May 10 2009

Day 25-29: Over the Appalachians

by andrew

We are surviving our first bout of hard-core travel and campgrounding, but it hasn’t been without … um … “events” shall we say? I think I have previously lamented the fact that there are not enough nanoseconds in the day to do these tales justice with the flowing, detailed narrative they deserve. But let me recap the last few days of adventure in bullet form lest current events overtake the record and press it with their own need to be captured.

Day 25 (Wed, 5/6/09):

  • Intended day of departure from PA… slow going with all the final preparations even though we had done most of it the day before…
  • 3:00pm, still planning to leave and make some progress, final checks on the truck… needed oil change badly… likely not going to get on the road after all…
  • 3:30pm, Jaiden (age 2) falls in the creek and gashes the back of his head open, Reayah (age 5) was right with him when it happened, watching him like we’d asked her too; she got Bennah (age 7) right away because he was close by; Bennah pulls Jaiden out of the creek and stays with him (he’s soaked head to toe, his head is bleeding, and he’s screaming from the shock; knowing Bennah is with him, then Reayah runs to the the trailer (just a few hundred feet away) to get us; I run down there, scoop up my little brave soaking wet explorer and hustle him back to the trailer; Renee cleans him up, and we get ice on his head; he shows initial symptoms of a mild concussion; we pray for him, battle our fear, and the symptoms clear… at that point we were obviously not going anywhere that day… wanted to watch him closely and make sure he would be alright.
  • Jaiden was quiet for a bit but was his old giggly self before too long and the delay worked out to let us go visit some other dear friends about an hour away who we hadn’t seen in a long time.

Day 26 (Thurs, 5/7/09):

  • On the way to get some errands done in the morning (one of which was getting the oil changed) I got stuck behind some SLOW traffic with no passing lane. There were alternate routes I could have taken into town, but I was keenly aware of YHWH saying that the situation was an example to me: He is slowing us down, every part of our lives… our previous life was lived in such servitude to schedules and TIME… always trying to get things done in a rush or having to be somewhere quickly… we are learning to slow down and become more aware of the NOW.
  • Of course, that approach leads to things like 2pm departures. But we were finally on our way.
  • And our first real mountain driving across I-80… what another example of slowing down… pulling 17,000 lbs total up some climbs brought us down to 30 mph in a couple spots to keep all the gauges in the mostly happy zones. Average maybe 45-50 mph. 60 mph on the downhill. Slowing down like that was HARD (for me because I much prefer the speed limit +5 rule of thumb). But I learned how to ride my gears on the auto tranny based on the precise position of the pedal and the current RPMs, speed, and incline of the road.
  • How do I know we were pulling 17,000 lbs? Because we finally found a scale that worked. For $5 I found out that:
    • my front axle was carrying 3140 lbs (GAWR 4250)
    • my rear axle was carrying 5380 lbs (GAWR 6000)
    • my trailer axles were carrying 8760 lbs (GAWR > 8800)
  • What a relief – we were under ALL our limits, which up until then was actually quite doubtful. We are pulling more than the overall recommended weight for the stock make / model / year, but we’re not driving a stock vehicle… and we can always sacrifice speed to make sure we don’t overwork the engine.
  • We rolled into a Wal-mart in Ohio at 10:30pm only to discover we had NO power from the trailer battery. I knew I needed to replace it, but it had never been totally drained before. This meant no tongue jack (to relieve some weight off the truck for the night and stabilize a bit) and no slide-out (which means the kids room is barely accessible and the bathroom is inaccessible – except to Jaiden and Zach who can squeeze through). Then, after getting the kids to bed doubled up on the pull-out couch and fold-down dinette, some initial checks on the wiring suggested that the trailer outlet on the truck wasn’t wired right and maybe hadn’t been charging the trailer battery during travel. It was a project for the morning, but it was going to mean a LATE departure.

