Archive for March, 2010


All Toolbars Missing from InfoPath 2007

An advanced InfoPath client of mine was working in InfoPath 2007 the other day and suddenly, all his toolbars disappeared.  Even the toolbar with the File menu on it was gone.  The only thing that showed up in design mode was the task pane on the right.

After talking with him, he told me he had repaired and uninstalled/reinstalled InfoPath but the problem remained.  After searching around the registry and thinking that I might have found something at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Common\Toolbars\Settings\Microsoft Office InfoPath, through trial and error we found that that key didn’t have any effect on the missing toolbar problem. 

I had him log on as another user and start up InfoPath and the toolbars were there, so it certainly appeared to be a user settings issue.  I found this article about Excel 2000 and decided to poke around and see if InfoPath had the same type of toolbar settings.  Sure enough, in C:\Documents and Settings\[UserName]\Application Data\Microsoft\InfoPath there is an infopath.tbs file.  After renaming this file and restarting InfoPath the toolbars reappeared.

Don’t know what happened to corrupt this file, but now we know how to fix it.


Can’t Connect to Virtual Machine in Hyper-V Manager

My cohorts and I spend significant time in Hyper-V and are really impressed with the performance improvements.  As we were resuming the installation of a SharePoint 2010 environment we ran in to a strange problem.  From Hyper-V manager we routinely connect to VMs, except today we could connect to some and not to others.  Weird.  On most we simply double-click or right-click and select Connect and we’re quickly on our way.  Performing these actions today, however, resulted in absolutely nothing happening on several machines.

After searching for answers, I happened to think about the potential of some left-over terminal services connections causing the problem.  Sure enough, I logged on to one of our other servers and found an administrative terminal services session open to the server exhibiting the problem.  After logging out of both sessions and logging back in to only one, the problem immediately went away.

Watch out for those dangling terminal services sessions!


The Infamous “Error updating a list item” Error Message on a SharePoint Designer Workflow

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this error message while creating SPD workflows.  Many times it is a permissions problem, as the workflow is generally running under the context of the credentials of the person who initiated it (at least in 2007).  Since the limitation exists in SPD 2007 workflows to not easily change the security context of the running workflow, I usually tighten the security around the lists and libraries I use to insure those participating in the business process workflows only have the security needed to function in their assigned role.

This particular "error updating a list item" problem was due to my overzealousness to log as much info as possible to the workflow history list.  Here’s what I was logging:


It turns out that that is too long!  If you look at the Description field on the Workflow History List you can see that it is defined as a single line of text, i.e. it can accept no more than 255 characters.  My log message exceeded this limit.

If you haven’t looked at the Workflow History List in SharePoint through the browser, you can use SPD to enable it so it shows on the "View all site content" page.  You can find it under the LIsts folder and select the properties sheet and uncheck the "Hide from browser" checkbox.



Installing Windows 2008 R2 on a Virtual Hard Disk on a Host Running Windows 2008 R2 – Error Code: 0x80070570

Okay, I know that this isn’t exactly SharePoint, but it’s kinda’ related.  Our team was working on setting up a virtual SharePoint infrastructure on a Windows 2008 R2 host…domain controller, SQL Server, SharePoint Server, Exchange Server, ISA Server, etc…and we were getting bit with an error during the installation of R2 on our first VM. 

We started by creating a VM in Hyper-V and mounting the D: drive (DVD) with the installation disk installed.  The VM would boot up and start the setup process, but would never get through the installation portion of setup.  You know, the part of setup that occurs after selecting the partition you want to install on.  We were getting errors like these:

The file or directory e:\windows\assembly\NativeImages_v2.0.50727_64\System.EnterpriseSe#\a3af29f85ea516622318918d50118d2is corrupt and unreadable.  Please run the Chkdsk utility.

Windows cannot install required files.  The file may be corrupt or missing.  Make sure all files required for installation are available, and restart the installation.  Error code: 0x80070570

Heck, we couldn’t even understand where the E: drive was coming from!  In the physical machine, the E: drive is just another standalone disk drive…it had nothing to do with the installation we were doing on the K: drive.  It sure seemed like our installation disk was corrupt.  So, we changed our installation method and mounted the ISO image and attempted to install from the ISO image.  Same (or similar error messages).

In our VM we were specifying a 10Gb VHD, which should be large enough to install Windows 2008 R2 (in fact, after we did get it installed, we had about 2Gb free).  It seems, by default, that the VM was being created with a dynamically expanding hard disk so, on a lark, we created a fixed disk of 10Gb.  Lo and behold, the installation continued successfully!

I know others have installed the OS on a dynamically expanding hard disk, so I’m not sure why our problem was so unique.  Perhaps it was because the physical hard drive we were installing on was on its way out.  Turns out our physical hard drive started giving us some real problems later on, but we were able to copy our VM to another drive and boot it up from there.  We still need to run some diagnostics on the questionable drive so I’ll update this post when I find out whether SeaTools thinks the drive is bad or not.

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