SharePoint 2007 site is Blank in Internet Explorer 8

I recently installed SharePoint Server 2007 on my Windows 7 64 bit development machine, and after setting up my first Web App and Site Collection my test site would not load in Internet Explorer 8 or in SharePoint Designer 2007, although it would work fine in Firefox.  Now the screen would load blank in IE8 after asking for authentication about 3 times.  In SPD2007, it would ask for authentication seemingly endlessly until I just hit cancel, and it would never load the site.

At first, after asking and searching around, I thought that the loopback issue with IE8 may have been causing the problem, but even after double checking everything in that area I still had the same issue.  Also, I wasn’t getting the 401.1 screen, as is usually the case with the loopback issue.  If you are having that problem, then you should check out this post

Finally, a colleague of mine, Phillip Wilkins, told me that he fixed the blank screen issue by enabling Windows Authentication in IIS.  That fixed it!  Thanks, Phillip.

Here are some quick instructions with screenshots to show you what I did:

  1. Open IIS Manager (I do this: Click Start, type "iis," and then click enter).
  2. Click on Authentication under the IIS section.
  3. If Windows Authentication is Disabled, then click on it and then click on Enable under the Actions menu on the right.  You should now see that Windows Auth is enabled, and hopefully this has fixed your problem.

Missing “Create or extend Web application” Link in SharePoint Central Administration

I recently did a clean install of Windows 7 64 bit on my development machine.  I used Bamboo Solutions’ WSS on Vista tool to install SharePoint Server 2007 on it; however, when I navigated to Central Administration there was no “Create or extend Web application Link” there.

Well, at first I thought it may be a permissions issue, but everything seemed to be in place there.  I also made sure to right-click Central Administration from the Start Menu to “Run as administrator,” but that didn’t fix it either.

Then I realized that I hadn’t installed Service Pack 2 for SharePoint Server.  Microsoft suggested that I install Service Pack 2 for WSS 3.0 first, which I did, and that fixed the issue.  Then I went ahead and installed The 2007 Microsoft Office Servers Service Pack 2, and everything is running great now.

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Windows Live Tags: Create or extend Web Application,Service,WSS,MOSS,SharePoint,Central,Administration,Bamboo,Vista,Server,Pack,Microsoft,Office,Servers,Solutions

stsadm –o uninstall – Don’t do this!

Well, at the risk of sounding like a complete idiot, I’ve chosen to share my experience with you in order to help save you from some problems later.  I needed to force an uninstall of a feature from my development machine.  Well, this isn’t an stsadm command that I have had to use much, so I didn’t remember exactly what the command was.  The command is “uninstallfeature", by the way.  However, I was thinking that it was “uninstall”. 

So, at this point I thought I’d type in “stsadm –o uninstall” and hit enter so that it would tell me what arguments I needed to include, as you can see in the below screenshot with “addsolution".


Obviously, this isn’t the best practice for how to find the arguments for an stsadm command; however, I knew that it would work if I was missing any arguments (see “Important Note” below).,

The Big Problem

Now, here is the BIG problem.  Since I had the wrong command (“uninstall” instead of “uninstallfeature”), I got to enjoy a wonderful learning experience.  The stsadm command “uninstall” doesn’t have to have any arguments, so if you type it in and press enter, then it will just start to run.  And do you know what it does?  That’s right:  It uninstalls SharePoint from your machine WITHOUT asking for any confirmation.  Lesson learned.

Important Note

By the way, to avoid this problem altogether you should always do what I did not do: put “–help” after any command that you wish to see the parameters for.  For example: stsadm –o uninstall –help

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Windows Live Tags: moss,wss,feature,development,SharePoint,stsadm,uninstall,uninstallfeature

SharePoint Designer 2007 Workflows—KYSPUG

Thanks to everyone who attended my presentation on SharePoint Designer 2007 Workflows at the Kentucky SharePoint User Group last night.  We had a great turnout and had lots of great interaction.  I want to give a special thanks to Jeremy Sublett of Composable Systems and Greg Kamer of Mirazon for their selfless efforts in running this user group for us.

