Archive for the 'SharePoint Errors' Category


unable to cast object of type microsoft.sharepoint.webcontrols.splinkbutton

Been a long time since the last post…at least it feels like it.

Just finished troubleshooting an issue where a default page wouldn’t load.  The correlation ID pointed to an Unexpected error in the SharePoint ULS logs stating:

unable to cast object of type microsoft.sharepoint.webcontrols.splinkbutton

The site settings page would load (modifying the URL manually) as would View All Site Content.  However, clicking on any of the lists or libraries would throw the error.  We initially thought this was an issue with the default.aspx page getting corrupted, as we could create a new blank web part page in SPD, place it in the root of the web, and it would load up okay. 

What fixed this:  IISRESET!

Again, the same lesson learned, all over again.

SharePoint troubleshooting steps:

  2. Everything else

Web.config File Updating Automatically Every Night at 12:00 Midnight SharePoint 2013

We have a situation where we created a couple of SharePoint farms, QA and Production, that had some customized FBA implementations and implemented reversible encryption for the passwords.  Since the passwords are coming from a legacy system, we had to come up with a way to encrypt them and make them “decryptable” within SharePoint.  We were successful in doing this, but ended up having a couple of issues in production that would not allow users to log in.  Basically, their passwords were not being decrypted correctly.

This all begins in the <machineKey> section of the web.config.  The decryptionKey is used during the decryption process and, since this had to be supported across multiple machines, we made these sections the same across multiple machines and farms.  In fact, we had to use this on our legacy system so we could successfully encrypt and transfer the passwords from the AS400 (yes, mainframe).  This is what a <machineKey> section looks like.

<machineKey validationKey="8C3B5469A19FA84540F9B9E353679822934EF13EA0C26887B2AD4A6CA139BBBB" decryptionKey="634A6FD0D98D0A254D5E54F9D35287244C9DEB23A029BCAEA1C4FE21874C63AF" validation="HMACSHA256" />

When SharePoint is installed, it records some of the portions of the web.config file in the SharePoint configuration database.  These are located in the Objects table.


Allen Wang had a good blog post on the issue:  Here he identifies how to find the keys in the Objects table.  Here is a select statement with a part of the offending decryption key in the WHERE clause. 


This returns exactly one record.  Copy and paste it in something like Notepad++ so you can see it more easily.


Apply some XML formatting to more easily wade through the XML.  Here you’ll find m_ViewStateValidationKey and m_ViewStateDecryptionKey that correspond to the validationKey and decryptionKey in the <machine.config>


These were initially set when SharePoint was installed and, to my knowledge, there is not a “supported” way to change them in the config database.  Of course, any of us could change these in the database, but if you do make a good backup in case you need to put it back!

I can reason through why they do this.  Since the view state data is being encrypted/decrypted and there could be multiple WFEs, you certainly don’t want these values to be different across WFEs, lest your requests bounce across WFEs, as different values would yield different results, i.e. reading the view state would break.  That would be a mess.  So, they created a Health Analyzer rule to insure these values remain the same across WFEs.  Health Analyzer rules are viewed within the Monitoring section of SCA.


Here is the rule in the Health Analyzer.  Web.config files are not identical on all machines in the farm.  You can see I have already disabled this rule. 


I actually disabled this rule using the PowerShell command.  Here the rule name is ViewStateKeysAreOutOfSync. 

Add-PSSnapin microsoft.sharepoint.powershell
Get-SPHealthAnalysisRule ViewStateKeysAreOutOfSync | Disable-SPHealthAnalysisRule

Here you can see the relationship between the Name of the rule and the Summary of the rule from the PowerShell command, Get-SPHealthAnalysisRule ViewStateKeysAreOutOfSync.


Now, most of the solutions to this issue I’ve read employ PowerShell to disable this Health Analyzer rule, as shown previously.  However, you can also manage rules in the web interface.  The rules are in a SharePoint list, so simply click on the rule and edit it.


Here you can see there is another setting, Repair Automatically.  This is likely the culprit that is changing the web.config.  A Health Analyzer rule can be set to report the issue and/or attempt to repair the issue.  So, instead of disabling the rule completely, you can simply stop it from attempting to repair the issue.





An error has Occurred with the Data Fetch. Please refresh the page and retry.

An error has occurred with the data fetch.  Please refresh the page and retry.

I’ve seen this error multiple times with SharePoint 2013.  Seems like one time in the past it was related to some updates that needed to be installed on the server to fix the problem.  Most recently, I was working on one of our 2012 servers and this popped up again while attempting to access the site settings icon (you know, the "gear" icon).




I did some more searching and came upon a fix that worked for me.

In Sharepoint 2013 integrated SSRS 2012, on clicking on action in IE 10 some users were getting error:
an error has occurred with the data fetch. please refresh the page and retry.

On doing F12 we saw:
SCRIPT3: The system cannot find the path specified.
core.js, line 1 character 6957

On unchecking Tools => Internet options => Advanced => “Enable DOM storage” settings, it starts working.

  • Proposed as answer by SaurabhMathur Monday, August 31, 2015 4:05 AM

Monday, August 31, 2015 4:04 AM

So I gave it a try.  Go into Internet Options, select the Advanced tab and scroll down under Security and you’ll find "Enable DOM Storage."  Uncheck it.


And voila’!  It works for me!


Funny thing is, my Windows 7 machine has "Enable DOM Storage" checked, and it works fine.  So it must be something about the Windows Server and some update that is or is not installed.  I’ll update our server and see what happens next.


403 Forbidden Error on Custom FBA Login Page

We wrote a custom FBA login page and had it working in our QA system and were in the process of setting it up in our production system when we encountered a "403 Forbidden" error.  The page was written as a modification to the FBA pack on CodePlex and thus was located in the /15/template/layouts/FBA/OurCustomFolder directory.  After struggling with this for quite some time we finally realized we had set anonymous access on the site permissions in QA to "lists and libraries" (for another reason) and had not made that same change to production.


Making this change fixed our "forbidden" error. 

Interestingly, when using the out-of-the-box FBA login page, there was no issue.


SharePoint 2013: The server was unable to save the form at this time. Please try again.

I got this message, “The server was unable to save the form at this time. Please try again.” when trying to create a folder on a document library.  A quick search found this article where I found that restarting the "Sharepoint Search Hosting Controller" service fixed the problem.  That was weird!



Create MS Access View Missing after Installing Hotfix KB2553170

Windows 7 SP1, Office 2010, accessing SharePoint 2013 on both Office 365 and on-premises.

You might find you have an issue when attempting to create an Access view from SharePoint 2013.  In this case I was getting an error when I clicked on Access View, "Export to database failed. To export a list, you must have a Microsoft SharePoint Foundation-compatible application."


I found an article where this error was being discussed.  There was a hotfix issued in December 2013 that addressed the issue.  However, after installing the hotfix, I found the Access View link on the create view page was missing.  This required performing an Office 2010 repair (from Programs and Features) by selecting Change on Office 2010.


After doing this and rebooting, the link was back…and it worked!  This is the 2nd time in the last week I’ve had to perform an Office 2010 repair.  I think it all started when I installed SharePoint Designer 2013 on this machine (it already has SPD2007 and SPD2010).

Hey Microsoft, stop breaking your software!


Deleting List or Library Fields Breaks Data View Web Part in SharePoint 2007

Okay, I know this is OLD 2007, but some folks are still running it!

This is actually a two-part fix. 

  1. Fix the data source so it isn’t referencing the deleted fields
  2. Fix the web part so it isn’t referencing deleted fields from the data source

Here’s the web part that is showing an error because field(s) were deleted from the underlying list (library).


The data source will not return any data because it is also messed up due to the deleted list fields.


You can find the datasource in the _fpdatasources folder.


Then you can edit it in XML or Text mode.  You probably need to check it out first, or you won’t be able to save it!


Fix the data source.  This involves finding the field in the data source XML that has been deleted.  In this example, we have found <FieldRef Name="Scorecard"> that has been encoded (e.g. &lt;).  Delete it, and be sure you get all the correct text deleted. 


Now you can see the data in the data source once again!


You need to fix the web part by finding the extra field(s) that are being referenced and remove them from the data source reference.


In the code view, find the <DataSources> tag and you can then locate the <datafields> section where the deleted list fields are still present.  You need to remove them as shown above.





The server returned a non-specific error when trying to get data from the data source.  Check the format and content of your query and try again.  If the problem persists, contact the server administrator.

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