Change Locale of Site Variation Label in MOSS

Since some time, my customer had a nasty issue for which I did not see a solution at first. My customer is running its Intranet for years now on MOSS and uses a customized Publishing Portal with Site Variations in 3 languages, English, Dutch and French. The only problem with these Site variations is that the source Variation Label was created with the wrong Locale setting. The variation label was created with a name EN, language English (United States) , but with locale Dutch (Belgium) instead of English (United states).

Now when the hierachy was created, the subsite EN was created with the wrong locale. No problem there because you can change the locale of that particular subsite in the Site Settings – Regional Settings.

The problem my customer was facing is that clients targeting the root site collection and thus the Variation root site, where redirected to the wrong subsite if their browser had the locale Dutch (Belgium) defined. These client all ended up on the EN subsite instead of the Variation NL that was created with locale Dutch (Belgium).

The solution for this problem is to change the Locale in the Variation Labels in the root site. Unfortunately you cannot modify this value once the Variation Label is created (the field is greyed out). A possible solution would be to delete the Variation Label and recreate it. Because of the fact that this was the corporate intranet with lots of content on it, I did not feel very comfortable deleting the Variation Label, because this means you would have to delete the subsite as well before being able to recreate the Variation Label after which yould have to restore the subsite’s contents, etc. Furthermore the Variations system in MOSS is already very fragile and this would certainly break some other things.

Now after searching for a while and snooping around in the content database, I found out that these labels are stored in a hidden list in the Root site called, you’ll never guess, … “Variation Labels”. Now my trick for accessing this a hidden list by just typing the URL like Labels/AllItems.aspx did not work.

Powershell to the rescue!

I was able to access the list and change the locale value for the specific Variation Label with the following set of powershell commands:

#First Load SharePoint

#Connect to SPSite object
$site = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSite("")

#Connect to root SPWeb
$web = $site.AllWebs |where -FilterScript { $_.Url -eq ""}

#Connect to Variation Labels list
$list = $web.Lists |where -FilterScript { $_.Title -eq "Variation Labels"}

#Get the List item for the Variation Label
$listitem = $list.Items |where -FilterScript { $_.Title -eq "EN"}

#Check the Value

#Modify the value to English (United States)
$listitem["Locale"] = 1033

#Dispose of objects

Now if you ever need to chaneg the locale value, then this script will help you out. The only thing you need to find out is the value for your specific language. What I did to find out the specific value was to create a new Variation Label on my test environment with teh locale I wanted and fetched that value with the exact same commands.

Saving Document to SharePoint using Office 2003 resets choice metadata fields to default values

I was recently facing an issue as described in

Recap from original post:


  • A custom “Master Document” content type inherits from Document
  • The “Master Document” content type has five additional choice fields
  • There are five custom “Document Template” content types that inherit from the “Master Document” content type
  • Each of the “Document Template” content types uses a different Word document template (.dot) file
  • Each of the “Document Template” content types have been added to a document library


  1. I click on a document in the library
  2. Document opens up in Word 2003 for me to edit
  3. I make some changes and save
  4. A box pops up called “Web File Properties”. The window contains all of my custom metadata properties and the ContentType field. The ContentType field is set correctly to the current content type. The other fields are reset to their default values. This same window can apparently be opened by going to File -> Properties

This window by itself would be fine except for two reasons:

  • It includes the ContentType column
  • All of my custom metadata properties are visible but are reset to their default values instead of whatever values were previously selected. This means, every time the user wants to save the document, they have to remember what properties were tagged and set them back.


  1. Can I disable this Web File Properties box?
  2. If no… can I get the fields that show up to be populated to their correct values?
  3. If no… is there a way to disable my fields from displaying in this window?
  4. If no… is this a SharePoint page that I can modify?

***Edit with some more information***

It looks like this only happens in Office 2003 and looks like it affects Choice fields. If I create the same column as a Lookup field, it seems to work.

Edit again

Looks like if the lookup field is a multi-select field then it will not show up in the Web File Properties box at all (single select lookups still work).

edit 10/14/2009

Link to the KB Article mentioned below by Brenda:

My Solution:

Of Course the suggested hotfix, which in fact is the June Cumulative Update for WSS did not fix my issue, but I did find a solution at the end.

What really happens when you call the Web File Properties box is that your client will download 3 javascript files from the server:  bform.js, core.js and init.js. You can check this by by opening up the document library causing the issue and clearing your temporary internet files at that time. When you now call the Web File Properties in Word 2003 through File –> Properties, you will notice these 3 script files being downloadin in your temprary internet files folder.

On the SharePoint front-end servers, you can find these files in the 12-hive\Template\Layouts\<LCID> folders, where you have  to replace <LCID> with your language codes installed (1033, English; 1043, Dutch; …. you get the picture, right?)

So the problem is most likely caused by one of those javascript files. Now we have had the issue since we had installed SP2 and the June Cumulative Update. So I decided to restore these 3 script files and play aroun with these files for a while.

