Archive for May, 2010


Render Failed on SharePoint List Views

Today I helped a client solve one of the many mysteries around the infamous "Render Failed" that so many people seem to get at some point in time on MOSS 2007.  In this situation, the error started appearing on several list views and nothing had been changed for several weeks prior.

After some trial and error, I found the problem was tied to several site columns that were being displayed in the views.  The site columns were lookup columns and were used many places throughout the site hierarchy.  Of course, this happened on the same day that my son and daughter-in-law were having their first child (and our first grandchild), so I found myself troubleshooting from the waiting room at Medical City in Dallas.  I know this doesn’t have anything to do with the problem, but my son’s a new father and I’m a new grandfather…so sue me!  I’ve got a captive audience and I’m a proud grandpa.  🙂


Cason Noble Wright 2010-05-19

Anyway, it was really weird that nothing had been changed and this started and was fairly widespread.  After monkeying with filters, view styles, sorting, grouping to see if any of those things changed the outcome, I observed that, as I removed columns from the display, the views began to work.  That’s how I determined that the problem was tied to the site columns that were of the type "lookup."

To make things worse, later during the day the SharePoint site completely quit.  Now I suspected something was amiss on one of the servers.

This client has a simple two-server setup, so I VPN’d in to each server.  When I got on the SQL Server, I found that AUTOMATIC UPDATES was on and the machine had been updated and was awaiting a reboot.  Ah ha!  Finally a potential root cause. 

I quickly contacted the client and told them to reboot the SQL Server and the problem was solved.  And, TURN OFF AUTOMATIC UPDATES ON A PRODUCTION MACHINE!!!

Now, back to the grandbaby…

Reference Links:

Render Failed on a List View


SharePoint Issues



Microsoft SharePoint Site Down on the Day of the Launch?

Not sure if anyone else is seeing this, but I’m trying to get to the MS SharePoint site for the launch and nothing is happening!  I can get to just fine, but if I go to, it redirects me to and I get this:




Hope they aren’t running the site on SP2010 and this is indicative of things to come! 

Maybe I’m just too early.

Hey, now it’s showing up at 10:31 central.  I’m pretty sure it’s nothing I did. 



Guess I won’t be watching the keynote live…




Well, I guess it wasn’t just me. 

Yes, I love technology
But not as much as you, you see
But I still love technology
Always and forever…




Multi-valued (Multivalue) Fields (Managed Properties) in Search not Returning All Values

Update 20100908:  Leslee completed this in the production environment and it worked the first time.  I’m calling it a wrap!

Update 20100826:  We just did this in our staging environment and got it to work the first time through!

Update 20100802:  I’ve rewritten this post a couple of times, adding more detail as we find it.  We think we might be on to finding "the recipe," but we’ll only know for sure when we repeat the process in the staging and production environments and get repeatable results.  This post is "in-work."

Oh man, this has been driving us CRAZY (just ask Leslee)!  We have a multi-valued column in SharePoint (Subject) and we couldn’t get all the values to show up in the search results.  All we could get is the last value.  See this post: Always returning last value.

We had different results before we upgraded to SP2.  In SP1, we were getting some weird results with some of the values being returned as ;#Value;# or some such nonsense.  We hope we don’t see that again.

Currently, we are on SharePoint 2007 SP2 with the February 2010  June 2010 cumulative update with the infrastructure updates installed.

There were a few hints from Ontolica (Surfray) from this post.

From this post by Michael Schau, we started to deduce a method to fix the problem.  Here’s what we came up with.


  • Remove the mapping between your managed property and crawled property.
  • De-select the "Include values for the property in the search index" field on your crawled property.
  • Edit your crawled property category and select the checkbox to “delete all unmapped crawled properties.”
  • Reset all crawled content.
  • Perform a full crawl.
  • Add your mapping back between your managed and crawled property.
  • Change the HasMultipleValues column to True for your managed property in the MSSManagedProperties table in the Shared Services database (void your warranty).
  • Change the VariantType column to 4127 for your crawled property in the MSSCrawledProperties table in the Shared Services database (void your warranty again).
  • Perform another full crawl.
  • Perform an incremental crawl (not sure if this is really necessary, but it’s pretty quick).
  • Perform an IISRESET on all SharePoint boxes.

Let’s start with the ugly part first.  You’re not going to like this but, if MS doesn’t have software that correctly updates the database, then we’ll do it manually.  After all, it’s just a database!

Find your SSP database in SQL Server Management Studio.


Find the MSSManagedProperties table and open it for editing.  Locate your managed property using its FriendlyName and change the HasMultipleValues column to "True" (or 1).



Now find the MSSCrawledProperties table and open it for editing.  Locate your crawled property using its PropertyName and change the VariantType column to 4127.  We found when you change the VariantType to 4127 the Multi-valued field changes to "Yes."  All of the multi-valued fields we could find had this variant type.



The variant type for a text field is 31 (0000000011111).  The variant type that shows up on a multi-valued text field is 4127 (1000000011111).  Could it be that the leading bit identifies the field as multi-valued?  Here’s an incomplete table for the crawled properties in the SharePoint category.

Variant Type Multi-valued Decimal Binary
Text False 31 0000000011111
Text True 4127 1000000011111
Binary False    
Binary True    
Integer False 20 0000000000010
Integer True    
Yes/No False 11 0000000001011
Yes/No True    
Decimal False 5 0000000000101
Decimal True    
Date/Time False 64 0000001000000
Date/Time True    


You are done modifying the database.  Great job!  You’ve now voided your warranty.

Now we’re going back to Central Administration in the SSP where your search is located.

Remove the mapping for the crawled property from the crawled metadata store.  You can get there from the Metadata Properties page by clicking on Crawled Properties.


Find and edit your crawled property.  Remove the mapping and de-select the "Include values for the property in the search index" field.


Find your crawled property group (SharePoint in our case) and drill into it.


Click on Edit Category .


Select the checkbox to delete all unmapped crawled properties and click OK.


Reset all crawled content and perform a full crawl.  I hope you don’t have too much data!  Perhaps you should have thought to limit it before you started!


After the full crawl has completed, you need to add your property back.  It should be in the crawled properties.  You need to map it back to your managed property.  After you have it added back, perform ANOTHER full crawl, after which, you should see the property is correctly classified as multi-valued.


What does this get you?  Now, if you look at the raw XML search results for your managed property, you should see the multiple values returned.  In this example, we’re looking at a managed property called owssubject.


And, if you apply your XSLT, you should get something that’s nice looking, like this!


Search terms:

Multivalue fields in SharePoint search not returning all values

Multivalued fields in SharePoint search returning single value

Multivalued fields SharePoint search not working – broken

Can’t get multivalue field to return more than one result in Sharepoint search


Setting the URL and Hyperlink Description Simultaneously on a URL Field in a SharePoint Designer Workflow

If you need to update a URL field in a links list (or any other list) from SharePoint Designer, you need to know this little trick.  Create a string that contains the URL and description like this:


URL, Description


and then update the field with this string.  Notice there is a comma AND A SPACE after the URL.  There are no brackets, curly braces or octothorpes (# signs) involved in the string.


Using the string builder, you can see the "input" and the "output" of the workflow.






Tracking Down a “Sasquatch” Memory Leak

Just finished reading Todd Carter’s journey of tracking down a Sasquatch SharePoint object model memory leak.  Wow!  We’ve been working on cleaning up some of our client’s code according to the best practices document concerning using disposable Windows SharePoint Services objects (I’m not sure…looks more like an excuse document to me) and I’m beginning to believe that this may be the root of our problems.  There’s lots of custom code in this SharePoint application and we’re seeing application pool recycles every few minutes.  The biggest problem seems to be when we attempt to download a large (> 400Mb) file from SharePoint via the custom object model code. 

Richard Wixom, of DNSalePrice fame, has been working hard debugging this issue.  We may just be on to something!  We’ll let Todd (and others) know if this turns out to be the root cause.

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