Category Archives: SharePoint

Error Creating Publishing Sites In SharePoint 2013

I’ve come across an issue in SharePoint 2013 related to the creation of Publishing Sites.  Instead of the site being created, the user is confronted with the error below.


A list of errors logged in the ULS is at the end of this post, but the issue is due to access being denied to __DeviceChannelMappings.aspx.

To resolve the error use SharePoint Designer to assign the Restricted Read access to _catalogs/masterpage and DeviceChannels.

Within SharePoint Designer, right-click on masterpage and choose properties.


Click on Permissions for this list.


Assign Restricted Read permissions to the appropriate user, or group.


Next, repeat the process for the DeviceChannels folder.


List of ULS error messages:

<nativehr>0x81070211</nativehr><nativestack></nativestack>Cannot open file “_catalogs/masterpage/__DeviceChannelMappings.aspx”.

System.UnauthorizedAccessException: Access is denied. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED)), 

Unexpected error when trying to populate mobile mappings file ‘_catalogs/masterpage/__DeviceChannelMappings.aspx’ in web ‘/SITENAME’: Access is denied. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED))

A runtime exception was detected. Details follow.  Message: Access is denied. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED))  Technical Details: System.UnauthorizedAccessException: Access is denied. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED))    

Watson Reporting Cancelled) System.UnauthorizedAccessException: Access is denied. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED))   

Event log message was: ‘Failed to initialize some site properties for Web
at Url: ‘http://SITENAME&#8221;. Exception was: ‘System.UnauthorizedAccessException: Access is denied. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED))

Publishing Feature activation failed. Exception: Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException: Provisioning did not succeed. Details: Failed to initialize some site properties for Web
at Url: ‘SITENAME’ OriginalException: Access is denied. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED)) —> System.UnauthorizedAccessException: Access is denied. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED))

SharePoint 2013 SP1 Issue

If you haven’t already installed SharePoint 2013 SP1, don’t as there’s a packaging issue, read KB 2817429 for more information.

We have recently uncovered an issue with this Service Pack 1 package that may prevent customers who have Service Pack 1 from deploying future public or cumulative updates. As a precautionary measure, we have deactivated the download page until a new package is published.


Distributed Cache Service In SharePoint 2013

When planning your SharePoint 2013 farm topology you need to plan for the Distributed Cache service.  This feature provides in memory caching for features such as: newsfeeds, authentication, OneNote client access, security trimming and page load performance.

It’s important that you don’t run the Distributed Cache service on servers running SQL Server, Project Server, Excel Services and Search services.  This is because these services require large amounts of memory and therefore compete with the Distributed Cache service for memory.

Don’t use Dynamic Memory with virtual machines in SharePoint 2013 as the cache memory allowance is calculated based on the total memory of the server and the cache isn’t automatically re-sized if more memory is added. Additionally, all servers running the Distributed Cache service must have exactly the same amount of memory.  You can have a dedicated cache host, or run the service on multiple hosts in a cache cluster.

For more information on planning and configuring the Distributed Cache server see follow these links:

Manage the Distributed Cache service in SharePoint Server 2013

Plan and use the Distributed Cache service in SharePoint Server 2013

Installing SharePoint 2013 SP1 on Windows Server 2012 R2

With the release of SharePoint 2013 SP1, Windows Server 2012 R2 is now a supported platform.  In order to use Windows Server 2012 R2, download the SharePoint 2013 SP1 ISO from MSDN or Microsoft Volume Licensing as slip-streaming SP1 into non SP1 media is not supported.  Installing SharePoint 2013 on Windows Server 2012 followed by SP1 and upgrading to Windows Server 2012 R2 isn’t supported either.

I’ve found that the prerequisite installer within the SP1 media isn’t fully compatible with Windows Server 2012 R2 as it errors when enabling the Web Server and Application Server roles.  In order to install the prerequisites, open PowerShell as an administrator and run the following commands, updating the sources parameter to point to the SXS directory on your Windows Server 2012 R2 media.

Import-Module ServerManager

Add-WindowsFeature NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45,NET-WCF-TCP-Activation45,NET-WCF-Pipe-Activation45 -Source %SXSFOLDER%

Add-WindowsFeature Net-Framework-Features,Web-Server,Web-WebServer,Web-Common-Http,Web-Static-Content,Web-Default-Doc,Web-Dir-Browsing,Web-Http-Errors,Web-App-Dev,Web-Asp-Net,Web-Net-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Filter,Web-Health,Web-Http-Logging,Web-Log-Libraries,Web-Request-Monitor,Web-Http-Tracing,Web-Security,Web-Basic-Auth,Web-Windows-Auth,Web-Filtering,Web-Digest-Auth,Web-Performance,Web-Stat-Compression,Web-Dyn-Compression,Web-Mgmt-Tools,Web-Mgmt-Console,Web-Mgmt-Compat,Web-Metabase,Application-Server,AS-Web-Support,AS-TCP-Port-Sharing,AS-WAS-Support, AS-HTTP-Activation,AS-TCP-Activation,AS-Named-Pipes,AS-Net-Framework,WAS,WAS-Process-Model,WAS-NET-Environment,WAS-Config-APIs,Web-Lgcy-Scripting,Windows-Identity-Foundation,Server-Media-Foundation,Xps-Viewer,Windows-Identity-Foundation -Source %SXSFOLDER%

Reboot to complete the installation of the roles, then run the prerequisite installer within the SP1 media to install the other prerequisites.

SharePoint 2013 – Your Apps Stuck Loading

In SharePoint 2013 you go to add an app”and on the Your Apps screen all you see if Loading…



Check the App Installation Service timer job is enabled.  Go to Central Administration -> Monitoring -> Review Job Definitions.



Check the job is enabled and set to run every 5 minutes.  Click Run Now to run the job straight away.

SharePoint 2013 SP1

SharePoint 2013 SP1 has been released.  SP1 covers general stability, functionality and security fixes including compatibility fixes for Windows 8.1, Internet Explorer 11 and support for Windows Server 2012 R2.  Power Map for Excel 2013 has also been released for general availability.  For further information on what’s included and download links see below.

SharePoint Server 2013 SP1

SharePoint Designer 2013 SP1

Office Web Apps Server 2013 SP1

All other server products and language packs

If you’re using Power BI as part of SharePoint Enterprise you’re probably using Excel 2013.  Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Office 2013 is available here x32 / x64. Power Map for Excel is now native to Excel for Office 365 ProPlus users.  If you have Office 2013 Professional Plus or standalone Excel 2013 you can continue to use Power Map Preview until May 30th 2014.  More information is available here and here.

For information on how to apply updates to SharePoint see below.

SharePoint Server 2013 prepare to deploy software updates, install a software update.

Office Web Apps Server 2013

SQL Server 2012 SP1 PowerPivot For SharePoint 2013 Setup Error

During the creation of a SharePoint 2013 Enterprise server to investigate PowerPivot I ran into an odd issue during the SQL Server 2012 SP1 configuration.  Following the instructions here, I found that at the Instance Configuration step, the named instance screen was blank and un-editable, but installation failed to continue because I got the error “The Instance name is required but is missing.”  Below is how the screen looked.


The fix was easy, right-click on the SQL Server setup.exe file and choose Run as Administrator.  Oddly, I had to do this even that User Account Control was disabled on the server.  The named instance was then correctly populated as shown below.


Using The SharePoint 2013 Search Query Tool With Search Refiners

The SharePoint 2013 Search Query Tool can be used to query, test and debug, both SharePoint 2013 on-premise and SharePoint online search queries.  It’s available free from CodePlex here.  In this post I’ll show how you can use the tool to view a document’s refineable properties within SharePoint 2013 search.

For the purpose of this post I’ve uploaded a pdf to a SharePoint document library and applied a metadata value using a column called Document Type.


I’ve configured the property to be refineable and it’s visible on the search results page through a managed property called DocumentType. To find out how to do this, see my post here.


The SharePoint 2013 Search Query Tool is useful when you need to see what values are held within the search index.  Open the tool and enter a search term in the Query Text box.  Next, click the push pin next to Select Properties.  The Path, Url, Title and Author properties will be automatically added.  To show values for DocumentType managed property I added “,DocumentType” to the list (values are comma delimited).  Click Run to execute the query, then open the Primary Results tab.  For my test document you can see that DocumentType values are now displayed.


Restricting Access To Document Version History In SharePoint 2013

Using the Restricted Read permission in SharePoint 2013 it’s possible to prevent access to historical versions of documents, but it doesn’t work how I expected it to.

To enable the Restricted Read permission within a document library choose Library Settings from the ribbon.  Next click Permissions for this document library.  Tick the box next to the group for which you wish to enable Restricted Read and click Edit User Permissions from the ribbon.


On the screen that loads untick Read and tick Restricted Read.  Click OK to close.



This is where things don’t work as I expected.  I expected that when accessing the document library, the Version History option would be removed from the document properties menu, or the version history would only show the latest version.  However, when a user with Restricted Read attempts to open the document library from Site Contents they receive the error “Sorry, this site hasn’t been shared with you.”


Restricted Read is described as providing view access to documents.  It turns out that this is possible, but only via a direct link to documents in the library e.g. a URL on a page or search.

SharePoint Language Pack Activation & Blob Cache Errors

Following the installation of SharePoint 2010 SP2 I noticed a large number of event log errors for the Publishing Cache on web front end servers.  The error was “An error occurred in the blob cache.  The exception message was “The system cannot fine the file specified. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070002)”.


Looking deeper into the error using the ULSViewer I could see that the error was being caused by language pack files that could not be found.  The files could not be found because following the installation of the language pack the Publishing Infrastructure feature had not been reactivated.  The TechNet notes here state “After you install a new language pack, you must deactivate and then reactivate any language-specific features before you use the new language pack.”

In order to resolve the error I went into Site Settings -> Site collection features.  I deactivated the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure, then activated the feature.  You need to do this out of hours and it does affect your SharePoint site while the feature is deactivated.