Apr 15 2008

Diabolical Microsoft Visual Studio Quirk

by andrew

[migrated from http://edgedev.blogspot.com]:

Yet again many things have passed that have made me go hmmm… I can’t believe I have documented practically none of them. And this one almost passed unaccounted for as well, but I could not let it go. It was simply too much.

But first I must say – I am not a Microsoft hater. I use its software every day and have very few complaints. But when I do, they are huge. It’s the little things that are big and the simple things that should be so easy that get botched so royally. And it drives me crazy.

After a couple days of removing a cornucopia of betas, CTPs, and various versions of Visual Studio 2005 (along with WPF, WWF, VSTO and other sundry extenstions) I was finally up and running with a clean slate to do some serious K2 and SharePoint development. Until I discovered I couldn’t save any projects.

WHAT!? “The operation could not be completed. No such interface supported.” Now there’s a useful error. Ummm… So now file system operations are not supported… Uh… right.

So, it took longer than it should have but I finally found this thread:

Which leads me to hypothesize that in all the uninstalling and re-installing perhaps this ridiculous setting in Visual Studio got mysteriously unchecked and that caused VS to stop saving projects? Right.

How much sense does a setting like this make anyway (yes, I get the point, but who in their right mind would ever want to create temporary projects); and more importantly – why does that setting seem to make it impossible to save your “temporary” project later?

After checking the box beside “Save new projects when created” and restarting VS all was well again in Not-Losing-My-Work-Land. Hmmm…

Sep 19 2006

Wild Jungles of Mannual MOSS Beta 2TR Removal

by andrew

[migrated from http://edgedev.blogspot.com]:

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: http://www.sharepointblogs.com/files/12210/download.aspx 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: