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Troubleshooting Windows SharePoint Services

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Published: March 18, 2004

This document provides troubleshooting information for some of the most common problems encountered when using Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services.

On This Page

General Issues
Security
Data Entry
Filters
Surveys
Contacts
Events
Document Libraries
Meeting Workspace Sites
Themes
Online Presence and Instant Messaging Integration
Web Browsers and Client Programs
Usage Analysis
Alerts and Invitations
Installation and Setup
Search

General Issues

Information in Help doesn't match what I see on my Web site

Help is written to document your Web site in its default configuration. Your team or administrator may have customized the site so that it no longer matches exactly the information in Help.

Site users report that they can't get to a list, document library, discussion board, or survey, yet I can see it listed on the Document Libraries, Discussion Boards, or Lists page

The default view may have been deleted. Do one of the following:

  • Specify an existing view as the default view.

  • Create a new view to use as the default view.

Note   To specify a default view or create a new view you must be a member of the Web Designer site group or a site group that has the Manage Lists right.

I can no longer change a view by using my Web browser

If a view is changed extensively by using a Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services-compatible Web page editor, such as Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003, it can no longer be changed in the Web browser.

Note   To change a view you must be a member of the Web Designer site group or a site group that has the Manage Lists right.

I don't see my name in the list of users on the User Information page

You have not yet participated in the SharePoint site. Click Documents and Lists and then do any of the following:

  • Go to a discussion board and participate in a discussion.

  • Go to a document library and upload a document.

  • Go to a list and add an item.

  • Go to a survey and respond to it.

Note   To perform any of the above tasks you must be a member of the Contributor site group or a site group that has the Add Items right.

I can't get custom Active Server Pages to work correctly on my site

By default, the ISAPI filter for Windows SharePoint Services blocks the use of any ASP pages that are not part of the Windows SharePoint Services installation. If you want to use custom ASP pages with your SharePoint sites, you must put the ASP pages in a separate virtual directory and create an excluded path for the directory in Windows SharePoint Services. This allows Internet Information Services (IIS), rather than Windows SharePoint Services, to control the directory and allows the ASP pages to run.

Note   To perform these steps, you must be a member of the local Administrators group on the server running Windows SharePoint Services.

I want to change the order of the list of views

Views appear in the order they were created. To put views in the desired order, specify the view that you want to appear first as the default view, delete the other views, and then re-create the other views in the order you want them to appear.

Note   To create or delete a view you must be a member of the Web Designer site group or a site group that has the Manage Lists right.

I can't create another column of a certain type

Windows SharePoint Services specifies limits for the number of columns of a certain type that you can create in each list or library. The following table lists the limits by column type.

Column Type

Maximum Number

Single line of text AND Choice (Drop Down Menu or Radio Buttons)*

64

Multiple lines of text AND Choice (Checkboxes (allow multiple sections))*

32

Number AND Currency*

32

Lookup

16

Yes/No

16

Calculated

8

*In rows marked with an asterisk (*), the number given is the total for all columns of both of the types in the row combined. For example, you can create 16 Number and 16 Currency columns, or 30 Number columns and 2 Currency columns, but not 32 Number columns and 32 Currency columns.

Note   When you create a list or library, the single line of text column Title is automatically created. You can customize this column, but not delete it.

Security

I can't change my password

The way you change your password depends upon what type of authentication your Web server is using. It will use either Windows Authentication or Microsoft Active Directory directory services.

  • When using Active Directory account creation mode, Windows SharePoint Services provides the Change Password page for changing passwords. To use this page:

    1. On the top link bar, click Site Settings.

    2. In the Manage My Information section, click Update my information.

    3. Click Change password.

    4. If requested, enter the old password in the field provided.

    5. Enter the new password in the fields provided, and then click OK.

  • If you don't see the Change Password Page, you probably use your Microsoft Windows domain account to log onto your SharePoint site. To change your domain account password in Windows XP:

    1. To change your own password, press CTRL+ALT+DELETE and then click Change Password.

Note   When changing your password, make sure you enter the old password correctly. Your new password should include numbers and special characters so that it is more secure. Also, if you are trying to use reuse an old password, more time may need to pass before you are able to use it again. If you still cannot change your password, contact your site collection administrator to change your password.

