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…