You can download the slide deck HERE

Here is a quick synopsis of the presentation:

  • What are Workflows?
  • Out of the Box WSS and MOSS Workflows
  • SharePoint Designer Workflows
    • The parts of a SPD WF
    • The ootb actions
    • The wf files that are created
    • The wf forms that are created
    • The browser screens for interaction with the wf
    • Common Problems, Issues, and Limitations


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Windows Live Tags: SharePoint,Designer,Workflows,KYSPUG,Kentucky,User,Group,Jeremy,Sublett,Composable,Greg,Kamer,Mirazon,MOSS,Problems,Limitations,Systems

Windows Live OneCare Problem

Windows Security Center was showing me the following error when I woke up this morning along with my Malware Protection having a “yellow light” rather than green.

Windows live OneCare is on but is reporting its status to Windows Security Center in a format that is no longer supported.  Use the program’s automatic updating feature, or contact the program manufacturer for an updated version.

Thanks to Kevin Hau for His Post about a fix that has been released for this issue.  I have included the 32 bit and 64 bit links here as well.  This was a quick and simple fix that worked great.  As Kevin points out, you will need to download the exe and Run it as Administrator.

32 bit fix:

64 bit fix:

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Windows Live Tags: Live,OneCare,Problem,Center,error,Malware,Protection,status

TFS—Server has committed a protocol violation

This may seem like a no-brainer to some, but I beat my head against the wall for a while with it.  If you are trying to get the latest version from Team Foundation Server for a project, and you get an error stating that the Server has committed a protocol violation, it may be due to Windows Live Family Safety if you have it installed.  As soon as I turned Windows Live Family Safety off, I could get latest version with no errors.  I actually just decided to completely uninstall it.  I just wanted to try it out to see how it would work for my kids.  Moral of the story—Windows Live Family Safety is probably not a good idea on a development machine.

SharePoint Yes/No Column Problems

I have been dealing with some issues concerning the Yes/No column in SharePoint, and I ran across this blog post by John Ross.  He shares some good information in it, and he helped push me over the edge with the opinion that I was beginning to form about Yes/No columns—that you are better off just using a Choice column with the text values of “Yes” or “No” rather than an actual Yes/No column. 

Read John’s blog post to discover his reasons.  One of my main reasons is this:  You will have to deal with the values from these fields showing up as “True” and “False” if you want to display them through a SharePoint Designer Workflow (e.g. in an email).  If it is not acceptable to have them display as True/False, then you will have to add some more complex steps to your workflow that first test for what the value of your Yes/No column is and set a variable to the text of “Yes” or “No” based on what the value of your column is.  Then you will have to use this variable to display the value of your Yes/No column throughout the rest of the workflow.

By having to deal with these extra problems (mine and those that John points out), I am of the opinion that it is usually best to simply use a Choice column rather than a Yes/No column unless you have a legitimate business reason to have to use the Yes/No column.  Thanks for your insight, John.

Displaying SharePoint List Data in another Site

Can you display a SharePoint List from one site as a Web Part in another site?  Yes, you can.  There are third-party tools that you can buy to do this; however, this blog post will show you how to do it with the FREE SharePoint Designer 2007 tool.

  1. As you can see I have a parent site “Jason’s Site” with a subsite called “Subsite.”  I have created a Web Part page on the parent site that I will use to display list data from the subsite.
  2. First you will need to open the site that you want the data to be displayed on in SharePoint Designer, and make sure that the Data Source Library is showing by going to Data View > Manage Data Sources.  Then you click on Connect to another library…
  3. Next, you will go through the following series of screens to navigate to the site that contains the list that you want to display data from.  NOTE: In the Choose a Web Site dialog you will do just that: Choose a Web Site.  Be sure not to actually navigate to the list itself.  Highlight the Site and click Open.