I want to prevent users from seeing links to areas in this site, such as Site Administration

Rather than hiding links and controls from users, Windows SharePoint Services checks users' rights when they click links or try to perform actions on the site. If a user is not a member of a site group or cross-site group with the proper rights, he or she cannot enter Site Administration or change the settings for a site, list, or library. There are no administrative controls to hide links from unauthorized users.

I specified None for Edit access in my list or survey, and now no one can enter items in the list or respond to the survey

The settings for Edit access also specify whether users can add items. You cannot prevent users from editing their own items. However, you can prevent users from editing someone else's items by setting Edit access to only their own. You can specify Edit access settings by clicking Modify settings and columns, and then clicking Change general settings.

Note   To specify the permissions settings for a list, you must be a member of the Administrator site group or a site group that has the Manage Lists right.

I received the message "You need to be authenticated to access this page"

  • Do you have an account on the Web server and does the site group that you are a member of have sufficient rights to view the page?   See your site administrator for information about access restrictions on the page.

  • Are the security settings in Internet Information Services set up to allow you access to the page?   See Internet Information Services documentation for more information.

  • If you are using a domain account, is the Web server part of your domain and is your domain account a member of a site group that has sufficient rights to access the page?   See your site administrator for more information.

  • Are you using a Web browser other than Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later?   When using other browsers, such as Netscape Navigator, the server must use Basic Authentication to allow viewing the site. For more information, see "About authentication methods" in Windows SharePoint Services Help.

I've deleted users from my site, but I'm still being notified that my quota is full and I can't add any more users

To have any effect on your user quota, users must be removed at the site collection level. You can do this by using SharePoint Central Administration or the Manage Site Collection Users page in Site Administration. Removing users from individual sites will not allow you to add more users. To remove site collection users by using the Site Administration pages, do the following:

  1. On the top link bar, click Site Settings.

  2. In the Administration section, click Go to Site Administration.

  3. In the Site Collection Administration section, click View site collection user information.

  4. Select the check box next to the users that you want to delete, and then click Remove Selected Users.

Note   You must be a site collection administrator to remove users from a site collection.

The link from the e-mail message with my password doesn't work

  • Was the invitation to the site or just one list or library?   If you are allowed access to the list or library only, you cannot access the home page of the site. Use the link to the list or library in the body of the invitation e-mail message to view the part of the site where you are allowed access, or contact your site administrator and request access to the rest of the site.

  • Does the site still exist or has it moved?   Contact your site administrator.

Data Entry

I get a message that I didn't type a valid date

Dates must be in the correct format, such as MM/DD/YYYY or M/D/YY. Note that the actual date format may vary depending upon the locale specified for the site on the Regional Settings page in Site Administration.

I typed a Web address in a text field and, when I view the item, only part of the Web address is a hyperlink

If the Web address includes a space, type %20 for the space. For example: http://example.com/my%20site

I typed a mailto: address in a text field, and when I view the item, it isn't an active hyperlink

All mailto: addresses must be in lowercase letters. For example:

mailto:someone@example.com

I can't edit an item with a date column

You can't edit a list item that has a date older than 1900 or greater than 8900. To resolve this problem, delete the item and add it with a date between the year 1900 and 8900.

Filters

My filter based on a Yes/No calculated column isn't working

You must use Yes and No instead of True and False in filters for Yes/No calculated columns. Yes and No are the actual values returned by the calculated column, even though the formula for the column might contain the words TRUE and FALSE.  

Surveys

I want my survey response to be truly anonymous

Your user name does not appear in the results of a survey that is set up to hide user names. However, an administrator with access to the database that stores survey results can match your identity to your response.

I want to create a survey with lots of questions

The actual limit depends upon the combination of answer types specified for your questions. The table below lists the limits by answer type:

Answer Type

Maximum Number

Single line of text AND Choice (Drop Down Menu or Radio Buttons)*

64

Multiple lines of text AND Choice (Checkboxes (allow multiple sections))*

32

Number AND Currency*

32

Lookup

16

Yes/No

16

Calculated

8

*In rows marked with an asterisk (*), the number given is the total for all columns of both of the types in the row combined. For example, you can create 16 Number and 16 Currency columns, or 30 Number columns and 2 Currency columns, but not 32 Number columns and 32 Currency columns.

Contacts

Some of my contacts didn't import from my address book

Only contacts that have an e-mail address listed are imported into Windows SharePoint Services. Make sure that the contacts that were not imported include an e-mail address, and then reimport your contacts.

