Microsoft Certified Professional Exam Status

Where do I start? Migrating this blog over the weekend has led to a bit of a review and the realisation that a lot of the blog posts relate to my journey preparing for and sitting (and generally passing!) Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) exams.

The last exam related post on this blog is Passed 70-631 WSS Configuring Today which was posted just under 10 years ago – yikes. I’m delighted to see that posts in the meantime related to Motorcycling and Off Road Skills so that would indicate some wider interests other than work.

As I write I am two weeks from passing my most recent Microsoft Exam Continue reading “Microsoft Certified Professional Exam Status”

Microsoft Certified Professional Exam Status

SharePoint 2013 post CU says Server Error: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink?LinkID=177673

The situation was that I thought I would bring my SharePoint 2013 up to date with the latest cumulative update, at the time of writing December 2013 as we are still waiting for the issue with SP1 to be remedied.

So the cumulative update ran through fine and apart from a few complaints in the upgrade file to do with PowerPivot, all was well. So I went in to a demo site and got an empty screen with the following: Server Error: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink?LinkID=177673. When you click on that link it takes you to an update deployment page for SharePoint Foundation 2010.

So I checked central administration upgrade status – nothing. And checked the database upgrade status, all fine. So I went with my cavalier-lazy and ran the SharePoint 2013 Products Configuration Wizard. After the usual multi-stage process it completed with no complaints. Checked my site, no joy – same result.

So I had a hunt around and fired up the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell and Test-SPContentDatabase on the content database for my demo site and nothing. So I ran it as administrator and again got nothing. So I tried Upgrade-SPContentDatabase and it helpfully told me that my content database didn’t need upgrading.

So I had another hunt around and tried psconfig -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b -wait -force and again got no errors. So I admitted defeat and started hunting through my ULS logs. This threw up interesting errors, the start of which was:

04/21/2014 10:55:41.99  w3wp.exe (0x3208)                        0x237C SharePoint Foundation          Database                       880i High     System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException (0x80131904): CREATE TABLE permission denied in database ‘

So again I took the lazy approach and fired up SQL Trace on my database and narrowed down the filter to have a Database Name like the content database and ran it up, and assuming it was psconfig related ran that again. The command ran through with no errors reported to the command line and when I stopped the trace and had a look I didn’t see anything. And nothing in the ULS log. So I waited. And the same entry appeared again – don’t you love asynchronous stuff?

So I was a bit more patient this time – I restarted the trace, and ran psconfig, and waited until the error appeared in ULS. Then stopped the trace and went looking. And there it was, a big long SQL statement running under an account that didn’t have sufficient priviledge to create the table. So being a hacker I gave that account dbo priviledge – ran psconfig and after a suitable pause my site is running again.

The interesting bit ? The identity wasn’t the application pool identity of the web application, it wasn’t the identity of the timer service (Ok I know it wouldn’t be, owstimer.exe wasn’t owning up in ULS). On my VM it was the identity of the portal web application / community sites. I’m nonplussed but will put it on my “to learn” list.

SharePoint 2013 post CU says Server Error: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink?LinkID=177673

Windows 8 x64, Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013

I had an interesting chat with our Internal IT guys today about a strange behaviour found with the mixture of software versions that inevitably happen. In our case our desktop kit can be bang up to date, i.e. Windows 8 and Office 2013 or in our technical division our consultants love to install the latest and greatest, with quite a few looking at Windows 8.1. Our Intranet runs on SharePoint 2010 as space for hosting is limited and there is a little little bit of the cobbler’s children effect when it comes to making the upgrade.

Since the combination of Windows 8 and Office 2013 came about there have been reports in to our IT guys about a strange effect in SharePoint document libraries. Browsing in IE 10 to SharePoint would open a document in the registered application fine, but when you tried to open another document (or even the same document) you would get an error saying “The document could not be opened for editing. A Microsoft SharePoint Foundation compatible application could not be found to edit the document”.

The theory was that it was 64 bit related, we had all sorts of problems when our technical consultants (remember them earlier?) all installed 64 bit office to run on shiny 64 bit Windows 7. The control that provides the menu to items in document libraries (open documents class add-on) didn’t work in 64 bit IE, or work with 64 bit office. So we all run 32 bit these days.

