tuesday

Server Monitoring and Maintenance Procedures

I have been thinking of writing procedures of Server Monitoring and Maintenance. I decided to put together some write-up for this. It is not an exhaustive document but it will help if you are fairly new to SharePoint Administration.

 

Server Monitoring and Maintenance Procedures

 

This document explains daily procedures that should be performed in order to monitor and manage the SharePoint 2007 Server. Moreover, daily and monthly procedures are outlined to help you maintain the SharePoint Installation.

 

Daily Monitoring Procedures

The following system monitoring procedures should be performed daily.

 

  1. Check that all relevant services are operational on all the servers in the farm using the Services Snap.
  2. Check that ample space is left in the C: Drive in order to free-up disk space for applications to run properly.
  3. Verify that the previous night's backup has run.
  4. Search for unusual entries in the Event log Snap, this task should be done every 6 hours.
  5. Check for all Timer Jobs definitions and resolve all jobs that failed or did not complete.

 

In the Event of an Emergency Downtime,

The following has to be restored back as quickly as possible;

  1. SQL Database
  2. Front End Server
  3. Search Server
  4. All Solutions/modifications applied

 

The functionality of the SharePoint different functions should be checked after every downtime.

 

Administration Tools

In order to seamlessly administer and manage the SharePoint 2007. Some tools are needed as follows;

 

  1. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 MP for MOM 2005
  2. SharePoint Administration Toolkit

 

These tools would help to detect any errors and problems that may arise which might not be easily detected.

 

Event Log Resolution Procedure

Once an error log is detected in the Event log, this should activate the quick resolution process be aware that a resolution might take the whole day and sometimes it might be a quick fix or an after close of work fix.

 

  1. Log this Error/Fault in the Daily Resolution KB on the SharePoint Administration Site.
  2. Diagnose and detect the problem, propose a solution to this error/fault.
  3. Perform a google search for similar problems, document the results, make sure the results obtained from the google search reflect the same problems occurring on the server.
  4. Discuss with Teksys and if necessary raise a call ticket
  5. Copy the URL from the search and add it to your entry on the Daily Faults Resolution KB.
  6. Test resolution on the test environment, then staging environment.
  7. Discuss possibility of a change with Project Manager and/or Infrastructure Team leader in order to resolve this fault.
  8. Determine length of time for resolution to take place, time it would start and any extent of downtime/effect on the entire farm.
  9. Have a Rollback plan
  10. Raise an RFC for the change.
  11. Inform the CAB about the change and time.
  12. Effect the change, perform testing and confirm the functionality of the entire farm.
  13. Update the Issues Log.

Welcome to my Blog

Thanks for visiting my SharePoint Blog.
I have been thinking of how to put together a wealth of experience I keep gaining from an extremely versatile tool - Microsoft Office SharePoint.

This blog will document my day-to-day activities in resolving some of the complex problems I face with several installations.