Day 27 (Fri, 5/8/09):

  • Renee entertained the kids in Wal-Mart the next morning while I discovered that positive cable connector had completely snapped off the terminal (hence, no juice). Battery also needed replacement. Not satisfied that the trailer plug on the bumper was resolved, but it could wait; new battery and cable rewired, we pulled out around 1:30pm, gassed up and hit the interstate once more.
  • We entered Sabbath with an Indiana sunset and a spectacular visual reminder of what we love so much about traveling.
  • For whatever reason, I was determined to get to Chicago that night, and be done with it. But wondering if we shouldn’t heed the lessons of slowing down I tried to stop at a Flying J around 10:oopm but it seemed to be rigged only for trucks (or cars) but there didn’t seem to be anywhere for RVs to park… which was very strange… but we pressed on…
  • YIKES. 90/94 W through Chicago at 10:30pm on a Friday night… talk about some serious prayerful towing driving… that is an experience I’d rather not have to repeat… ever…
  • 11:01pm pull into Wal-mart on the other side of Chicago and join the ranks of a couple trucks and a couple motorhomes.
  • Stabilized on the tongue jack but still not using the slide-out after confirming that the new battery did not charge during the day of travel.
  • Settled in for a crazy night of some of the most insane wind we’ve half-slept through ever. The Windy City’s way of greeting us I suppose. The trailer rocked and shook like a dingy tossed around at sea, and that next morning Wal-Mart’s array of plants outside the Garden Center in the parking lot had suffered the damages of a tornado through a trailer park on a botanical scale.

Day 28 (Sabbath, 5/9/09):

  • 9:00am on the way to our final intended resting spot for the area – Illinois Beach State Park – another hour north.
  • 10:00am pulled in, found a site, set-up, registered, Jonathan (my brother who lives in the Chicago area) arrived, and we thought to ourselves – smooth sailing from here!!!!
  • or not
  • Discovered that the fridge wasn’t on and wouldn’t turn on.
  • Zach (age 4) found a small bead the exact size of a 4-year-old ear canal and he had not been previously, properly trained about what things (i.e. everything) should NOT be inserted an inch or so into one’s ear.
  • Between Zach lying on his side on the couch, ear hanging over and down, Jonathan holding his head level, me underneath looking up from the floor with a headlamp shining like some sort of mechanic pulling his ear down and forward while squirting water into it with a syringe while Renee consulted her mom (a nurse) on the phone regarding the correct angle to pull a child’s ear when it has become the container for a foreign object… and MUCH prayer… we finally got the crazy thing out. I’m not kidding, initially you couldn’t even see the bead without pulling the ear back first and shining some light.
  • I finally found the access panel (on the OUTSIDE of the trailer) to check if the fridge was even plugged in… which it was not (shaken unplugged in our travels) and that was working again so we could finally explore the campground a bit.
  • Came back and headed to Jonathan’s (an hour a way) for an awesome home-cooked meal (thank you Jonathan!)
  • Back to the trailer after that only to discover NO power – AGAIN! Even though we were plugged into the campground 30 amp service. No matter what I did, every time I plugged in, I tripped the 30 amp GFCI breaker….

[historical background digression]: there is a story here. When we first got the trailer, I discovered that the ground pin on the main 30 amp shoreline cable was broken. Now I suspect that this was done by the previous owners intentionally after having some frustrating electrical issues with GFCI circuits at campgrounds, but at the time I was thinking… this is not right, it needs to be fixed. So, I cut off the old broken plug and wired in a spiffy new 3-prong 30 amp plug… and I immediately started tripping the breaker in the garage that I had previously been plugged into without any problems. Safety = Pain in the Bum. Just like in the programming world. (Security = Pain in the Bum). In fact, the overkill in both arenas of Safety and Security largely result from the moronic behavior of a few individuals who make life much more complicated for the rest of the human race. My solution a few months ago – plug into a different outlet in the garage that was not GFCI protected, and forget about the whole thing.

  • Ah… the GFCI incident came back to haunt me didn’t it, here months later, in the up-until-2-am-with-a-multimeter-and-internet-forums kind of way. Current theory: electrical systems in RVs can be a Pain in the Bum. Solution so that we could have heat, keep the battery charged, and I could go to bed: break the ground prong off of an extra 30 > 15 amp adapter and plug into the 15 amp service (also GFCI) for now. [THIS IS NOT SAFE. DON’T DO THIS. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED…. but if it comes down to survival… ;)]

Day 29 (Sun, 5/10/09):

  • Renee and the kids out for a walk while I narrowed down the electrical issue at least to a specific circuit in the trailer… the one that has most of the receptacles (outlets) and the converter (which converts the AC to DC for charging the battery and running the DC appliances). Now if I can just dig up a little more electrical know-how than I currently possess I might not have to pay someone to fix the whole mess for me. I get the feeling that it could get involved. Especially if most or all of the outlets on that circuit were wired with the ground and neutral bonded. Ugh.
  • Met Jonathan for a tasty lunch, because life must go on.
  • Got some grocery shopping done and other errands.
  • Including a couple outlet testers from Home Depot that ended up telling me nothing I didn’t already know (they say all the outlets check out just fine, so the mystery continues).
  • Took the kids to an amazing playground. There will be photos of it posted somewhere eventually.
  • Brought them home, fed them, got them to bed.
  • And here I am typing this.