As it happens, my problem went away by replacing the bform.js file with a pre-SP2 version and clearing my

So if your issue does not get resolved by the suggested method of Microsoft, which is installing the latest Cumulative Update, then try restoring a previous version of this file and remember that you will need to clear this file from your client’s Temporary Internet Folder to force a download of the latest version from the server.


Update a SharePoint farm with minimal site downtime

It was the time of the year again to do an upgrade of several SharePoint farms for my customer. This upgrade was for installing SP2 and the June cumulative update on an entire farm and the requirement was to avoid too many downtime by the installation. This post will cover the process that I used to upgrade the entire farm.

Farm setup:
– 1 hardware load balancer
– 2 Web Front End servers (I will call the WFE1 and WFE2)
– 1 index server
– 1 SQL cluster

What I needed for upgrading the farm smoothly was a way to put a maintenance page for all web applications to appear when the content is really down. I used the simple ASP .Net trick by creating a – in my case custom –  App_Offline.htm file which mentions that the site is down for maintenance. Copying this file into the root location of each IIS website used by SharePoint Web Applications will show this message instead of the SharePoint content.

Another thing I wanted to do is to detach the databases before running the Configuration Wizard. Why? To avoid the upgarde to fail on a single content database and shorten the upgrade time. Once the config wizard completes, I reattach the content databases one by one, causing them to be upgraded at that moment.

preparation tasks:
– create a custom App_Offline.htm file for showing a maintenance page
– create a batch file that conveniently copies the App_Offline.htm file to all Web Applications (make sure not to copy it to the Central Admin WebApp) 
– create a batch file that conveniently deletes the App_Offline.htm file from all Web Applications 
– create a batch file that detaches all content databases for all Web applications with the exception of the Central Admin and SSP Web Apps ( add stsadm -o preparetomove command before detach database if you are still running MOSS SP1 pre-Infrastructure Update) 
– create a batch file that attaches the content databases

Upgrade process:

1.  Make sure that the hardware load balancers stops the services for WFE1 and only uses WFE2 to service user requests. We have an internal procedure that allows for manipulation of the load balancer. Actually we simply need to stop a custom IIS web site on the WFE server which will cause the load balancer to failover to the second WFE automatically.
   Availability Result: Users are still able to access SharePoint content through WFE2.
   Timing result: this operation took 2 minutes

2. Install the binaries for your SharePoint upgrade on WFE1. In my case WSS SP2 + MOSS SP2 +  all SP2 versions of the WSS and SharePoint Language Packs and finally installing the June Cumulative Update for WSS and MOSS. When installation completes, reboot the server.
   Availability Result: Users are still able to access SharePoint content through WFE2.
   Timing result: this operation took 50 minutes

3. Simultaneously install the same binaries on the index server. When installation completes, reboot the server.
   Availability Result: Users are still able to access SharePoint content through WFE2.
   Timing result: this operation took 40 minutes

OK So far so good. So basically, at this point, I have installed the binaries on 2 servers and I still have 1 to go, which is WFE2 that is still serving the SharePoint sites. I have two possibilities to continue:
– option1: install the binaries on WFE2 and reboot
– option2: run the configuration wizard on the upgraded WFE1 or the index server.

Option 1 will take all the sites down, because the installation of new binaries will stop IIS = Downtime and 404 errors. I cannot redirect my users to the upgraded WFE1, because the configuration Wizard has not run yet. So I am working with option 2

4. on WFE2 I launch my script that sets all my sites in maintenance mode (copies the App_Offline.htm file, that is)
   Availability Result: Users are not able to access SharePoint content, but they receive a nice page stating that their site is down for maintenance through WFE2.
   Timing result: this operation took 1 minute

5. on WFE2 I launch my script for detaching all content databases
   – this script launches a stsadm -o preparetomove command for each content database (except Central Admin and SSP databases). This command is no longer required if you have at least SP1 with the Infrastructure Update installed.
   – this script launches a stsadm -o deletecontentdb command for each content database (except Central Admin and SSP databases)
   Availability Result: Users are still not able to access SharePoint content, but they receive a nice page stating that their site is down for maintenance through WFE2.
   Timing result: this operation took 5 minutes ( I had 5 content databases)

6. on WFE1, run the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard.
If the upgrade process fails, investigate the log specified by the wizard, but also check 12-Hive\LOGS\Upgrade.log and the default SharePoint ULS logs. I have already seen that the SharePoint logs are written to the 12-Hive\LOGS folder instead of the location you specified in Central Admin during this upgrade process. After the upgrade your specified Logging location is used again.
   Availability Result: Users are still not able to access SharePoint content, but they receive a nice page stating that their site is down for maintenance
   Timing result: this operation took 15 minutes

7. Now that the farm configuration databases have been upgraded, your WFE1 is ready to start serving users again as soon as the content databases have been reattached. So, on WFE1 I launch my script to reattach the content databases. If one the operations generate an error, you can find the specific error in the 12-Hive\LOGS\Upgrade.log file.
   Availability Result: Users are still not able to access SharePoint content, but they receive a nice page stating that their site is down for maintenance
   Timing result: this operation took 10 minutes.

8. Make sure that the hardware load balancers starts the services for WFE1 and stops the services for WFE2 to service user requests.
   Availability Result: Users are again able to access SharePoint content through WFE1.
   Timing result: this operation took 2 minutes

My upgrade status is now complete with regards to the SharePoint content. My farm is servicing users again through a single Web Frontend Server for the moment, but it is servicing which is my main concern at this point. I no longer have downtime towards my users. If you add up all the minutes, then I have had a downtime towards my users of 33 minutes, which can be considered a small downtime. Now I continue with the rest of the upgrade process.

9. WFE2 is free now to do with whatever I want since it is no longer included in the load balancer pool.
– first, I launch my script to deactivate the site maintenance which simply deletes all App_Offline.htm files
– Next, I Install the binaries for the SharePoint upgrade on WFE2 + Reboot the server
   Availability Result: Users are able to access SharePoint content through WFE1.
   Timing result: this operation took 50 minutes

10. While WFE2 is installing the new binaries, I can run the SharePoint Products and Configuration Wizard on the index server.
   Availability Result: Users are able to access SharePoint content through WFE1.
   Timing result: this operation took 6 minutes

11. Run SharePoint Products and Configuration Wizard on WFE2
   Availability Result: Users are able to access SharePoint content through WFE1.
   Timing result: this operation took 8 minutes

12. Final step: Add WFE2 back into the load balancer pool

Although the entire operation took about 4 hours, there was a downtime of only 33 minutes for our users and furthermore our users did not hit any 404 pages, but received a nice site maintenance page telling them exactly what is going on. Needless to say, that my customer was satisifed with the result for the downtime

Hopefully this process is of any use to you guys.


Sample of my script files as requested by KbNk:

The maintenance mode script and the de-reattach scripts are simple batch files (*.bat).

Here is a sample for the scripts:

example data:

-> 1 Web Application with url http://webapp1.contoso.local
-> SQL server name: sqlserver01
-> content database name for the webapp: wss_content_webapp1
-> IIS Site directory location on file system: E:\IIS\mywebapp

– maintenance mode on script = simple copy command, no rocket science
   copy e:\App_Offline.htm E:\IIS\mywebapp\

– maintenance mode off script
   del e:\IIS\mywebapp\App_Offline.htm

– detach database batch file sample:
   stsadm -o preparetomove -contentdb sqlserver01:wss_content_webapp1 -Site http://webapp1.contoso.local  (Remove this line if you have SP1 wth Infrastructure Update or later installed)
   stsadm -o deletecontentdb -url http://webapp1.contoso.local -databaseserver sqlserver01 -databasename wss_content_webapp1

– attach database bacth file sample:
   stsadm -o addcontentdb -url http://webapp1.contoso.local -databaseserver sqlserver01 -databasename wss_content_webapp1

MOSS Auto-Install at Codeplex

I was once again installing a test machine from scratch with MOSS and while I was waiting for the setrup to complete, I wondered if anyone had come up yest with a fully automated install and configuration script. Well actually there is a set of scripts that can be found on Codeplex.

MOSS 2007 Automated Installation scripts

Project Description
This project is a set of CMD/BAT and PowerShell scripts which together provide a quick and near-unattended installation and initial config (SSP, MySites) of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.
Works on Windows 2003/2008, both x86 and x64 platforms.

This set of batch scripts is based on (but significantly extends) the scripts originally found in the Office SharePoint Server 2007 farm automated setup Codeplex project.

No more hunting around for your ‘latest’ MOSS installation doc/guidelines, squinting over screen captures, or worrying about whether so-and-so remembered to select that option while entering that username on that particular screen – all now merely relics of The Dark Age of MOSS Installations.

The scripts will:

  • Check whether the target server is running Windows 2003 or 2008, and whether the platform is x86 or x64
  • Prompt you to start at a specific point in the process, or simply run the entire script. Useful for 2nd, 3rd etc. servers in the farm, or subsequent attempts
  • Prompt you to enter all service account passwords (should you choose not to specify them in the script, for security reasons)
  • Automatically install platform-specific pre-requisites (e.g. IIS, .Net Framework)
  • Disable some unnecessary Windows services (configurable by editing DisableUnneededServices.ps1)
  • Install the MOSS build binaries with no user input
  • Run the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuation Wizard (psconfig.exe) in order to create the Farm (Config/Central Admin content databases, Central Admin site, help collections, etc.) – no user input
  • Configure and start SharePoint services (WSS Search, MOSS Search, Excel Services) – no user input
  • Create/configure your SSP and My Sites web apps, and create the SSP – again, no user input
  • Create the main Portal – you guessed it, no user input
  • Restart IIS, and launch IE to view the results of your hard work (just in time for your return from lunch)
  • Log all of this to %TEMP% and pop open the log file for review, when finished.

