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,



  1. Hey Chris,

    I have been working on some B2TR upgrades and have run into an interesting issue – or set of issues I should add.

    Though I am a long way from being an expert in anything, I have performed over 3 dozen TR upgrades on existing servers. I know the pains, obstacles, and plain frustration like few others – perhaps.

    Now, these upgrades are somewhat different – 1 of the servers has custom workflow / features, a couple have custom web parts that use the MOSS API vs. just .Net 2.0 (which I have done on other TR servers).

    The upgrades appear to finish with error. But when you try to browse a site – you’ll get the error.aspx with the message that you should setup a custom error page to get a better error message. If I try something like browsing directly to the _layouts/settings.aspx page – I get an error stating the resource with tag ‘open_menu’ cannot be found. Almost like a JS piece is expected and yet missing.

    When I browse the upgrade.log on this upgrade I do see an error near the end – 2 of them actually – referencing a feature that could not be upgraded on this farm because it could not be found. The feature ID is the publishing layouts feature ID. Very interesting.

    These sites were Internet Presence Web Sites when deployed in B2 – so the custom master page will have deprecated items in it – but it has generally come up with an error representative of that. In this case, I simply get the errors mentioned.

    Yes, I can pull up CA – but not the site. Yes, I can create a new web app and site collection and browse it – just can’t browse the original site.

    Any ideas would be very much appreciated.


    Comment by MikeH - Another geek in need... — November 23, 2006 @ 12:51 pm

  2. SharePoint Blogs

    Trackback by Heather Solomon - MVP, WSS - Blog about Design, MCMS, SharePoint, and CSS — November 29, 2006 @ 11:00 pm

  3. Hi Chris,
    Do you know if there has been a fix released for the ‘Cannot complete this action’ bug?

    Comment by Victor — April 25, 2007 @ 6:18 pm

  4. Chris,

    Thank you very much for this solution. After much “head banging” this solved the problem I was running into

    Comment by Joseph — April 30, 2007 @ 11:29 am

  5. very interesting. i’m adding in RSS Reader

    Comment by Melina — December 20, 2007 @ 1:11 pm

  6. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for this post, after moving my sharepoint farms database 4 times now, each time there is something new to solve and I have learn’t it often involves the SSP and it’s admin site. So when I saw your post I had to give it a go – Many, many thanks Anita

    Comment by Anita Claxton — September 2, 2008 @ 8:35 am

  7. I am not able to open the site created by me and also not able to create site collections.Each time I get an error saying “Cannot Complete this action”.Could anyone Suggest the Solution to it.

    Comment by Rahul Singh — September 26, 2008 @ 5:20 am

  8. well, hi admin adn people nice forum indeed. how’s life? hope it’s introduce branch 😉

    Comment by cwxwwwxdfvwwxwx — December 25, 2008 @ 12:59 pm

  9. Just had exactly the same problem on a test MOSS RTM, and Microsoft has a KB fix :
    – add a registry key as follow to your Web Front End and retry the Create New Site, et Voila !

    NEW REG :
    Create New KEY under :
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\12.0
    Called “ServerLanguage”
    In that key , create a New Binary Value “1033”.
    Close Registry.

    Comment by François Souyri — March 5, 2009 @ 8:43 am

  10. Hi i followed






    3B96FA5A4045&displaylang=en)this install the templates correctly,
    and i goto activate the feature under “Site Administration->Site Feature” page during activation some feature(Bug Tracking
    Modules,IT Modules)is not activated showing error
    “Cannot complete this action.Please try again.Troubleshoot issues with Windows SharePoint Services”
    and some feature is already in exist(eventplanning.wsp,endinglibrary.wsp).
    afterthis my sharepoint website Home page also showing this error “Cannot complete this action.Please try again.Troubleshoot issues with Windows SharePoint
    Please help me,How to resolve this?
    Thanks in advance,vel

    Comment by velmurugan — July 1, 2010 @ 1:16 am

  11. […] MOSS 2007: SharedServiceProvider & ‘Cannot Complete this Action’ Error « Jack of all that i… (tags: moss) […]

    Pingback by links for 2010-10-05 « Jet Grrl — October 5, 2010 @ 8:37 pm

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