Events

The Current Events view shows me events that have already happened

The Current Events view includes all events that happen on the current day, from 00:01 to 24:00. Therefore, events that occurred in the morning of the day still appear on the Current Events view in the afternoon.

Document Libraries

I can't copy and move files when I'm in Folder view in a document library

You may need to add the SharePoint site to the list of trusted sites in Internet Explorer. Try the following:

  1. In Microsoft Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options, and then click the Security tab.

  2. In the Select a Web content zone to specify its security settings box, click Trusted sites, and then click Sites.

  3. In the Add this Web site to the zone box, type the URL of your site, and then click Add.

    Note   The Trusted sites zone should only contain sites from which you believe you can download or run files, without worrying about damage to your computer or data. The default security level for the Trusted sites zone is Low, therefore, Internet Explorer will allow script files to run and cookies from Web sites in this zone to be saved on your computer and read by the Web site that created them.

I can't open a document library file in my application

  • Are you an anonymous user (not a member of a site group)?   Even though the site may allow anonymous users to view the file in a Web browser, you must be a member of a site group with the View Lists right to open the file in an application, and you must be a member of a site group with the Edit Items right to edit the file. See your site administrator for more information.

  • Are you a member of a site group?   The site group that you belong to must have the View Lists right to open the file in an application. You must be a member of a site group with the Edit Items right to edit the file. See your site administrator for more information.

I can't add a file to a document library

  • Is the file empty?   You cannot add a 0-byte file to a document library.

  • Is the file one of the types that's blocked by the server?   Administrators can specify which types of files are not allowed in document libraries. For more information, see the Windows SharePoint Services Administrator's Guide at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=18327&clcid=0x409.

  • Do you have the access rights necessary to add files to the site or document library?   You must be a member of a site group with the Add Items right to add files to a document library. Contact your administrator to find out what rights you have on the site.

  • Do you receive the message "There has been a network or file permission error"?   If you receive that message while trying to save a file to a document library from within a program that is compatible with Windows SharePoint Services, you may need to change your proxy server settings. This problem occurs in intranet sites based on Windows SharePoint Services that use accounts from the network domain. Internet proxy servers don't support this authentication method, so you must bypass the proxy server for local (intranet) addresses.

    To bypass your Internet proxy server for local addresses in Internet Explorer 5 or later, follow these steps:

    1. In Internet Explorer, click Tools, and then click Internet Options.

    2. In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Connections tab, and then click LAN Settings.

    3. Under Proxy server, select the Bypass proxy server for local addresses check box, and then click OK.

Meeting Workspace Sites

I need to troubleshoot issues with a Meeting Workspace site

See "Troubleshoot Meeting Workspaces" in Windows SharePoint Services Help.

Themes

I want to apply a theme to one or two pages in my Web site

By design, you apply themes to an entire site. If you want to apply themes to individual pages or to further customize your Web site based on Windows SharePoint Services in any way, use a Windows SharePoint Services-compatible Web page editor, such as Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003.

Note   To apply a theme, you must be a member of the Web Designer site group or a site group that has the Apply Themes and Borders right.

Online Presence and Instant Messaging Integration

Online presence information doesn't appear

  • Does your account have an e-mail address specified?   The presence information appears only when the e-mail address for a person is specified. A user with a blank e-mail address that has only the DOMAIN and username specified will not appear as online.

  • Do you have a Windows SharePoint Services-compatible client installed?   You must have a compatible client such as Microsoft Office 2003 to view presence information.

  • Is the virtual server for the site configured to display online presence information?   By default, this feature is turned on. However, an administrator may have turned this feature off.

Web Browsers and Client Programs

I get a Web component error when I view a Web page

Some older Web components may not work correctly on servers running Windows SharePoint Services. Ask your server administrator to update these components by using Web Parts that are supported on servers running Windows SharePoint Services. A Web component error can also be caused by using an unsupported version of Microsoft Office FrontPage to author components for a server running Windows SharePoint Services. Web components from older versions of FrontPage are no longer supported on Windows SharePoint Services. Delete the Web component, and then use Office FrontPage 2003 to add the Web component to the page.

I get an error message that the required program may not be installed properly

You may have set up the required program to be installed on first use. Run the program so that it is fully installed on your hard disk, and then try using the feature again.