WSS and MOSS Language Pack Slipstreaming by Joe Rodgers

This question was wondering around in my head last week after having seen a slipstreamed distribution at one of my customers. Previously having been told it was not possible to slipstream language packs, I had my doubts and went hunting for some information.

I found the answer on Joe Rodger’s blog

He wrote: 

In case you didn’t know, you can slipstream server pack 1 (or the latest SP) of a language pack into the RTM service pack installation point, creating a single install point for each language pack include includes SP1.  You may think, big deal, I’m saving one installation.  That’s true, but if you have a a medium or large farm, it cuts the number of items you need to install by half, which can add up over time, especially if you have a dev and QA/staging environment you keep in sync.  Unfortunately, you can only do this per language, so you still need to do one install per language, but every little bit helps.

 For WSS Language Packs (example here is for the Spanish language pack):

  1. Download the WSS Language Pack RTM and SP1 packages for the languages you are installing to C:/WSS_LPs/Spanish.
  2. Extract the RTM package to a folder using the following command:

    C:\WSS_LPs\Spanish>SharePointLanguagePack.exe /extract:C:\WSS_LPs\Spanish\

  3. Extract the SP1 package to the UPDATES folder inside your language folder, using the following command:

    C:\WSS_LPs\Spanish>wssv3lpsp1-kb936988-x86-fullfile-es-es.exe /extract:C:\WSS_LPs\Spanish\Updates

  4. Install the language pack with SP1 by executing C:\WSS_LPs\Spanish\setup.exe


For MOSS Language Packs (example is for the Spanish language pack):

  1. Download the MOSS Language Pack RTM and SP1 packages for the languages you are installing to C:\MOSS_LPs/Spanish.
  2. Mount the ServerLanguagePack.img file using a virtual CD drive application
  3. Copy all the contents from the mounted volume to C:\MOSS_LPs\Spanish\
  4. Extract the SP1 package to the UPDATES folder inside of your language folder, using the following command:

    C:\MOSSLanguagePacks\Spanish>officeserverlp2007sp1-kb936984-x64-fullfile-es-es.exe /extract:C:\MOSS_LPs\Spanish\Updates

  5. Install the language pack with SP1 by executing C:\MOSS_LPs\Spanish\setup.exe

Prevent indexing of lists with MOSS

If you ever need to prevent indexing your lists in your MOSS farm by your SSP indexer, then you can achieve this by defining a crawl rule in the SSP > Search Settings > Crawl rules.

Use the following URL for your crawl rule to exclude lists:  *://*/lists/*

Evidently you can change it to have a specific list excluded too [:D]

How To Recover Your SharePoint 2007 Product ID by Bert Johnson

On my post about the SP2 bug, I had a comment by Bert Johnson about a post of his explaining how to recover the SharePoint 2007 Product ID from your system. This is indeed very handy if you do not happen to have it or find it anymore and do not want to bother your customer for it loosing face (again [:D])

Bert wrote a vbs script that decodes the Product ID from the registry key blob data where it resides.

Thanks Bert for sharing this information, which will probably help a lot of us out there.

Subscribe to Bert’s blog with this Feed:{071A5AE9-9B1F-44E7-8AF7-C0BC07CF531D}

The original post can be found at .

Here is the script :

' Extract MOSS 2007 Product ID
' Written by Bert Johnson (PointBridge)

Const HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE = &H80000002
Set reg=GetObject("winmgmts:{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\.\root\default:StdRegProv")

wscript.echo GetKey("SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Registration\{90120000-110D-0000-0000-0000000FF1CE}", "DigitalProductId")

Public Function GetKey(path, key)
    Dim chars(24), prodid
    Dim productkey(14)

    reg.GetBinaryValue HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, path, key, prodid
    For ib = 52 To 66
        productkey(ib - 52) = prodid(ib)

    'Possible characters in the Product ID:
    chars(0) = Asc("B")
    chars(1) = Asc("C")
    chars(2) = Asc("D")
    chars(3) = Asc("F")
    chars(4) = Asc("G")
    chars(5) = Asc("H")
    chars(6) = Asc("J")
    chars(7) = Asc("K")
    chars(8) = Asc("M")
    chars(9) = Asc("P")
    chars(10) = Asc("Q")
    chars(11) = Asc("R")
    chars(12) = Asc("T")
    chars(13) = Asc("V")
    chars(14) = Asc("W")
    chars(15) = Asc("X")
    chars(16) = Asc("Y")
    chars(17) = Asc("2")
    chars(18) = Asc("3")
    chars(19) = Asc("4")
    chars(20) = Asc("6")
    chars(21) = Asc("7")
    chars(22) = Asc("8")
    chars(23) = Asc("9")

    For ib = 24 To 0 Step -1
        n = 0

        For ikb = 14 To 0 Step -1
            n = n * 256 Xor productkey(ikb)
            productkey(ikb) = Int(n / 24)
            n = n Mod 24

        sCDKey = Chr(chars(n)) & sCDKey
        If ib Mod 5 = 0 And ib <> 0 Then sCDKey = "-" & sCDKey

    GetKey = sCDKey
End Function
Simply save that to a file named “ExtractMOSS2007ProductID.vbs” and run it to recover your key.  Once recovered, re-apply your Product ID through Central Admin, as outlined in KB971620.

How to upgrade to SharePoint 2007 SP2 – Step by Step by Chris Givens

I was reading trhough my blogroll today and noticed a very complete blog post for deploying SP2 in a large MOSS environment. It describes optimized steps for installing SP2 with lesser downtime as you would have by just installing it. Chris Givens is a SharePoint trainer. His Advanced SharePoint 2007 Operations course looks very interesting. Just a pitty that you have to go all the way to Seattle for it…. For us European trash guys, it is hard to defend that to our manager, right? 

So please, read through this post as it may help you with your upgrade of your farm if you have large databases.

This is the original content of Chris’s Post that can be found at

 built this lab for the latest update to my Advanced SharePoint Operations course.  But I felt like it would benefit the entire community…so here you go!  Good luck!

Module #25: Updating The Farm Lab #01


Course:                SharePoint 2007 Operations

Estimated Time to Complete:  45 minutes


·         Upgrade to SP2

Operating Notes:  

·         You will need sharepoint2007 and svr-sp2 images

·         Assumes that you are using SQL Server 2000/2005/2008 for your database server (Not Internal DB engine)


·         None


Overview:         Learn the steps of preparing your farm for upgrade and then performing the upgrade.

Exercise 1 – Prep the Farm

Purpose:         There are a series of recommend steps that will speed up the upgrade of your SharePoint Farm.  Following these somewhat simple suggestions will get you through the process much faster!  Rebuilding indexes will ensure that the upgrade process will modify the database schemas and records as quick as possible.  Truncating the log files will ensure that your backup and restores will run quickly.  Detaching

A farm ready for upgrade

Task 1 – Clean up the databases (rebuild indexes)

  1. Open SQL Server Management Studio
  2. Connect to your sharepoint database server
  3. Click “New Query”
  4. Run (press Atl-X) the following command on each SharePoint database (set the dropdown for each):
    • WSS_Content*
    • SharePoint_Config*

SELECT  object_id, index_id, avg_fragmentation_in_percent, page_count
FROM sys.dm_db_index_physical_stats(DB_ID(), NULL, NULL, NULL , NULL)
order by avg_fragmentation_in_percent desc

    DECLARE @objectid int
    DECLARE @indexid int
    DECLARE @command varchar(8000)
    DECLARE @baseCommand varchar(8000)
    DECLARE @schemaname sysname
    DECLARE @objectname sysname
    DECLARE @indexname sysname
    DECLARE @currentDdbId int

    SELECT @currentDdbId = DB_ID()

    PRINT CONVERT(nvarchar, GETDATE(), 126) + ': Starting'


       sys.indexes AS i
        sys.objects AS o
        i.object_id = o.object_id
        i.index_id > 0 AND
        o.type = 'U'

    OPEN indexesToDefrag
    -- Loop through the partitions.

        -- Lookup the name of the index
            @schemaname =
            sys.objects AS o
            sys.schemas AS s
            s.schema_id = o.schema_id
            o.object_id = @objectid

        PRINT CONVERT(nvarchar, GETDATE(), 126) + ': ' + @schemaname + '.' + @indexname + ' is now being rebuilt.'

        -- Fragmentation is bad enough that it will be more efficient to rebuild the index

        SELECT @baseCommand =
            ' ALTER INDEX ' +
                @indexname +
            ' ON ' +
                @schemaname + '.' + object_name(@objectid) +
            ' REBUILD WITH (FILLFACTOR = 80, ONLINE = '

        -- Use dynamic sql so this compiles in SQL 2000
        SELECT @command =
            ' BEGIN TRY ' +
               @baseCommand + 'ON) ' +
            ' END TRY ' +
            ' BEGIN CATCH ' +
               -- Indices with image-like columns can't be rebuild online, so go offline

               @baseCommand + 'OFF) ' +
            ' END CATCH '

        PRINT CONVERT(nvarchar, GETDATE(), 126) + ': Rebuilding'
        EXEC (@command)
        PRINT CONVERT(nvarchar, GETDATE(), 126) + ': Done'

        FETCH NEXT FROM indexesToDefrag INTO @objectid, @indexid, @indexname

    CLOSE indexesToDefrag
    DEALLOCATE indexesToDefrag

SELECT  object_id, index_id, avg_fragmentation_in_percent, page_count
FROM sys.dm_db_index_physical_stats(DB_ID(), NULL, NULL, NULL , NULL)
order by avg_fragmentation_in_percent desc



Task 2 – Check disk space on web and database servers

  1. On each web front end, open Explorer to “My Computer”, record your disk space.  Make sure you have at least 300MB free for install of files
  2. On each database server, open Explorer to “My Computer”, record your disk space.  Make sure that you have enough space to make a copy of your largest content database.
    • Example:  if you have three databases of size 10GB, 20GB and 30 GB.  Make sure you have at least 30GB of free space on your DB server.