Congratulations, you have passed the very useful course: Reading Andrew’s Long Winded Posts (Even When They’re Written in Bullet Format) 301.

For further entertainment:
Updated Trip data
Updated Map

I also have a bunch of photos queued for upload (and more that I have to sort and queue) but I have to wait for a decent hard connection to get the upload done.

Sep 16 2008

Bending InfoPath and SharePoint to Your Will: Dynamic, Filtered Queries through Data Connections with Minimal Code

by andrew

[migrated from]:

It seemed simple enough at first. All I wanted was a way to dynamically pull data from Lists and Document Libaries into InfoPath. Oh, but did I forget to mentioned that I also wanted the data filtered BEFORE it hit InfoPath because the Lists and Libraries might be massive (go figure). Trying several things, it became obvious that I needed a faster/better/easier method than any of the following:

  1. Using a baked-in InfoPath data connection to a List is easy, but it retrieves ALL List items and leaves filtering to the controls. This is obviously a horrible method when working with large data sets.
  2. Using custom code-behind on the InfoPath form to query SharePoint via the object model is perhaps the cleanest method, but adds code-bloat, is not very modular, and requires extra maintenance.
  3. Using a web service data connection from InfoPath to SharePoint web services (like http://[site]/_vti_bin/lists.asmx?op=GetListItem) would be perfect, except that InfoPath does not form the xml in the SOAP request correctly (i.e. the way that SharePoint is expecting) and returns an error. Actually, this boggles my mind. Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong here and/or if there is a clever workaround that I couldn’t find / figure out. This seems like an incredible oversight on Microsoft’s part for 2 products that are supposedly designed to play nice together.
  4. Since I’m in a K2 blackpearl environment, I also thought about using a SmartObject, which rivals option #2 for cleanest method, but it also adds an additional maintenance tail outside of InfoPath and requires additional wiring inside the form.

Looking for a solution, I stumbled on this article – – at the InfoPath Team blog which formed the basis for a new idea:

To summarize – if you don’t want to have to read through the whole article yourself: This little known feature allows you to pass GUIDs for Lists and Views, along with filter parameters, in the URL querystring to owssvr.dll and dynamically retrieve an XML “results” file. Furthermore, the URL itself can be used as the file location for an “XML Document” data connection in InfoPath.

The main hurdle is that, once the data connection is created, it doesn’t seem on the surface like there’s a way to dynamically update this file location to retrieve a different XML Results Document from a List or Library based on related fields in a form that has been opened. Well, it turns out that the InfoPath object model exposes this property and lets us manually execute the query.

In my particular scenario I wanted to retrieve a group of documents (metadata) from a massive Document Library where a DocumentColumn matched a particular FieldValue in the form opened. Here’s what I did:

  1. [Optional] Create a View of the List or Doc Lib that contains the specific fields you want retrieved into the Form
  2. In the Form, add a new Receive > XML Document data connection
  3. For the “location of the XML data file…” in the wizard use:
  4. [Optional] Include &View={VIEW_GUID} if you want to pull data and columns from a specific view that already exists or was created in step 1.
  5. Note: the GUIDs in the querystring parameters can be in either format:
    a. “{xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxx-…}”
    b. “%7BF498875E%2D5A645B%2D…” (as copied directly from SharePoint generated URLs)
  6. Complete the data connection wizard – this will add the unfiltered data connection results schema to the Form (you do want the unfiltered schema). Make sure the following settings are set as you complete the wizard:
    a. “Access the data from the specified location”
    b. [UNcheck] “Automatically retrieve data when form is opened”
  7. To add the repeating table that will hold the query results, find the xml/rs:data/z:row repeating group in the new data connection and drag it onto the form
  8. To complete the solution, a little code-behind is necessary (but it’s minimal and a LOT less code than method #2 mentioned at the top). There are probably several ways to do this (like wiring the code to a button or another event), but here’s my basic approach:
  9. Since the ID will already be stored in the form data by the time the user opens it (in the context of a K2 workflow), I use the form’s Loading event to modify the connection URL and execute the connection.
    a. In InfoPath Designer: Tools > Programming > Loading Event
    b. In Visual Studio Tools for Office: Insert > Loading Event
  10. The following code will append – at run time – the filter parameter and value from a field in the form to the XML Data Connection location URL and execute the data connection to retrieve the hits:

// we need to instantiate a typed data connection object
// to modify the query and execute the results
FileQueryConnection dc = (FileQueryConnection)(this.DataConnections
// next, we append the filtering values from the form field(s)
// to the existing URL already stored in the data connection
// –see notes for description of readNode()
dc.FileLocation += “&FilterField1=DocumentColumnName&FilterValue1=” +
//finally, we execute the data connection to return the results


  • readNode is a little helper function I add to all my InfoPath forms so that I can quickly retrieve the value of a node without having to jump through navigator objects every time I want to get something. It looks like this:
    public string readNode(string xpath)
    return MainDataSource.CreateNavigator().SelectSingleNode(xpath,
  • I think the SharePoint URL trick supports multiple FilterFieldX and FilterValueX parameters, so in theory, you could build pretty sufficient queries using the querystring alone. For example:
    This trick might also be leveraged throughout other events in K2 workflows since it returns standard XML and the query results are stored in /xml/rs:data/z:row.

Use this knowledge wisely. And have fun.

May 13 2008

Behind Enemy Lines: Document Information Panel Editing in InfoPath

by andrew

[migrated from]:

This one really had me wrapped around the axle for a bit, and ye ol’ trusty google let me down. Not a single applicable hit when I searched on [“form definition” “for dataObject”] so when I figured it out quite by accident I thought I’d contribute to the googlesphere and maybe help someone else out who might run into this. If anyone does. Ever. Ok, maybe no one else will ever have this happen to them, but it happened to me I promise.

I thought I’d go and customize the Document Information Panel for a Content Type – totally harmless right? Well, InfoPath didn’t seem to think so. And when I tried to attach to the Content Type’s schema as the basis for a new form (or when I tried to customize it straight from the link in the Content Type settings) i got this:

InfoPath cannot open the following form: C:Users[Name]AppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet FilesContent.MSO19D946AE.tmpcustomXsn.xsn
The XML schema file specified in the form definition (.xsf) file for dataObject “list_fb2ad403-eb57-43f2-8bee-e7574092cd4d” cannot be used.

Lovely. How informative and useful. It’s obvious from that error what exactly needs fixing. Ok, not really. At first I was at a total loss and decided to go home for the weekend. When I got back I realized that “list_” looked a lot like a list GUID. Since I was in a fairly new dev environment without too much clutter yet, I scanned through my lists and found a match on a list used as the source for 2 of the Look-Up Site Columns in the Content Type for which I was trying to customize the Doc Info Panel. Aha!

Removing both Site Columns from the Content Type and trying again, I was able to launch the schema for the form. Grrr… Hmmm…

So, was there anything weird about those columns? Well, they were look-up columns on a list with the multi-select and unlimited length in documents options checked. But what if I added them back to the content type and tried again?

Adding the first one back and trying again it worked! Alright. Adding the second one … NOPE! Crash and burn. What gives? Well, this must obviously be another stupid Microsoft bug. Incidentally, both look-up columns are based on the same column of the same list. I have a “From” and a “To” column that point to the “Display Name” column a master Names List. But I won’t be able to do both and still customize the Doc Info Panel. Bummer. Unless I can come up with some sort of work around (unlikely). But I’ll update this if I do.

[a few hours later]

Alrighty then. The enemy can be tricked. If you HAVE to be able to do this (like I do) here’s what you do:

  1. change one of the site Columns to point at a different look-up list column than the other one
  2. this will let you open the doc info panel successfully even with both site columns pointing at the same look-up list (albeit at 2 different columns within that list)
  3. in the field properties in infopath, open up the control populated from this look-up list column and change it back to the column you want to pull in
  4. in the Site Column change it back to point at the the right look-up column as well.

Voila! Happy ending. If I hadn’t wasted hours on something that should work anyway.