Cue a search today and I dragged up a thread on the msdn forums which suggested an issue when you run a non-english US setup and an associated registry hack to fix it. A colleague suggested an alternative fix for Windows 8 which deals with 32 bit add-ins and 64 bit Internet Explorer.

The thread on the msdn forums also suggested that the June 2013 Cumulative Update for Office 2013 would contain a fix. It does, but unlike SharePoint cumulative updates which come in a nice big file, the June 2013 Cumulative Update for Office 2013 is just a big list of hotfixes which come with individual files. So if you are looking for the official fix (not a registry hack, well not directly) then look at Article ID 2726997

Windows 8 x64, Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013

Life and Work and Windows Mobile 8

I know it breaks the principle of doing everything from one device but I have two windows 8 mobile phones. One is my own Nokia Lumia 920, and my work phone is a Nokia Lumia 820.

It does mean carrying two phones but I got my own personal number a few years ago during a period that I didn’t have a work mobile phone and have run with the slight inconvenience of having two with me and the resultant bulk and charging issues.

They both synchronise to my work Outlook e-mail, albeit the personal phone is on manual sync whereas the personal phone is on immediate.

This brings me on to the first issue I hit when I got my work Lumia 820, a few months after my personal phone. Windows Phone 8 introduces some great backup facilities and I have successfully used these on my 920 to recover from a hard reset. I was curious however to understand how this relates to the windows account associated with the phone. To get an answer I pinged a tweet to the rather excellent @WinPhoneSupport to ask whether using the same windows account on both phones would cause problems. Once I got the right question phrasing (the joys of the character limits on twitter) I clarified that unless you use different windows accounts then the backup is not seperate. So to keep the text messages etc seperate from work and personal (as you can guess the personal phone has more chatter) in the backups I had to create a new windows account for the work phone.

This caused an immediate organisational issue for me as a newly avid user of OneNote. Since it appeared on my previous Windows Phone 7 HTC Mozart I have used it as my notes and list maker. This hit a bit of a problem with the SkyDrive storage of notebooks. This would be fine for the storage of photographs but I would need to organise my books to split personal and work again. I had this already at Section level but I had only had one (growing daily) note.

Roll on in time and I have finally split the two books and shared them between accounts so I can see them in onenote on both phones, my work laptop connects using the “work” windows account and I have access everywhere. Perfect. I used the method blogged by Donovan Colbert on TechRepublic on “Collaboration made easy with SkyDrive and OneNote”.

Life and Work and Windows Mobile 8

Replacing old Virtual PC / Server additions with ORCA

Over the last six months or so I’ve been assisting on a project to migrate some old software between data centres. The new data centres have Windows 2008 Server R2 and all the matching versions of SQL Server and SharePoint – not the latest versions but up to date when it comes to corporate land.

Part of my consulting support has involved regression checks of both source and running software in test environments. With the apps being almost 8 years old the support and test machines are thankfully virtual but date back to Virtual Server time. It’s great having the ready built machines available but Hyper-v has a few issues when working with the machines.

One of these is the additions – not the Hyper-V additions but the original Virtual Server additions which will not remove due to an issue in the original setup. And you can’t add the new ones until the old are removed.

So over to a post by Arvind Shyamsunder over on MSDN (Virtual PC / Virtual Server 2005 to Hyper-V Additions) which describes a solution – it’s a hack but it works. It involves modifying the installed installer for Virtual Server additions to remove a check so that it will de-install. Then you have a clean machine which you can install the hyper-v additions on.

ORCA is a tool for working with msi files which is in the Platform SDK – full details in the referenced article.

Replacing old Virtual PC / Server additions with ORCA

SharePoint 2013 App vs Solution

This is going to be a horrible meta-post, you know the kind that contains little to no original material and points you to other stuff (like your last post I hear you say).

I like the idea of a post over on the MCS UK blog on SharePoint 2013 Development (Apps versus Solutions) as it concisely runs through the thought process when considering how to construct your solution in SharePoint 2013. My caveat is the inclusion of Sandboxed solutions. Sandbox solutions will not be available in the next version of SharePoint, and if you agree with what is said in Sandboxed Solutions are deprecated in SharePoint 2013 they are only included in 2013 as a favour for those upgrades from 2010 (yes – the version that introduced Sandboxed Solutions).

I guess consideration of application longevity is a bit of a moot point in our industry but I’d be inclined to move Sandboxed Solutions down the list as a bit of a dead end.

SharePoint 2013 App vs Solution