Task 3 – Backup the databases (truncate and backup)

  1. Create a folder called “D:\Backups”, ensure that you have enough disk space to save all your backups to this location (add the size of each database to determine how much you will need)
  2. Run the following commands TWICE for each database (this will shrink, backup and truncate your database and log files):
    • WSS_Content*
    • WSS_Search*
    • SharePoint_Config
    • SharedServices*

use WSS_Content

dbcc shrinkfile ('WSS_Content')
dbcc shrinkfile ('WSS_Content_log')

backup database WSS_Content to disk = 'D:\backups\wss_content.bak'
backup log WSS_Content to disk = 'D:\backups\wss_content.bak'

dbcc shrinkfile ('WSS_Content')
dbcc shrinkfile ('WSS_Content_log')

Task 3 – Evaluate Database Size

  1. If you designed your farm wrong, it is possible that you have a single web application with a single content database that contains all your content.  This type of setup normally means you have a database that is going to get large very quickly and backup and restore operations, as well as future upgrades could take a considerable amount of time.  It is suggested that you create more content databases and partition your site collections across multiple databases.
  2. You have two options to do this:
    • Create another content database in the web application
    • Create another web application with a new content database
  3. Create a new site collection in your port 100 site
    • Open “Central Administration”
    • Click “Application management”
    • Click “Create Site collection”, ensure that you are on port 100 web application
    • For Title, type “SC2”
    • For URL, select “/sites/”, and type “SC2”
    • For owner, type “administrator”
    • Click “Ok”
  4. You will now have two site collections in your content database, you can use the following commands to backup a site collection, delete it and restore to a different web application (and hence a new content database):

stsadm -o backup -url http://sharepoint2007:100/sites/Sc2 -filename c:\backup.dat –overwrite

stsadm –o deletesite -url http://sharepoint2007:100/sites/Sc2

stsadm -o restore -url http://sharepoint2007:777/sites/sc2 -filename c:\backup.dat

  1. You can continue this process to load balance your site collections across multiple content databases and in essence distribute your database sizes so that upgrading will not be so painful.
    • NOTE: you can only use a url once in a web application

Task 4 – Detach the content databases

  1. Open the “Central Administration” site
  2. Click “Application Management”
  3. For each web application in your web application list (EXCEPT central administration), do the following steps. NOTE: Click “Web Application List” to see them all:

    • Click “Content Databases”

    • You will see a list of content databases for the web application
    • Click the database name

    • Click the “Remove content database” check box
    • Click “Ok”
    • Click “Ok”

    • Click “Ok”
    • You should now see that the web application has no content databases:

  1. Again, do this for every web application EXCEPT the Central administration web application!
    • NOTE: you may have several content databases…this may be a tedious task so you should likely follow step 5
  2. You can also create a command line utility to do this:
    • Open Visual Studio
    • Click “File->New Project”
    • Select “Console Application”
    • For name, type “ContentDetachAttachScript”
    • Copy the following into the program.cs file:

using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Text;

using Microsoft.SharePoint;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration;

namespace ConsoleApplication1
    class Program
        static void Main(string[] args)
            TextWriter tw = File.CreateText("C:/detachall.bat");
            TextWriter tw2 = File.CreateText("C:/attachall.bat");

            SPFarm farm = SPFarm.Local;
            SPAlternateUrlCollectionManager mgr = farm.AlternateUrlCollections;                                             

            foreach (SPAlternateUrlCollection altColl in mgr )
                foreach (SPAlternateUrl url in altColl)
                    if (url.UrlZone == SPUrlZone.Default)
                            SPSite site = new SPSite(url.IncomingUrl);


                            SPWeb root = site.RootWeb;
                            if (root.WebTemplate != "CENTRALADMIN")
                                //get the web application for the site collection
                                SPWebApplication webApp = site.WebApplication;

                                foreach (SPContentDatabase cd in webApp.ContentDatabases)
                                    tw.WriteLine("stsadm -o deletecontentdb -url " + url.IncomingUrl + " -databasename " + cd.Name + " -databaseserver " + cd.Server);

                                    tw2.WriteLine("stsadm -o addcontentdb -url " + url.IncomingUrl + " -databasename " + cd.Name + " -databaseserver " + cd.Server);

                                    //Console.WriteLine("Content Database [" + cd.Name + "] was detached");


                        catch (Exception ex)


            Console.WriteLine("Press enter to close");


    • Compile the program, press F6
    • Copy the executable to your SharePoint Farm
    • Run the executable
    • Open the C:\detachall.bat file , this file will contain all the stsadm commands that will detach all your content databases
    • Open the C:\attachall.bat file, this contains all the stsadm commands to reattach your databases (NOTE: you should attach one at a time in the later steps).

