Sunday, July 16, 2017

Visual Studio Build Error - The "GenerateResource" task failed unexpectedly

Error: "The GenerateResource task failed unexpectedly"

This error is quite common while building the project in Visual Studio. This mainly occurs if the code has been copied from another location. 

This solution is pretty simple.
Locate and Open project folder -> obj -> Debug -> Delete content from this folder

Try to build now, should be successful now.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

SharePoint - Clear Timer Timer Cache / Clear Configuration Cache

On number of occasions we may need to Clear SharePoint Configuration Cache, also known as SharePoint Timer Cache. 
Let us consider one scenario; we have a SharePoint Farm with high availability (Streamlined topology with 4 Front End Web Servers), we want to change or reset Farm Passphrase. I changed the Passphrase successfully and now want to rejoin another Front End Webserver to the Farm which was disconnected earlier before resetting the Farm Passphrase.

Note: To know how to change the SharePoint Passphrase, please visit my article here.

I tried to run the Configuration Wizard on the Front End Webserver for rejoining it to the Farm and after entering the new Passphrase it stops with error "Could not connect to the Configuration Database, make sure the Passphrase it correct". 

To resolve this issue we need to clear the Configuration / Timer Cache from all the Servers on the SharePoint Farm, because the Farm is still using the Configuration Cache and we don't want SharePoint to do that.

You can find multiple script on Internet to run on CA Server to clear cache on all the Servers.
You can do it manually using the following Steps (On All Servers in the Farm):
You can find a nice powershell script to do the same with powershell here.

  • Login to the Server, Windows + R (Run) - Type 'services.msc' Or Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Services.
  • Locate SharePoint "SharePoint Timer Service", Stop the Service.
  • Open File System location: 'SystemDrive:\Programdata\Microsoft\SharePoint\Config' if you can't open it because of explorer settings, type ''SystemDrive:\Programdata' in Windows -> Run and then locate the Folder. Or you can change the setting to show Hidden Files/Folders in Explorer by going to Explore - > View -> Options - >Change Folder and Search Options -> 'View' Tab -> In hidden files and folder category, enable 'Show Hidden Files and Folders'.

  • You can see multiple folders inside the Config folder, locate the folder with a GUID naming convention with '-' hyphen used in name (you can have folders inside these folder, do the same for those folders as well). You may have multiple folders with this name format. Open each folder, there would be a file named 'cache.ini'. Take a backup of this file and delete all other files from the folder (mainly xml). Once you clear the folder -> copy the 'cache.ini' to the folder (if it is also deleted, if it’s there, you can use the same). Open cache.ini in notepad, you may see a numeric 5-6 digit value in that. Change that value to '1'. So the only text in the file will be 1. Save the file.
  • Start the "SharePoint Timer Service", within some time you will notice new xml files being created on the folder and cache file is also changed. This means everything is all right. Do this for all folder with the hyphen '-' based GUID folders and sub folders.'
  • This should be done on all the servers in the Farm, please note that; in my case I did it from only one application server (having CA) and the Front End Webserver which I want to rejoin to the Farm. And it worked for me.
Now your Configuration Wizard should run successfully.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Reset your SharePoint Farm PassPhrase

If you forgot or missed or want to change your SharePoint Farm PassPhrase, here are the Powershell commands.

$PassPhrase = ConvertTo-SecureString -String “yourNewFarmPassPhrase” -asPlainText -Force

Set-SPPassPhrase -PassPhrase $PassPhrase -Confirm

Note: Comfirm your new PassPhrase and you are Done.

To make sure everything work perfectly after PassPhrase reset, you need to reset the Configuration / Timer Cache from all the Servers in the Farm. Please check my article for the same here.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

SharePoint log error "Cannot find site lookup info for request Uri http://"

There are many reasons for which you can have this error in your SharePoint server logs.
One of the scenerio is explained below.

Main Reason:
One of the major reason for this error is; the SharePoint is not able to resolve the URL. There is something wrong with the alternate access mapping. Please make sure the alternate access mapping is configured properly.
For more details on alternate access mapping in SharePoint, please visit:

We had sharepoint 2016 and all website under that were https:// from the firewall.
When we tried to load the web site, error occured with a Correlation Id.
After checking the code I found the error message "Cannot find site lookup info for request Uri http://".

I URL was able to authenticate the user but on page load the error occurs.

My alternate access mapping was:

https://mysite                                         default                                               https://mysite

This is all right unless the User gets authenticated, but after authentication the next default load url picked by the web is with https:// as it is configured from Firewall not SharePoint. And Alternate access mapping doesn't maps the http:// url to the https://.  That's why we have this error in the log.


Add new internal url to alternate access mapping as following:
http://mysite                                          default                                                https://mysite

Hope this helps......

Sunday, October 16, 2016

SharePoint Solution (WSP) management using PowerShell

My recommended approach to manage SharePoint WSP solutions is; Powershell instead of GUI approach using SharePoint administration. Despite that, you can use the Central Administration to do that.
Open SharePoint Powershell or windows Powershell using ‘Run as administrator’.
If you open windows default Powershell , you need to load the SharePoint snap in explicitly, it auto loads in case of SharePoint Powershell.