Sep 19 2006

Wild Jungles of Mannual MOSS Beta 2TR Removal

by andrew

[migrated from]:

So, I was merrily and methodically following the Microsoft documentation that came with the SharePoint 2007 Beta 2TR downloads, and everything was coming off without a hitch, until the Configuration Wizard choked, crashed, and then burned. In other words: The entire process was nearly complete, the updates had run flawlessly, but it was not happy. This is how I knew is was not happy:

Failed to register SharePoint services. An exception of type
System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException was thrown.
Additional exception information: Could not find stored procedure ‘dbo.proc_MSS_Cleanup’.

I discovered that it was incredibly not happy, in fact, when I could not even remove Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 from my system any more. The uninstall app launched from Add/Remove Programs just crashed within a couple seconds of Clicking Remove and then Yes. Every Time. So, I couldn’t fix it. And I couldn’t remove it and start over… at least not the easy way. The following is a record of my journey through the dark and creepy jungles of removing MOSS 2007 manually. Yes, I just said manually. Yes, it can be done.

Lessons Learned:

  • The slipstream method for installing the Beta 2TR update seems by far the simplest and most stable option!!! (See “Other Resources” below for good documentation)
  • Before trying the steps in this blog try running this command:
    12binpsconfig.exe -cmd upgrade -force

UPDATED Lessons Learned (several days after original post):

  • B2TR is VERY particular about having a clean slate (no previous installations of B2 on the machine).
  • My methods for removing everything mannually still did NOT make B2TR happy. I could install B2TR, configure, and setup all the farm services. I could create Web Apps and Site Collections – team sites worked just fine. But the publishing features and any publishing sites plain did not work. I suspect this has something to do with some WSS B2 stuff surviving the MOSS B2 removal, but I can’t be sure.
  • Bottom line – rebuild the server to make sure. This was the only way I could get everything to work after days of messing with it.
  • Again: The slipstream method is by far the easiest and most reliable method to install B2TR.
  • Even the basic setup in the Config Wizard (after a B2TR slipstream install) required that I set up the database (SQLServerExpress in my case) separately.

The following procedures worked for me to manually remove an installation of MOSS Beta 2 that was corrupted by the Beta 2TR updates. After all this, I was able to successfully reinstall Beta 2TR using the slipstream method. HOWEVER, you might seriously mess up your own system trying this, so be warned. Don’t even think about attempting it unless you know exactly what you’re doing and/or don’t mind rebuilding your machine from scratch (which I actually recommend as an easier and cleaner alternative to what is described below). Of course, if you don’t have any choice because you’re avoiding a complete rebuild at all costs (like me), then have at it!


  • When I say “delete” I mean (to the recycle bin) unless otherwise stated. Probably not necessary but maybe a cheap form of minimal insurance.
  • Backup any relevant parent registry keys before making edits (obviously these don’t go to the recycle bin when deleted 🙂 )
  • Hopefully my shorthand wildcard (*) notation will not be confusing. If there are multiple services to stop that start with SharePoint, for example, I might say: stop all SharePoint* Services… Should be intuitive.

Do the following to manually remove MOSS 2007 Beta 2TR:

  1. Delete folder C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedSERVER12
    (This is the key step that tricks your system into thinking MOSS has not been previously installed. After this step you should be able to re-run the setup and it will start from scratch with the Product Key instead of taking you to the Repair / Remove prompt. Don’t get excited yet, you still need to complete the following steps first)
  2. In Add/Remove programs find Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (Beta) and click Remove
    – you should get an error, click OK to remove from list anyway
  3. [Optional?] Delete every MOSS 2007 and WSS v3 related key UNDER HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionUninstall – do not delete the main parent key : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionUninstall – you will have to go through each sub-key and decide if it applies to MOSS (which, if you’ve tried to remove MOSS several times like me, might be a bunch) this is easy, just look at the value for the “DisplayName” String to be “Microsoft Office Professional 2007 (Beta)” or something similar
    – most keys to delete will probably end in 0000000FF1CE, but don’t forget about the OSERVER key (might get errors while deleting this one, but press on)
  4. Delete folder C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft Sharedweb server extensions12
  5. [Optional?] Using a tool like “SQL Server Management Studio Express” stop and/or delete your SharePoint database server instance (in my case, from a default basic installation: OFFICESERVERS). Disable its corresponding service in the system Services.
  6. In IIS, delete all MOSS and WSS v3 Web Sites and App Pools (at least 4-5 of them) and run iisreset at the command line.
  7. Delete folder C:Inetpubwwwrootwss
  8. [If applicable] Kill the following processes:
    – Microsoft.Office.Server.Conversions.Launcher.exe
    – Microsoft.Office.Server.Conversions.LoadBalancer.exe
  9. Disable all Windows Sharepoint* and Office Document Conversions* services in system Services
  10. Delete the folder C:Program FilesMicrosoft Office Server
  11. Delete the folder C:Program FilesMicrosoft Office Servers (if you get access denied, you will probably have to add full control permissions to the local administrator account – or whatever account you installed MOSS with – on that folder and make sure Read Only is unchecked and those settings pushed down to all sub folders. The folder C:Program FilesMicrosoft Office Servers12.0BinHtmlTrLauncher will not let you access / delete it otherwise)
  12. This step is scary. Run a file Search for wss in your c:windows folder. Delete EVERYTHING that might pertain to wss (but NOT things that are iffy like wssoc.dll and wssbrand.dll which both apply to Windows Storage Services) Repeat using the following searches (there will be lots of stuff in the Windowsinf folder to delete):
    – Sharepoint
    – OSS
    – [do NOT delete anything from the .Net 2.0 folders]
  13. Another scary step. Do the same thing with the registry (search and destroy). This will be much easier for you if you do NOT have SharePoint Designer (or Office 2007 Beta 2) installed, heh heh… I found and deleted the following keys (plus a few other similar ones):
    – Several keys under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID that hit on a search for sharepoint like {000502B8-C8FE-43C0-B0D9-FD18AB931AE9}
    – and {0451E372-3698-44A4-B7EE-C7B7F448C609}
    – and {04971529-2F83-4173-BD6C-244A897E5A0B}
    – and a whole bunch more… you get the idea. actually, i skipped some of those too, because it was taking too long. the key guid names might be different for you.
    – Roughly 30 Microsoft.Sharepoint.* String Values in the following key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTInstallerAssembliesGlobal
    – HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTInstallerPatches (the whole key)
    – every key ending in F01FEC found under the following key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTInstallerProducts to clean up Add/Remove Programs (I found a bunch of weird things got inserted into here because of something I did during this process… you might not have a bunch of entries to delete here)
    – every key ending in F01FEC under the following key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTInstallerUpgradeCodes
    – All Microsoft.Office.Server.* and Microsoft.Sharepoint.* keys from HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
    – All OSearch.* keys from HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
    – HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTRecord{0641D69F-CD7A-3EB5-89B8-2A1741786A64} and all similarly prefixed keys that hit on a search for sharepoint
    – All HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTSharePoint.* keys
    – All HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTSPSearch.* keys
  14. Reboot and hope for the best.

Try running the setup again from your local folder. After doing the above steps, I followed the instructions here: with the following exceptions:

  • During the Advanced setup, I had to take a couple extra steps in the Config Wizard because it couldn’t determine if the server was joined to a Farm or not. I got an error, but clicked OK, and the Config Wizard let me disconnect from the unknown farm. Then I just re-ran the Config Wizard and, much to my amazement, I was in business.
  • I did not use SQL2000 SP4 as the instructions did. I used a fresh new instance of SQL Sever Express by running the SQL Server Express Setup. I could have reused the OFFICESERVERS instance left over from the Basic installation I did a while ago, but I wanted a clean slate. In creating the new instance, I specified the [machine]administrator account (the same account used to install MOSS) to be the sql service account. Once my new instance was installed, I completed the Advanced Setup and just put in my settings like the example – using [Machine][New Instance Name] for the Database Server field.

Cleaning up:

  • If you have errors running the setup again, double check that the folder C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft Sharedweb server extensions12 is truly deleted. At one point I had an error about not being able to upgrade WSS because the database [which didn’t actually exist] was larger than 4GB… after poking around I found that the folder mentioned had mysteriously re-appeared! Maybe because I ran the setup again somewhere in there as I was experimenting… or something.
  • I must have gotten too zealous in the registry because I couldn’t launch Word 2007 Beta 2 after I was done. It said that it wasn’t installed for this user. So, I’ll just have to re-run the setup and do a repair. That should fix it.
  • If I have overlooked anything or left anything out, PLEASE let me know! Thanks!

Your time might be better spent just rebuilding the server from scratch. But if that is the route you need to avoid at all costs, hopefully, this will help you get back on your feet.

Other Resources: