Jack of all that is Microsoft, Master of None

October 20, 2006

MOSS 2007: SharedServiceProvider & ‘Cannot Complete this Action’ Error

Filed under: MOSS 2007, MOSS 2007 Beta 2, SharePoint, SharePoint 2007 — cregan @ 4:19 am

Hi everyone,

I’ve been working on this large-scale MOSS implementation for some time now, and I’ve been able to experience the best (and worst) of MOSS so far.  One issue that has been bugging me and the users is that anytime they hit the sites on the server (single server implementation for development purposes), they would get the ‘Cannot complete this action’ error.  They would then click on ‘Go to site’ or refresh the page and the error would go away.  It was just one of those annoying errors that you don’t like to see, and makes users question MOSS’s stability.  In addition, on the Central Admin side of things, if I clicked on the name of the Shared Service Provider to access it’s admin web site, nothing would ever happen – no errors – just wouldn’t load.  But since the SSP wasn’t important to me in this dev implementation, I didnt’ think much about this issue.

So I had always thought that upgrading from Beta 2 -> Beta 2 TR would do the trick… I figured it was just an issue with Beta 2.  So after rigorous testing in our dev-dev environment, we then upgraded the single server development environment – successfully!  But guess what – ‘Cannot complete this action’ came right back… argh… very aggravating.

So I was digging through Central Admin when it hit me that maybe the SSP does have something to do with this error.  So I ended up creating  a new SSP, and I was able to access this SSP’s admin web site… but still couldn’t access the old one’s site.  I then changed the web application associations to the new SSP, made the new SSP the default, and then deleted the old one.  I then performed an IIS reset… because I knew this would always, like clockwork, cause the error when hitting the site.

And then the moment of truth – I hit all of the sites on the box.. and NO ERROR!  They all loaded, including Central Admin, and didn’t complain one bit.  So… the lesson learned here – check your SSP if you are constantly getting the dreaded ‘Cannot complete this action’ error on MOSS 2007 site load!

Good luck,


October 15, 2006

MOSS 2007 Backups – Find Your Databases

I was working on a Beta 2 -> TR upgrade the other day and came across a little tidbit that could come in handy one day, so here I am writing about it.   Basically, whenever I do anything that could lead to potential data loss in MOSS, I perform a couple of different backups just to make sure I’ve completely covered by rear:

  1. Run the MOSS Backup & Restore from Central Admin
  2. Backup all of the MOSS-related SQL Databases through the SQL Management Console
  3. Backup the IIS Metabase
  4. Backup the 12 directory

In 2003, my methodology was exactly the same, only for #1, I would run the SPS Backup Utility and for #4, I would backup the 60 hive.

Now, if you have a lot of databases to backup in SQL (my step #2), it can be a real pain to go in and manually backup each of them individually.  What I have found is that when you perform the MOSS Central-Admin based backup, yes, obviously it does backup the databases, and it backs each one up as an individual file… the only problem is that the filenames aren’t exactly the most informative (00000022.bak, 0000001A.bak, etc.), so you need to perform some simple work to determine what filename = what database. The reason I am writing about this is that once you know what filename = what database, you really no longer need to perform Step #2 and backup each database manually, thus saving you time.  You may be saying “Well then I dont have two backups of the databases,” but you can very quickly (and much more easily) have two!  So there are a few ways to figure out what database is what file after MOSS performs a backup and then get your extra copy:

 Method #1 – Log Files (Text way)

  1. Browse to the folder where you specified your MOSS backup should be saved to, and then open up the folder for the most recent backup (hint – look at the folder creation date).  If this is your first MOSS backup, the folder will be named spbr0000.
  2. In the folder, look for and then open the file spbackup.log.
  3. Browse through this file – you will want to find the first occurence of a line that looks very similiar to the following:Verbose: [SharePoint_Config] SQL Server Command: BACKUP DATABASE [SharePoint_Config] TO DISK=@db_loc WITH NAME=@db_name, STATS=5, NOINIT, NOSKIP, NOFORMAT, NOREWIND
     @db_name=SharePoint_Config, @db_loc=c:\mossbackup\spbr00000000022.bak
  4. Do you see what I see?  In the brackets [XXXXX] is the name of the database, along with right after @db_name – and then the last piece – @db_loc=  — this is what filename the database was stored as. 
  5. So now that you know the name of the file that correlates to your database, you can take a copy of that file and store it offsite, thus making life easier.

Note:  If you have any non-MOSS databases that are associated with applications within your MOSS deployment, you will still need to back these files up via SQL Management Console. 

Method #2 – via SQL Management Console (Visual Way)

I don’t have a copy of SQL 2000 installed on my MOSS server, so I don’t know if this method applies to SQL 2000-based installs.  But, for MOSS installed and using SQL 2005:

  1. Perform your MOSS backup through Central Administration.
  2. Open up the SQL Management Console.
  3. Right Click on a database whose backup filename you need.  Select All Tasks -> Backup.
  4. Within the window that appears, you will see the MOSS backup filename listed.  See the screen shot below… now you’ve got that filename!


Have a good one,

SharePoint Connections

I just wanted to let everyone know that B&R will be attending SharePoint Connections this year in Las Vegas, from November 6-9th (We will be arriving on the 5th – extra day to take in everything!).  Jason Medero & I will be there, and we are very excited, as this is going to be one heck of a SharePoint gathering!  If anyone is interested in getting together for dinner or drinks, please contact me via the Blog – and let’s set something up.

October 1, 2006

Congratulations, Jay!

Earlier today, I received notification that Jason Medero, a good friend, B&R Team Member & SharePoint Guru, was awared Microsoft MVP Status.  This is a huge accomplishment for Jay, as he has worked very hard over the past 2+ years becoming extremely knowledgable with all of the SharePoint products & technologies, and it is well deserved.  On behalf of the entire B&R Team, I want to congratulate Jay and I invite you to check out some of Jay’s work:

‘SharePointing Into Collaboration’ – Blog

MSD2D.com – Visit the SharePoint Administration & WSS Admin Forums


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