Monday, November 17, 2008

Changing SharePoint Service Accounts via stsadm

We had a customer that needed to change the Service Accounts within their farm due to an employee leaving the company. This can be easily performed by using the STSADM command line tool. See Microsoft KB link above.

1) From the Command prompt on the Server that is hosting Central Administration on the farm, run the following command:
stsadm -o updatefarmcredentials -userlogin DomainName\UserName -password NewPassword

2) Then on all other SharePoint servers in the farm run the following command:

stsadm -o updatefarmcredentials -userlogin DomainName\UserName -password NewPassword -local

3) Run an IISRESET /noforce

Then you will need to run a series of commands for the other service accounts that your environment is using.

4.) Update the password for the application pool account that is used by Web applications on the server farm. To do this, type the following line at a command prompt on every server on the server farm, and then press ENTER:
stsadm -o updateaccountpassword -userlogin DomainName\UserName -password NewPassword -noadmin

5.)Update the password for the account that is used to run the Windows SharePoint Services Help Search service. To do this, type the following line at a command prompt on every server on the server farm, and then press ENTER:
stsadm.exe -o spsearch -farmserviceaccount DomainName\UserName -farmservicepassword NewPassword

6.)Update the password for the default content access account that is used by the Windows SharePoint Services Help Search service. To do this, type the following line at a command prompt on every server on the server farm, and then press ENTER:
stsadm.exe -o spsearch -farmcontentaccessaccount DomainName\UserName -farmcontentaccesspassword NewPassword

7.) If you are running SharePoint Server 2007, you must also follow these steps:
Update the password for the account that is used by every Shared Services Provider (SSP) on the server farm. To do this, type the following line at a command prompt on every server on the server farm, and then press ENTER:
stsadm.exe -o editssp -title SharedServicesProviderName -ssplogin DomainName\UserName -ssppassword NewPassword
Update the password for the account that is used to run the Office SharePoint Server Search service. To do this, type the following line at the command prompt, and then press ENTER:
stsadm.exe -o osearch -farmserviceaccount DomainName\UserName -farmservicepassword NewPassword
If the server farm is configured to use single sign-on, update the password for the account that is used by the Microsoft Single Sign-On Service. To do this, follow these steps:
Click Operations in SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration, and then click Service accounts under Security Configuration.
Under Windows service, click Single Sign-On Service.
Under Configurable, specify the password, and then click OK.
Update the password for the default content access account that is used by the Office SharePoint Server Search service. To do this, follow these steps:
Open SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration, and then click the link to the SSP Web application under Shared Services Administration.
Under Search, click Search settings, and then click Default content access account.
Specify the password to use for the content access account, and then click OK.

Hope this information helps, also the KB link has a script if anyone needs to script this as part of their security plan on a quarterly or such basis.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

SharePoint Alerts- Users get confirmation email, but no Alerts

SharePoint Alerts not working properly, the users get confirmation email, but they do not receive any alerts.
There could be several reasons for this happening, in the case I worked on we had previously recreated the WFE servers for a medium farm and everything looked OK after testing, but once users tried to configure new alerts, this issue appeared.

First thing to do is check to see if there is a "Immediate Alerts" SharePoint timer job definition, if there isn't one use the following commands to create one.

stsadm.exe -o setproperty -url http://SERVERURL -pn alerts-enabled -pv true
stsadm.exe -o setproperty -url http://SERVERURL -pn job-immediate-alerts -pv "every 5 minutes"

Restart the SharePoint Timer Service after completing this.

Still not working? Determine which account is running the SharePoint Timer Service and make sure this account is added to the SharePoint Administrators Group (Central Administration\Operations\Security Configuratio\Update SharePoint Administration Group.)
Also check to see if that Timer Service account has access to the Content Database on the SQL server.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Feature 'GUID' for list template 'XXX' is not installed in this farm. The operation could not be completed

Feature 'GUID' for list template 'XXX' is not installed in this farm. The operation could not be completed.
We had a client receiving this message when accessing a site, and clicking Site Actions/Manage Content and Structure.
Thanks to Fadi Noja for the resolution:
Install the Application Template Core Solution into the farm.

Link to Application Template Core Solution from Microsoft:

How to Install the Application Template Core solution (from Microsoft TechNet)
1. Download the Application Template Core solution to the server.
2. Double-click the .exe file to extract the files.
3. Open a Command Prompt window.