My Web site looks wrong and some features are not working

Web sites based on Windows SharePoint Services work best with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or Netscape Navigator 6.2 or later, installed on a computer that is running Microsoft Windows 2000 or later. If you are using another Web browser or operating system, some pages may not display properly, and some features may not work.

I received the message "You need to be authenticated to access this page"

You may be using a Web browser other than Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later. When using some browsers, such as Netscape Navigator, the server must use Basic Authentication to allow viewing the site. For more information, see "About authentications methods" in Windows SharePoint Services Help.

I get an error message when I try to import a Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet

  • Was the spreadsheet saved with interactivity?   Windows SharePoint Services cannot import spreadsheets that were saved with interactivity. Try saving the spreadsheet again, without interactivity. To save a spreadsheet without interactivity, do the following:

    1. In Excel, on the File menu, click Save as Web Page.

    2. Click Republish: Sheet, and then clear the Add interactivity check box.

    3. Click Save.

  • Are you trying to import a shared workbook?   Windows SharePoint Services cannot import shared workbooks. To turn off sharing, do the following:

    1. In Excel, on the Tools menu, click Shared Workbook.

    2. On the Editing tab, clear the Allow changes by more than one user at the same time check box.

    3. Click OK.

      Note   To import a spreadsheet you must be a member of the Web Designer site group or a site group that has the Add and Customize Pages right.

I can't open a document library file in my application

  • Are you an anonymous user (not a member of a site group)?   Even though the site may allow anonymous users to view the file in a Web browser, you must be a member of a site group with the View Lists right to open the file in an application, and you must be a member of a site group with the Edit Items right to edit the file. See your site administrator for more information.

  • Are you a member of a site group?   The site group that you belong to must have the View Lists right to open the file in an application. You must be a member of a site group with the Edit Items right to edit the file. See your site administrator for more information.

I can't add or edit an item in a datasheet view

This problem can occur when you are an anonymous user (not a member of a site group). Even though the site may allow anonymous users to add or edit the page in a standard view, you must be a member of a site group with the Add Items and Edit Items rights to add or edit a list item in a datasheet view. See your site administrator for more information.

I want to edit a document in a document library, but I have Microsoft Office 2000 or earlier

Do the following:

  1. Click the hyperlink to open the document or save it to your hard disk.

  2. Edit the document.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • If you are using Office 2000, on the File menu, click Save as to save the file with its original name to the document library. This will overwrite the original file.

    • If you are using an earlier version of Office, save the file to your hard disk, and, on the page that displays the document library, click Upload Document to copy the file to the document library. Select the Overwrite existing file(s) check box if you want to overwrite the original file.

      Note   To add a file to document library, you must be a member of the Contributor site group or a site group that has the Add Items right.

I can no longer run document library rules

The document library rules feature is available only on servers running SharePoint Team Services v1.0 from Microsoft. If your site has been upgraded to Windows SharePoint Services, you will be unable to run document library rules.

Usage Analysis

I see a message that usage reports are not available when I try to view the Site Usage Report page

  • Is logging and usage processing turned on?   Logging and usage processing is turned off by default. To turn it on, do the following:

    1. On the server running Windows SharePoint Services, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click SharePoint Central Administration.

    2. In the Component Configuration section, click Configure usage analysis processing.

    3. On the Configure Usage Analysis Processing page, select the Enable logging and Enable usage analysis processing check boxes, and then click OK.

      Note   To perform these steps, you must be a member of the local Administrators group on the server running Windows SharePoint Services or a member of the SharePoint Administrators group.

    For more information about enabling usage analysis, see "Specify usage analysis settings" in Windows SharePoint Services Help.

  • Is the site new?   If the site is new (created today), or has not been used before today, no data will appear until the usage log processing has been done (usually within 24 hours).

  • Has there been activity on your site within the last 31 days?   If there has been no activity on the site for the past 31 days, the Site Usage Report page will say that usage reports are not available.

The number of users that I'm seeing is higher than I expected

  • Did you delete users from the site collection level or from a subsite?   If you are trying to remove users so that you are under your quota, you must remove users at the site collection level. You can do this by using SharePoint Central Administration or the Manage Site Collection Users page in Site Administration. Removing users from individual sites will not allow you to add more users. To remove site collection users by using the Site Administration pages, do the following:

    1. On the top link bar, click Site Settings.

    2. In the Administration section, click Go to Site Administration.

    3. In the Site Collection Administration section, click View site collection user information.

    4. Click the check box next to the users that you want to delete, and then click Remove Selected Users.

      Note   You must be a site collection administrator to remove users from a site collection.

