Tuesday, February 3, 2009

HTTP 403 Forbidden Error After Installing .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 on Windows Server 2003 SP2 running MOSS 2007

I recently encountered a strange problem accessing my SharePoint0 sites and the SharePoint Central Administration site after installing .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 on my Windows Server 2003 running SP2.

The error message I recieved was the HTTP 403 Forbidden error. This was showing up for all sharepoint sites.

At first I tried specifying the URL along with the .aspx page name, resetting IIS, checking IIS to see if Integrated Authentication was enabled in IIS, and a bunch of other troubleshooting steps, with no luck.
I then decided to uninstall the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 using the Add/Remove Programs, but strangely the problem persisted.
Finally after some googling around, this is the workaround I used to fix this problem. I'm not sure if this is the best way of going about solving the problem, but it worked for me.
1. Open IIS (click Start -> Run -> and type inetmgr)
2. Expand Application Pools
3. Right-click Application Pool of your web application and click Properties.
4. Click the Identity tab in the property page
5. Under Application Pool Identity, choose Local System instead of Network Service
6. Click Apply
7. Click OK
8. Reset IIS

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cascading Drop Down List (With Filter) - Custom Field Control

The excellent SharePoint - Cascading Drop Down Lists provided by DataCogs is a great way to create relationships between fields/columns in SharePoint lists.

DataCogs Solution Page:

This was further enhanced by Patrick Tisseghem to allow a grandchild dropdown. Visit Patrick's Page at:

Expanding on Patrick's modified version to allow a grandchild dropdown list, I've added the functionality to filter the items in the dropdown.

Also, the "Required Field" validation was not validated accurately and this has been taken care of in my modified source.

Below find a few screenshots of configuring and using the custom field -

I have a list called 'Continents':

A second list 'Countries':

And a third list 'Cities':

In my fourth list 'My Location' in which I would want to have the three dropdowns displayed, I create three columns : Continent, Country and City using my custom field 'Cascading Drop Down List (With Filter)'.

The three columns created are -

Configuring the columns and using the filter -

When adding a 'New Item' to the 'My Location' list, the first dropdown will have "Please select an Item' (which is also something I added) as the first item in the dropdown.

Cascading Drop Down List (With Filter) in action:

According to the filter set, the list of continents that appear are only the ones that contain 'America'.

Many thanks to Datacogs and Patrick for their valuable contribution to the SharePoint community.

For the solution file (.wsp) and complete source code, please visit the project page at:

Please feel free to post your comments/suggestions.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Backup/Export fails with "Guid should contain 32 digits" error

I recently encountered the very irritating "Guid should contain 32 digits" error when trying to take a backup of my site collection. On doing a google search, I came across several forum posts and websites that helped me narrow down my search in isolating the problem. If you've come across this same error, I've listed below the steps you can take to eliminate the error and be able to take a complete backup of your site collection.

SharePoint Designer 2007 Site Backup fails with "Guid should contain 32 digits" error, when trying to backup a site collection. The exact error states:

"Error occurred while exporting the web http://site/
Guid should contain 32 digits with 4 dashes (xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx)."

Screenshot of the error

The reason for this "Guid should contain 32 digits" error is that SharePoint is unable to parse the file that contains the list of activated features/components in the Site Collection.


  1. Open the ‘feature.xml’ file located at:
    c:\program files\common files\microsoft shared\web server extensions\12\template\features\tsatypes\
  2. Inside the ‘feature.xml’ file, look for the elements –
  3. Take a note of the two files mentioned in the child nodes. In the example above (as will be the case in most instances), the files are ‘CTypes.xml’ and ‘Fields.xml’
    On opening the two xml files, you will notice several “Field ID” tags, with the value of the ID element containing a GUID of the SharePoint component activated. The GUID is contained within curly brackets { and }.
  4. Take a backup of the xml file (Fields.xml or CTypes.xml, or both)
  5. Modify the file and remove all of the instances where the field id # has the guid with the curly brackets { }. For example,
  6. Save the changes
  7. Reset IIS
  8. Try the backup again using STDADM using the command:

stsadm -o backup -url -filename

Screenshot of successful backup