To open a Command Prompt window, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
4. Type stsadm -o addsolution -filename \ApplicationTemplateCore.wsp, where is the location you extracted the Application Template Core files to, and then press ENTER.
5. Type stsadm -o deploysolution -name ApplicationTemplateCore.wsp -allowgacdeployment, and then press ENTER.

Additional attributes may be required based on your Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 configuration. For more information about available attributes, type stsadm -help deploysolution, and then press ENTER.
6. Type stsadm -o copyappbincontent, and then press ENTER.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

SharePoint Admin Task list

Being a former SP admin, many clients have questions on what to do on a daily\weekly basis for SharePoint from a general function standpoint. I have come up with the following steps as a guide to help first time admins get an idea on how to handle their environment. This is just a rough guide I threw together, but if anyone has any comments, feel free to post.

SharePoint Administrators Task list

• Using a browser, connect to the top level sites of all instances of SharePoint within your environment, to ensure they are reachable.
• Log on to all applicable SharePoint servers (Web Front End, Application, Database) to ensure they are running properly. This includes any Development or Staging environments as well. Although checking the overall server health and functionality might seem redundant or elementary, this procedure is critical to keeping the system environment and users working productively.
• Check the IIS functionality on the Web Servers, ensuring that the Web Apps and the Web sites are started. This can be accessed under the Start/Program Files/Administrative Tools/Internet Information Service(IIS) Manager, then highlighting the respective folders for Web Application Pools and Internet Sites. This will bring up a listing of the sites and Web Application Pools on the right side of the MMC console, showing their status as Running, Stopped or Disabled. Restart as necessary.

• If any problems have been reported or have been noticed, check the event logs for the various servers and research the error codes via Microsoft’s Web Site. If there is monitoring Software in place in the environment (such as MOM – Microsoft Operations Manager), set up alerts based on the problem generating alert ID’s so that you can proactively monitor your SharePoint environment.

• Monitor SharePoint Disk space usage through the built in SharePoint reports for each site collection. Depending on space usage and the speed at which the numbers change, use this activity as a chance to clean up duplicate or old data, working with the Site Owner or the individual document owner to free up additional space.
• Hold a Site Owner meeting either weekly or bi-weekly just to make sure all owners are aware of changes to the environment forecasted, or to get their feedback on how to make the SharePoint environment more user friendly.
• Check the backup jobs (can be done daily as well depending on criticality of your environment), make sure the backup files themselves are consistent in size and check the jobs for proper completion.
• Check for Microsoft Patches/Knowledge Base articles for SharePoint/MOSS (RSS Feed for MOSS KB Articles –
• Archive Event logs, if necessary.

• Monthly - Check for Operating System and SQL Patches. Work with your hardware/virtualization group to ensure that BIOS and Service Packs are applied properly to the Hardware that is running your environment.
• Monthly – Validate backups. Restore a backup to a test environment to ensure that everything is getting backed up.
• Monthly – Update Documentation. Check the validity and accuracy of any documentation that is used by the end users, site owners and Administrators.
• Quarterly- Check long term storage needs based on weekly numbers.
• Quarterly-Change Admin Passwords (Microsoft recommendation)

Friday, June 6, 2008

SPS2003 to MOSS In Place Upgrade fails due to System.OutOfMemoryException error

My colleagues and I have seen a few instances where a SPS2003 to MOSS in place upgrade has failed after an excessive amount of time. When investigating the upgrade.log file it reports that a "System.OutOfMemoryException " error has occured right around the 2/3 to 3/4 mark of the upgrade and the upgrade process stops. Doing a little digging around the Interweb there were a couple of helpful postings and KB articles that describe the situation and the potential fixes.

The likely culprit to this issue is IIS. During the upgrade process the sites you are migrating are utilizing an IIS Worker process called W3wp.exe, and this process is the most likely cause of the errors. It is not necessarily the size of the sites you are migrating, but the number of sites.

Microsoft recommends utilizing Web Gardening within IIS to assign multiple W3wp.exe processes to the MSSharePointPortalAppPool so that there are more processes available to carry the load of the upgrade. This should allow the upgrade to run faster as well as complete without the memory errors. Within the KB Article they recommend 4 W3wp.exe processes for a 120 sites as an example, and in your case it may vary as to what your server can handle based on memory and processor.

In order to do this in IIS 6.0, within the Computer Management/Services and Applications/Internet Information Service right click on the MSSharePointPortalAppPool and select properties. When that box appears select the Performance tab, and at the bottom there is an entry for Web Garden/ Maximum number of worker processes. The default value is 1 Out of the Box, increase this to whatever value you desire (it can go into the hundreds), in our cases we have recommended 5-10 depending on the amount of sites and memory processor speed, there really is no set formula we could find, just trial and error.

This posting is mostly for my own recollection, but I hope this can help people who may have seen this issue in the past.

Happy SharePointing!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

SharePoint VHD's

We all have been there, needing to test out a quick theory or idea within SharePoint and not wanting to do it in Prod or even a test environment. Luckily, Microsoft makes available Virtual Hard Drives for both MOSS and WSS 3.0 for a 30 day trial. just download (although both are several GB's in size in various pieces, so it may take a while), and run the utility and presto, a functional environment to play with.

Have fun!

WSS 3.0

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Microsoft KB RSS Feeds for SharePoint

Microsoft Support KB Articles for WSS 3.0 and MOSS RSS Feeds:

I came across these feeds for both WSS 3.0 and MOSS while roaming the web, very useful for those who support these products

WSS 3.0


These are great tools to keep on top of what Microsoft is releasing.
Good luck!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

SharePoint 3.0 usage with older Microsoft Desktop applications. (IE6/Office 2003)

In today’s world of budgetary and credit issues, many companies are cutting back on the basic technology upgrades that are necessary to ensure proper productivity.
How does this apply to SharePoint, a product that can be economy independent due to its ability to increase worker productivity?

In my case, my former employer had delayed an upgrade to XP and Vista for several years citing cost and OS instability (fair enough). Thus we were stuck at Windows 2000 SP4 for the OS; IE6 and Office 2003 for the SharePoint specific desktop tools. However, since the basic Windows SharePoint Server is a “free” product, Management made the decision to upgrade SharePoint itself from WSS 2.0 to WSS 3.0. (That process in itself is a topic for another time, as anyone who has attempted such a task can attest.)
Now don’t get me wrong regarding WSS 3.0 and it’s compatibility with IE6/Office 2003, it works as a simple collaborative tool for the most part without issue. However once people have their “light bulb” moment with the product and start to attempt to utilize some of the more advanced features, this is where the pain points start to occur. It could be something simple like the 100 Character Limit within the Explorer View that I referenced in a previous post, it could be end users attempting to subscribe to an RSS feed with a Browser or Email client that can’t support the technology, users may receive errors when attempting to select content types in order to save it to a Document Library,
(;EN-US;950292) the list goes on and on.

The end result is that all these little annoyances add up, and if you are one of the usually small team or the only resource your company has for SharePoint, it’s not the end of the world, but it does add to a SharePoint Admins already heavy workload.
Now the big question, what to do? For now there really isn’t much one can do, except follow up on all the Microsoft Hotfixes and Service Pack updates. If you are in a position like I describe, make sure your Management is aware the WSS 3.0 Product and all of its features were designed to be used with Office 2007, and should be planned for accordingly.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

SharePoint Explorer View Problem for IE 6

If you are in an environment where all of the end users still are in Windows File Share Mode, your SharePoint environment will have many many layers of Folders and the users will depend on the drag and drop functionality of the SharePoint Explorer View.

When a user tries to open Explorer View on a subfolder they will get a "Page not found" message.

There is a known bug with this functionality within Internet Explorer 6, as referenced by this Microsoft KB article:, and basically there is a 100 Character limit within IE6 forthe Explorer view.

There is a quick workaround for this:
Have the users go to the top level folder on the SharePoint site to open it with Explorer view.
Then have them navigate to the folder they want to go within Explorer View. Navigating through the levels of folders within Explorer View has no limit on the folder path length.

If you want to implelment a more permanent solution here is a registry fix provided by a link within Microsoft KB article above. (note: as with any registry modifications, be very careful as this will cause the Earth to stop spinning on its axis, or something like that)

1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
2. To set the limit to 260 characters, locate the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\KB325355_INCREASE_WEBFOLDER_MAXURLLENGTH_TO_260CHAR subkey.
3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
4. Type iexplore.exe for the Value Name.
5. Double-click iexplore.exe.
6. Click Hexadecimal, in the Value Data area, type 0x1, and then click OK.
Note: To revert to the 100-character limit for backward compatibility, reset this value to 0x0.