  • Have server administrators worked with your site?   Server administrators will be included as users in the usage analysis results. This is also true if server administrators run monitoring utilities on your site collection. In both cases, however, these users are not counted toward your quota.

Alerts and Invitations

I can't create alerts to be notified of changes to Web content

  • Is the Alerts feature turned off?   A server administrator must turn on this feature before you can use it. See "Configure alerts for a virtual server" in Windows SharePoint Services Help.

  • Is the Windows SharePoint Services timer service turned off?   A server administrator must turn on this feature for Alerts to function. See "Schedule timed jobs" in Windows SharePoint Services Help.

  • Does the site group to which you belong have permission to create alerts?   See your server administrator for information.

Alerts are sent to the wrong e-mail address

  • Was the correct e-mail address specified when you were invited to the site?   You may need to update your account information. See "Modify user account information" in Windows SharePoint Services Help.

  • Are the alerts being sent to the mail account you use for instant messaging?   When you enable instant messenger integration, the e-mail address that you specify is also used for alerts. See "Configure online presence information" in Windows SharePoint Services Help.

I removed a user from a site but he or she is still receiving alerts from it

When you remove a user from a Web site, site group, or cross-site group after he or she has created alerts, you must manually delete any alerts that he or she has set up. This is also true for any lists or libraries where you change security settings to limit access. If a user has set up alerts for the list or library, he or she will continue to receive them after you change the security settings. For information on deleting alerts, see "Delete an alert" in Windows SharePoint Services Help.

Note   To delete an alert for another user, you must be a member of the Administrator site group or a site group that has the Manage Web Site right.

Installation and Setup

I installed Windows SharePoint Services, but I can't extend a virtual server

  • Is your file system formatted with FAT instead of NTFS?   If you installed Windows SharePoint Services to a disk drive formatted with the FAT file system, your default virtual server might not be extended. On the Microsoft Windows platform, the security features of Windows SharePoint Services require the NTFS file system. Microsoft Windows Server 2003 includes a conversion utility (Convert.exe) that you can use to convert an existing file allocation table (FAT) volume to NTFS without losing data. For more information, see Windows Server 2003 online http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=14863&clcid=0x409.

  • Does the virtual server exist in Internet Information Services?   Before you can extend a new virtual server with Windows SharePoint Services, you must create the virtual server by using the Internet Services Manager in Microsoft Windows Server 2003 or later. See Windows Server 2003 online for more information.

    Note   To perform these steps, you must be a member of the local Administrators group on the server running Windows SharePoint Services.

Search

I can't enable search for a server

  • Is your server running Windows SharePoint Services-compatible search server software, such as Microsoft SQL Server 2000 or later?   By default, Windows SharePoint Services installs the Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (Windows) (WMSDE) database. However, to enable the search functionality, the server's back-end database must be running Microsoft SQL Server 2000 or another Windows SharePoint Services-compatible search server.

  • Is your server part of a server farm?   If each server in the server farm is not running Windows SharePoint Services-compatible search server software, such as Microsoft SQL Server 2000 or later, the search controls may not appear. To resolve this problem, make sure all servers in the server farm are running Windows SharePoint Services-compatible search server software.  

    Note   To perform these steps, you must be a member of the local Administrators group on the server running Windows SharePoint Services.

I'm not finding what I'm searching for

  • Are you searching for file types other than .doc, .xls, .ppt, .txt, or .htm?   By default, full-text searching does not include any file types other than .doc, .xls, .ppt, .txt, and .htm in the search results. You can install custom filters to allow you to search other file types. For more information about adding filters to SQL Server full-text searching, see the SQL Server 2000 documentation.

  • Is there an asterisk in your search query?   You cannot use the asterisk (*) character.

  • Did you use Boolean function such as AND or OR?   The search engine does not support Boolean functions.

  • Is the information you're searching for in a list attachment?   Attachments to list items do not appear in search results.

  • Is the information stored in an item that is not part of the current view?   You cannot search for information in items (rows) that are not included in the current view. For example, if you search in a view that shows only items created by you, any items created by another user are not searched. However, searches include all information in the items that are not filtered, including information in columns that are hidden. Searches also include information in items that exceed the current view's item limit.

  • Is there a problem with the search server?   There might be an internal error on the search server. Contact your server administrator for more information.

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