  4. Now you should see the site you chose displayed in the Data Source Library pane.
  5. Next you will need to open up the page that you want to add the Web Part to.  In this case I’m using a page called “ToDisplaySubsiteList.aspx".
  6. Place your cursor just below the <ZoneTemplate> tag, and then add a Data Form Web Part to the page by going to Insert > SharePoint Controls > Data View.  This adds a <WebPartPages:DataFormWebPart> to the page.
  7. Now, with the newly added Data Form Web Part highlighted in the Design screen (it is highlighted by default after being added to the page), drill down to the list that you want to display in the secondary site’s directory in the Data Source Library, click on the drop down menu for the list, and click on Show Data.
  8. Hold down the Ctrl button and click on each field that you want to display in the Web Part.  I’ve selected the first two fields in the screenshot below—“Title” and “Subsite.”  Then click on the drop down Insert Selected Fields as… and choose either Single or Multiple Item View.  I’m choosing multiple item view for this demonstration.
  9. Now your list data from one site will be displayed on another site through a Data Form Web Part.  You can use the Common Data View Tasks window, highlighted below, to fine tune how the Web Part behaves.  I am not getting into the details of how to do that in this post, but I will point out that you can do things like Filter, Sort and Group, set Paging options, and set Parameters for the Web Part (e.g. you can set a Query String Parameter for the Web Part to control what item will be displayed if you chose Single Item View.).
  10. Here is the page loaded in the browser.  We are in the Parent Site displaying list data in a Web Part from a subsite.  IMPORTANT NOTE:  You will need to be sure that individuals that you intend to display this data to on this site have permissions to view the data on the subsite, or the data will simply not appear.

KY SharePoint User Group—Presentation on Creating Custom Forms with SharePoint Designer

Last night Bryan Phillips (Microsoft MVP – SharePoint Services) and I co-presented a discussion on a methodology that we have refined for developing custom forms with SharePoint Designer.  We had a great time, and want to thank everyone for coming out and participating. 

The presentation included a step by step walkthrough of the most efficient and effective ways that we have come up with to quickly develop highly customizable forms for SharePoint using SharePoint Designer 2007.  The slide deck is being uploaded to the KYSPUG (Kentucky SharePoint User Group) website—  Click Here to download the slide deck OR, Click Here if the first link is not working. 

Hope you enjoy!  Thanks.

Also, you can check out our company website at

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SharePoint Designer 2007 Workflows—Can’t Specify a Task List

When you are creating workflows with SPD you may find that you need more than one Task type.  For example, you may have a VP Approval Task and a Job Posting Announcement task that get created at some point in the workflow.  Well, outside of the SharePoint Designer world you may choose to use separate Task lists for these different types of tasks.  However, SPD workflows will not let you specify a Task list when you are creating Task list items, either by using the “Create Task Item” action or “Collect Data from User” action.  So, if you have 5 different tasks being created by the SPD workflow, then all 5 task types must go into the same Task List.  Well, what if you need different workflow actions to take place based on which Task Type was added to the list?

I have found no way around getting SPD workflows to enter different Task Types into separate Tasks Lists, but I have found a simple and reliable way to be sure that you can do different actions based upon which Task Type has been created in the list through a secondary workflow.  Using the “IF” conditional branches, along with the Content Type field, will save the day when you have multiple Task Types being added into the same Tasks List by SPD Workflows and you need different things to happen based on which Task Type was created.  So, what you need to do is this:

  1. Create separate IF branches in one step (or separate Steps if you prefer—the workflow will simply skip over a step in the case of the IF statement not being TRUE) for each Task type that contains the actions that you want to take place for that task type

  2. On each IF statement, for each Task Type, you need to choose “IF Content Type equals TaskType.”  **This is important, see below.

** Anytime you create a task list item through a SPD workflow a Content Type is created on the Task list with the same name as what you called the Task List Item.  You will notice that the Title field contains the same text as the Content Type, for example if the Task is called “ManagerApproval” then both the Title field and the Content Type field will contain the text “ManagerApproval” when the task is created by the SPD workflow.  However, I have found that trying to make the IF statement be “IF Title equals TaskType” just simply doesn’t work sometimes.  I’m not telling you why, because I don’t know.  Just suffice it to say that using Content Type for the IF branches instead of Title has worked for me every time.