Task 5 – Backup important files

  1. If running in a virtual environment, backup your front end webservers main image file.  After doing this, you may skip the rest of these steps and head straight for upgrade!!!
  2. Web.config files for all web applications (located in WSS directory of wwwroot)
  3. Core Site definitions that were modified  ( located in 12 hive template/sitetemplates directory)
  4. Any customizations including:
    • Changes made to core.css
    • Changes made to javascript files
    • Pretty much anything you changed in the 12 hive…

Task 6 – Upgrade the servers (WSS)

  1. Stop IIS
    • Open a command prompt, run “iisreset /stop”
  2. Run “d:\lab files\25_Lab01\ wssv3sp2-kb953338-x86-fullfile-en-us.exe”
  3. Click “Click here to accept…” check box
  4. Click “Continue”
  5. The service pack should start…:

  1. When the WSS update finishes, the Configuration Wizard will start:

  1. Click “Next”

  1. Click “Yes”

  1. Click “Next”

  1. Click “Ok” at the information popup, the farm will start to configure itself.  This includes:
    • Updating DLLs (gac)
    • Creating/Updating registry keys
    • Creating/Updating 12 hive information
    • Updating web.config files
    • Installing new features
  2. The install should finish:

  1. Repeat the above steps for the svr-sp2 image

Task 7 – Upgrade the servers (MOSS)

  1. Stop IIS
    • Open a command prompt, run “iisreset /stop”
  2. Run “d:\lab files\25_Lab01\ officeserver2007sp2-kb953334-x86-fullfile-en-us.exe”

  1. Click “Click here to accept…” check box
  2. Click “Continue”
  3. The service pack should start…:

  1. When the MOSS update finishes, the Configuration Wizard will start:

  1. Click “Next”

  1. Click “Yes”

  1. Click “Next”

  1. Click “Ok” at the information popup, the farm will start to configure itself.  This includes:
    • Updating DLLs (gac)
    • Creating/Updating registry keys
    • Creating/Updating 12 hive information
    • Updating web.config files
    • Installing new features
  2. The install should finish:

  1. Repeat the above steps for the svr-sp2 image

Task 8 – Reattach the content databases

  1. Open the C:\attachall.bat file, run the attach command for each content database that you detached
  2. SharePoint will upgrade the database as it attaches it.

Task 9 – Verify Install

1.       Open the upgrade.log file (in 12 hive LOGS directory)

o    Look for “Finished upgrading SPFarm Name=<Name of Configuration Database>”

o    Look for “In-place upgrade session finishes. Root object = SPFarm=<Name of Configuration Database>, recursive = True. 0 errors and 0 warnings encountered.”

2.       If the above entries DO NOT exist, look for all instances of

o    “fail”

o    “error”

3.       Check version number on:

o    Owssvr.dll (in 12 hive isapi directory) should be “12.0.6421.1000”



o    Registry “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\12.0”


o    Central administration

4.       Check version of the sharepoint databases:

o    Run the following sql command on each database:

select * from versions
order by timestamp desc


o    You should get “”


5.       On Central Administration, click “Operations”

o    Click “Servers In Farm”

o    The version for the farm and servers should be “”


Task 10 – Check for SharePoint 2010 readiness

1.       Run the following command:

stsadm –o preupgradecheck


2.       Review the PreUpgradeCheck-*.htm file in the 12 hive logs directory (it should open in a browser window

3.       You should watch out for the following items:

o    The above command should be run on all Web Front end servers to ensure they are identical

o    You should review the Site Definition information for any non “Internal” site definitions, these will need to have an upgrade definition file.  Your developers will need to build this file for SP 2010

o    If you have language packs installed, you will need to install the latest version when SP 2010 comes out

o    Look for any referenced and missing features.  Either install them or delete the references to them

o    Depending on the type of upgrade to SP 2010 you do, you many need to plan for URL changes in your sites

o    Review the Lists that have more than the recommends number of items.  These could slow the migration process to SP 2010.  Consider removing the list or deleting items to shrink the list size

o    Review any Custom Field types that have been added to your Farm.  CAML is not used in SP2010 and each of them will need to be re-developed with XSLT in mind.

o    If you are running on 32 bit OS and Server 2003, you will need to start planning for migration to a 64bit server 2008 environment to run SP 2010

Bug in SP2 – product expiration date is improperly activated.

