Thursday, December 10, 2009

SharePoint A process serving application pool terminated unexpectedly. The process id was ''. The process exit code was '0xffffff

Oh joys of working in IT...

Some days are really bl**dy awful.

This morning my MOSS 2007 staging farm (thank god it was not the live one) was down, not able to go to ANY of the SharePoint sites.


1. Getting the cryptic "Service Unavailable" in IE when browsing to the SharePoint site (including the Central Admin)
2. Checking out in IIS the SP App Pools have crashed, tried to start them again, IIS reset but whenever I browse to the Central Admin again, the app pool crashes again.
3. The following events are in the System Logs

A process serving application pool terminated unexpectedly. The process id was ''. The process exit code was '0xffffff'

What's that? Never seen it before!?

And it only appeared at 3am this morning... hang on a minute... 3am?


After checking the almighty logs I worked out what KB was installed:

Restart Required: To complete the installation of the following updates, the computer will be restarted within 15 minutes:
- Security Update for Windows Server 2003 (KB974318)
- Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool - December 2009 (KB890830)
- Security Update for Windows Server 2003 (KB973904)
- Update for Windows Server 2003 (KB971737)
- Update for Windows Server 2003 (KB973917)
- Security Update for Windows Server 2003 (KB974392)
- Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer 8 for Windows Server 2003 (KB976325)

Doing a quick search in Google harvested the following:


Anyway, tried what was said there and installed Windows Server 2003 SP2 again.
That solved the crashing app pool problems but created a new one:

1. Now getting an error HTTP 403 when browsing any SharePoint site (including Central Admin)
2. In the IIS logs I get

2009-12-10 12:27:31 W3SVC1611466368 GET / - 1000 DOMAIN\username Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+MSIE+7.0;+Windows+NT+5.2;+Trident/4.0;+.NET+CLR+1.1.4322;+.NET+CLR+2.0.50727;+.NET+CLR+3.0.4506.2152;+.NET+CLR+3.5.30729) 403 14 5

Did some research and that came up

UPDATE (06/09/2012): Someone mentioned that the link above does not work anymore so let's go straight to the horse's mouth:

Extract from that page (i.e. solution):

To resolve this problem, reinstall Service Pack 2 for Windows Server 2003 on the web server.  This will bring all IIS 6.0 components up to the correct file versions, and will maintain the installation of the KB973917 update.  Reinstalling the KB98266 and/or KB973917 update should not be necessary.
NOTE: Re-installing SP2 will enable Scalable Networking Pack (SNP) Feature that is on by default with Windows 2003 Service Pack 2. When service pack 2 was originally released this caused the issues documented in the following KB:

It may be necessary to disable the Scalable Networking Pack after re-applying Service Pack 2 to address the issues described in KB 948496

That was my problem...

Central Admin is back.

Will try later to re-install the faulty KB973917 just for fun and because I really have time to waste in my day like Microsoft seems to think!!!.... NOT

Thank you very much Microsoft Automatic Updates for wrecking my day once more!

Monday, September 14, 2009

SharePoint Designer is POO!!! or sh*t, awful, crap, pants, annoying, badly-designed... basically a developer's nightmare!

Hi All,

It's been a while and I really feel like I have to shout about something today!

Hello my name is Etienne, I'm a hardcore SharePoint developer and have been for now 8 years. Just to say that I am starting to know my way around MOSS...

One thing that hasn't changed though is SharePoint Designer (aka SPD), the "tool" that is supposed to help you do stuff in MOSS 2007 (it was also called SharePoint Designer in 2003 and it's ancestor was FrontPage... have you ever seen/used FrontPage to do web development? If yes you will definitely know what I mean by "POO")

SharePoint Designer is an absolute pile of sh*t in terms of interface and SOOOOO annoying to use because it:
  1. Has very poor interface goodies unlike his big brother Visual Studio (which is awesome BTW as every .NET/SilverLight/SQL developer knows)
  2. Times out all the time (when it works)
  3. Tries to mess with your code and really "uglyfies" it
  4. Gives you errors constently for no reason
  5. Can REALLY break your SharePoint Site if you haven't been properly trained
  6. Extremely unintuitive whether you're a Monkey or a Genius
  7. ... and so much more I'm afraid!
The real problem is that without SharePoint Designer you are pretty much stuffed because this is the only app that will allow you to perform certain things in SharePoint such as creating DataViews or customising the look & feel of your site...

Emile summarises it perfectly (I love his article):

However, let me just say this to Microsoft, please please PLEASE! Drop this product and integrate ALL SharePoint development to the Visual Studio Interface!
Is that the plan for SharePoint 2010?
I really hope so cause I can't imagine myself having to deal with this "pile-of-smelly-stuff" ever again:

Thanks for listening & please leave comments if you agree with this post!

I feel alone today...


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One for the SharePoint 2007 community... Please welcome the "SharePoint Farm Browser" (Source Code available)!!!

Dear fellow SharePoint developers and administrators!

I am pleased to announce the "SharePoint Farm Browser for MOSS 2007" (you're going to love it) :)

I have been working with SharePoint for nearly 10 years, I actually started with the 2001 version back in the days...

Since then all my jobs have been around SharePoint and there is a tool that is SOOOOO needed in the MOSS world: an easy, quick and efficient way to view the ENTIRE SharePoint farm structure and some high level usage data.

Until today, only certain 3rd party tools could do that such as AvePoint Discovery tool and also credits to a few SharePoint bloggers for some code snippets that loop through Web Applications, Site Collections, Webs and SubWebs... but nothing was really doing the job properly FOR FREE!

The SharePoint Farm Browser is trying to tie everything together in one very simple "one form" win app.

The beauty of it is that it is a multi-threaded application and allows a SharePoint farm admin to view where the UI is at as it is traversing the SharePoint structure.

When the tool is finished you can produce 2 types of reports.

1. An XML file easily opened in IE and showing the farm structure
2. A CSV file showing the complete structure along with some high level usage data

Here is the code and I will put it on CodePlex when their servers are back up!

Hope this helps and saves some of you SharePoint workers some time and money!

Maybe that will help me become an MVP too... ;)