Tag Archives: SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 Error User Settings Not Initialized

Following a migration to SharePoint 2013, one user had the error whereby every time they loaded SharePoint they were confronted with the error “Error: User Settings Not Initialized”.


In order to fix the error, open the User Profile Service Application from Central Administration.  Next, click on Manage User Profiles and search for the affected user.  Choose Edit My Profile.


Scroll down to the bottom of the profile screen and select Always use my personal settings and select the appropriate locale.  Next, tick Use language and regional settings.  Click save and close.


The error should now have been resolved.  You can go back into the user profile and reset the two options you just changed.

Enable Searching For SharePoint 2013 Asset Library Items Using Keywords

Within SharePoint 2013 you have the ability to create an Asset Library.  This is a special type of SharePoint library, which is optimised for the storing of image, audio, or video files.  If you’re not familiar with this type of library take a look at this TechNet article.

One of the nice features of the Asset Library is the keywords column.  This enables you to assign metadata in the form of keywords, which can help with the discovery of library items using search.  For example, an image of an car could have the keywords transport or vehicle assigned to it.  Then, if a user searched for car, transport, or vehicle they would find the image.

I’m going to show the configuration required to enable searching for items using keywords.  Firstly, open the Asset Library settings and check the name of the keywords column.


Next, navigate to Central Administration and open the Search Service Application from Application Management > Manage service applications.  Open the Search Schema.


Click on Crawled Properties and enter keywords, then click the green arrow to search.


Click on the managed property called Keywords.  On the page that loads, tick the Searchable box and click Ok to save the changes.  Now, re-index the Asset Library, open the library settings, then Advanced settings.


Once the crawl has completed you’ll be able to search for images using keywords.


SharePoint 2013 Search – The Chart Cannot Be Rendered

Opening SharePoint 2013 Search Service Application and viewing the crawl health reports results in the error “The chart cannot be rendered. This may be due to a misconfiguration of the Microsoft SharePoint Server State Service. For more information, contact your server administrator. ”

In order to resolve this error run the commands below from and elevated SharePoint PowerShell 2013 management shell.

$Service = New-SPStateServiceApplication -Name “State Service”
New-SPStateServiceDatabase -Name “State Service DB” -ServiceApplication $Service
New-SPStateServiceApplicationProxy -Name “State Service Proxy” -ServiceApplication $Service -DefaultProxyGroup

Resolving SharePoint 2013 VSS Errors With Veeam And SCDPM

Backing up a virtual SharePoint 2013 environment using Veeam and MS System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 SP1 (SCDPM) failed with VSS errors.  Veeam is being used to create VM image based backups and SCDPM is being used to provide SharePoint backups with item level recovery.

The Veeam backup failed with:

Unable to create snapshot (Dell EqualLogic VSS HW Provider) (mode: Veeam application-aware processing). Details: Writer ‘Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer’ is failed at ‘VSS_WS_FAILED_AT_PREPARE_SNAPSHOT’. The writer experienced a non-transient error. If the backup process is retried, the error is likely to reoccur. –tr:Failed to verify writers state. –tr:Failed to create VSS snapshot. –tr:Failed to perform pre-backup tasks.
Make sure VM does not have ‘iSCSI Software Target Storage Provider’ feature installed.

The SCDPM backup ran, but logged the warning:

Backup metadata enumeration failed

DPM could not obtain backup metadata information for SharePoint Farm Sharepoint Farm\%SQL_SERVER%\SharePoint_Config on %SHAREPOINT_SERVER%. If the data source is a SharePoint farm then a valid recovery point has been created. However, content databases from this recovery point can be recovered using the alternate location option only. (ID 3134)

The SharePoint web front end server had two VSS errors in the Windows Application Event Log:

Event ID 8194

Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Unexpected error querying for the IVssWriterCallback interface. hr = 0x80070005, Access is denied.
. This is often caused by incorrect security settings in either the writer or requestor process.

PrepareForSnapshot Event

Execution Context: Writer
Writer Class Id: {da452614-4858-5e53-a512-38aab25c61ad}
Writer Name: SharePoint Services Writer
Writer Instance ID: {e3f3a187-6600-4750-b96d-b5579dc09e9d}

Event ID 8193

Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Unexpected error calling routine RegOpenKeyExW(-2147483646,SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Diag,…). hr = 0x80070005, Access is denied.

Initializing Writer

Writer Class Id: {da452614-4858-5e53-a512-38aab25c61ad}
Writer Name: SharePoint Services Writer
Writer Instance ID: {4d6e7cca-8810-41f2-a56f-ac87156c426f}

One of two SharePoint servers running SharePoint Search had one VSS error in the Windows Application Event Log:

Event ID 8213

Volume Shadow Copy Service error: The process that hosts the writer with name OSearch15 VSS Writer and ID {0ff1ce15-0201-0000-0000-000000000000} does not run under a user with sufficient access rights. Consider running this process under a local account which is either Local System, Administrator, Network Service, or Local Service.

Initializing Writer

Writer Class Id: {0ff1ce15-0201-0000-0000-000000000000}
Writer Name: OSearch15 VSS Writer
Writer Instance Name: OSearch15 Replication Service

When configuring SCDPM SharePoint protection you have to run the ConfigureSharePoint.exe command, see here for more details.  You provide this command with the SharePoint Farm Administrator account and this account is not normally an Windows Administrator on the server.  Event ID 8193 indicated that permissions were an issue.

In order to resolve the VSS errors, open registry editor on the web front end and search servers.  Navigate to HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Diag right-click on the key and choose permissions.

On the web front end server I granted the SharePoint Farm Administrator account full control to the key.

On both SharePoint Search servers I granted the SharePoint Search and the SharePoint Farm Administrator accounts full control to the key.  On one of the search servers under HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\VssAccessControl, both the SharePoint Farm Administrator account and the the SharePoint Search were listed, but on the other only the SharePoint Search account was listed.  I added a REG_DWORD key under HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\VssAccessControl and set the value to 1 for the SharePoint Farm Administrator account.

Following a reboot of the servers the backups worked correctly in both Veeam and SCDPM and the Event Log errors disappeared.

SharePoint 2013 Certificate Error Causes Performance Issues

Whilst working with a SharePoint 2013 environment I experienced slow page load times and poor search performance.  After initial page loads performance was fine for several minutes before the performance issue returned.

Opening the Application log within Event Viewer showed the following critical error with the text

“A certificate validation operation took 30015.2428 milliseconds and has exceeded the execution time threshold.  If this continues to occur, it may represent a configuration issue.  Please see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=246987 for more details.”

The fix for the problem is to export the SharePoint Root Authority certificate using PowerShell and import it into the Trusted Root Certificate store.  Open the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell as an administrator.

$SProotCert = (Get-SPCertificateAuthority).RootCertificate
$SProotCert.Export(“Cer”) | Set-Content C:\SProotCert.cer –Encoding Byte

Open the Certificates MMC by opening a Run command and type MMC.  Choose File -> Add/Remove Snap-in.  Select the Certificates Snap-in and click Add.  On the next screen select Computer account and click Next followed by Local computer and Ok.


Right-click on Trusted Root Certificates and choose All Tasks -> Import

SP2013Certs 2Complete the wizard by loading the certificate you exported using PowerShell.  Repeat the process on all SharePoint servers experiencing the issue.

These steps fixed the error on most of our SharePoint servers, but it remained on two.  In order to fix the error on the two remaining servers I configured proxy access through Internet Explorer, then from an elevated command prompt ran “netsh winhttp import proxy source=ie”  This configures Windows to use the IE proxy configuration as a default.  The servers were then able to access the internet and verify the certificates.


SharePoint Integrated SSRS Reports Fail To Run After An Upgrade To Claims Authentication

Following an upgrade to SharePoint 2013 and claims based authentication, SSRS reports fail to load and you receive the error “Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException: User cannot be found”.

SSRS Error 1 SSRS Error 2

Unfortunately, many blog posts and forum entries say that you have to reload all the reports and data sources and I’ve been unable to find any alternative.  What I describe here is my attempt to make the process of reloading reports and data sources as painless as possible.

Within SharePoint 2013, navigate to the SSRS report library.  Take a note of the configuration of each data source as you will need it later.  Next, take a note of the data source used by each report.  Next, from the ribbon, choose to “Open with Explorer”.

SSRS Error 3

Within the Explorer view highlight all the report and data source folders.  Copy and paste the contents to another location, e.g. local hard drive, or network drive.

SSRS Error 5

Now select all the folders on the local drive and copy and paste them back to SharePoint 2013, overwriting the existing files.  I found that following this process the data sources became disabled, so for each data source edit the data source definition, re-enter any credentials and enable the data source.

SSRS Error 7 SSRS Error 8

Once the data sources have been configured, reconnect each report to the appropriate data source.

If anyone knows of a better way, which doesn’t involve redeploying all the reports and data sources, please let me know!

SSRS Error 9


Viewing SharePoint 2013 Search Duplicates

SharePoint 2013 search hides duplicate results by default.  In order to view duplicate search results following the following steps.

Edit the search result page and edit the Search Results web part



Expand the Settings section and tick the box for “Show View Duplicates link”.


Save the setting and publish the page.  When you search for a term, hover over a search result.  In the panel that loads click on VIEW DUPLICATES.



For information on how SharePoint calculates duplicates see this blog post.

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))

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