I saw this note on a linkedin post this morning and I immediately checked my calendar to see if it was April 1st today. Guess what, it isn’t….This bug will make SharePoint expire as though it was a trial installation 180 days after SP2 is deployed. Please check the original post on the msdn blogs here

To work around this issue you will need to re-enter their Product ID numbers (PID) on the Convert License Type page in Central Administration.  Please see this KB article for detailed steps. 

lessons learned in my last sps to moss migration project using gradual approach

I have been doing a fun project for a customer, which asked to have his SharePoint Portal Server 2003 farms upgraded to MOSS 2007 using the gradual upgrade approach. I wanted to share some tips and things to consider when you are facing such a project.

1. remove unused and/or previous versions of webparts fom the SharePoint configuration.

There can still be web parts registered in SharePoint that have been physically or manually removed from the virtual server. Check stsam -o enumwppacks for any webpart packages installed that are no longer registered in the web.config files and so on. Know that when you start the upgrade of the web application, MOSS will try to upgrade all registered webpart packages and that if it cannot find it anymore, the process will fail and you zill not be able to upgrade the web application until you have fixed this. 

2. check if your IIS sites have not been renamed

Another one of those things to keep in mind is the fact that when the farm is created in SPS, it writes down the name of the IIS web site in the configuration database. The MOSS upgrade will use this information to find out which IIS site corresponds to the SPS sites. If these sites have been renamed in the meantime and you want to upgrade a SPS web application, then you can get a message indicating that there is nothing to upgrade or you will also not be able to find your SPS virtual servers in the MOSS upgrade pages in Central Administration v3. If for some reason you are in a farm scenario and your IIS site name has been changed on another front end server and not on the one you are performing the upgrade, then you will not get this warning, but the MOSS upgrade will not update the IIS site with the alternat url or port that you configure and you will therefore need to make the changes manually.

3. consider adding an additional frontend server to be used as the server that performs the upgrades

When you are ready to start upgrading sites, you need to do this on a server running the Central Administration role and the Web Application role. Do not think you can get away by using your index server to do your upgrades. The moss upgrade pages go through your IIS configuration to find the web applications that can be upgraded. If you are going through the upgrade pages on a central admin site hosted on your index server and net having the web application role, you will not find any web applications and/or site collections for which you can start the upgrade. Of course having installed MOSS on top of your existing front end servers, already bring an additional load to those systems and your users will probably start complaining with performance issues. That is why I would advise havin an additional frontend server installed in your SPS farm and use this one for performing the upgrades.

4. beware of the side effects of prescan

Another thing that surprised me in the project is prescan. This required tool suppoedly does not change anything to your sites. However it does. You know when you are viewing a list of all yous Document libraries and lists in your site, that it mentions next to each list when the last modification was done in that library or list (e.g. 6 days ago). Well running prescan will reset that information. So while it does not actually change any documents or lists, it does change the last modified date of the list or library itself. Knowing this may help you when you get your users on the phone complaining that all the document libraries have been changed all of a sudden (after you have run prescan)

5. there is no stsadm command to lock/unlock a site in SPS

damn, this is a bugger. Planning to script the upgrade of each site I found out that you cannot lock a site in SPS using the commandline stsadm tool. Apparently this was only introduced in MOSS. I found the solution in SPSiteManager (see my post about it)

6. Plan your content databases in MOSS

part of my project I was asked to have tha large databases in SPS, split up in multiple databases in MOSS. I did this by using the stsadm -o mergecontentdbs operation right after the site has been upgraded. Unfortunately you cannot choose wher the upgrade porcess needs to put the upgraded site collection. Part of the preparations to your upgrade is the fact that you need to configure a 1 to 1 relation of your existing SPS content databases to your MOSS databases, meaning that if a site is located in a specific content database, that its upgraded version will end up in the configured MOSS database and nowhere else (even if there is a parameter in the stsadm -o upgrade command that allows you to specify the targetdatabasename)

A piece of good advise: If you are planning to have more content databases in a specific web application in MOSS than you have in the corresponding virtual server in SPS, create additional empty databases in SPS to match the number of content databases in MOSS. It will save you a lot of trouble if you need to revert an upgraded site and reupgrade it again.

7. Check your upgrade.log file

Every action that MOSS does which regards upgrades of web applications, upgrades of site collections and even reverts of sites is logged in the upgrade.log file. If you have chnaged the default logging location in Central Administration v3 – Operations – Diagnostics Logging, then do not expect the upgrade.log file to be there as well. This log file does not leave the nest. You need to find it in the 12-hive Logs folder. A good practice would be to clear this file before starting the upgrade of any site.

8. Know how to rollback a failed upgrade of your SPS virtual server.

I had this issue that I was finally ready to start the upgrade of the web application and that during this upgrade process the well-known “unknown error occured” appeared. When I went back to the upgrade page, I was not able to rollback this operation or redo the upgrade. So what do you do next? the answer is very simple: delete the newly created web application in MOSS and every change made to the IIS sites (URL redirection) will automatically be undone as well.

I am sure that I can add some otherpoints to this list, but nothing comes to my mind on this sunny sunday afternoon. If something does come up I will gladly add it to this post and share it with you guys.