PS C:\Windows\system32> add-pssnapin Microsoft.Sharepoint.Powershell

We will see some important Powershell cmdlet which are useful for solution management. (This article will be mainly focused on main parameters available with cmdlets, for all parameter details, please refer to Ms technet


Add-SpSolution -LiteralPath [path of the wsp file with name and extension]

Add a SharePoint WSP solution to the Farm.

Build your solution in visual studio, ->Publish to a folder. You will find a WSP file named with your solution name. For example, it is ‘MyCore.Aritifacts.wsp’.

Let’s add this solution.

Please check the solution has been added but not deployed yet.


This cmdlet deploys the installed sharepoint solution to the farm.

PS> Install-SPSolution -Identity nameOfTheSolution.wsp -GACDeployment -CompatibilityLevel 15
PS> Install-SPSolution -Identity nameOfTheSolution.wsp -GACDeployment -CompatibilityLevel {14,15}

This deploys solution to the farm and tells for the GAC deployment if required.
-CompatibilityLevel parameter is optional and following are the values which can be used with that.

Installs solution to 14 directories only
Installs solution to 15 directories only
Installs solution to both 14 and 15 directories
“AllVersions” or “All”
Installs solution to both 14 and 15 directories
“OldVersions” or “Old”
Installs solution to 14 directories only
“NewVersion” or “New”
Installs solution to 15 directories only

This deploys the solution to the farm, please check the snap shot of the SharePoint central admin- > solution management.

It is globally deployed. It means deployed to all the servers in the Farm. You can now activate the feature at Site Collection level depending on the scope of the feature.

Before you remove any deployed solution from the farm, you need to make sure that it has been retracted from the farm.

To retract the deployed solution, Remove-SPSolution is used as following. This is like preparation to completely uninstall a solution from entire SP Farm.

PS> Uninstall-SPSolution -Identity nameOfTheSolution.wsp

You can use the CompatabilityLevel parameter like we used in Install-SPSolution.

Cmdlet will ask if you are sure to complete the operation. Type “Y” if you are share to uninstall the solution.
The Admin panel shall look like following now.
This says the solution is not yet completely retracted.
After some time, it shall look like the following.
Solution “Not Deployed”.
Now are are ready to remove the solution completely from the Farm.

This command removed the solution from the SP Farm.

PS> Remove-SPSolution -Identity nameOfTheSolution.wps

This will again ask you for the confirmation, press “Y” if you are sure to delete. Once you press “Y”. This SP will start the removal of Solution from the Farm.

Check with in few seconds (depending on the size of the solution), refresh the solution management page in Administration and you will find the solution no more exists in the Farm.

Before I end the article there are some very crucial tips which you can use with the above command.
The Powershell in some scenarios will not allow your operations, for example, if the solution is being deployed on the farm, your uninstall command will not be accepted. If the solution is being retracted from the farm, you remove solution command will not be accepted. For real scenarios, I would encourage you to handle all these exceptions using the Powershell commands.

I am trying to install my solution on the Farm

Now immediately I tried to uninstall the Solution. Following is the screenshot of the error.

This throws an exception describing 'the solution can’t be retracted at the moment as it already under deployment or retraction'. In our case it is under deployment. In the same way if the solution is being retracted and you are trying to remove it shall through similar exception. I recommend to handle this in Powershell script like following. The screenshot below checks it the solution exists and is deployed to the Farm. After this verification only it commands to uninstall the Solution. Below the screenshot, I will provide the cmdlet as well.

PS> $spSolName = "yourSolutionName.wsp"
PS> $mySol = Get-SPSolution | where-object { $_.Name -eq $spSolName}
PS> $mySol

Name                           SolutionId                           Deployed
----                           ----------                           --------
yourSolutionName.wsp        797a6dd5-352c-418a-8ec6-2fb55c6740d7 True

PS> if($mySol -ne $null) { if($mySol.Deployed -eq $true) { uninstall-s
psolution -identity $mySol  }  }

Are you sure you want to perform this action?
Performing the operation "Uninstall-SPSolution" on target "yourSolutionName.wsp".
[Y] Yes  [A] Yes to All  [N] No  [L] No to All  [S] Suspend  [?] Help
(default is "Y"):Y

I am sure, now you have an idea how powerfully we can use the Powershell cmdlet for the basic operation. I would encourage you to prepare the script file for these operations. This was just an example to handle exception during uninstall, you can similarly handle exception for remove and other cmdlets.
You can similarly add a while loop in powershell to wait unless the Solution is ready to be installed/uninstalled etc.

while ($mySol.Deployed -eq $true)
           Write-Host -NoNewLine
           Start-Sleep -Seconds 2

I simply used the command in my already opened prompt (where I already have values for variable stored).
It just stopped after the first line (sleeps for 2 seconds before looping). Then I manually started the retraction of the solution from the Solution Management in Admin Panel. Once the solution status came to “Not Deployed”, then the command finished and went to the next line. Now you can understand how crucial are these cmdlets during Live scenarios of Solution Management in a Farm.

Keep Learning…...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

SharePoint PowerShell - BackUps and Restore

SharePoint: PowerShell - BackUps and Restore

Open Windows PowerShell using Run as admin
PC> add-pssnapin Microsoft.sharepoint.powershell

BackUp & Restore in SharePoint 2013

In SharePoint 2013, you can use Windows PowerShell functionality to perform a backup or restore process for the following items:
  • Farm
  • Site collection
  • Configuration database
  • Services
  • List or document

Farm BackUp
Backup-SPFarm -BackupMethod -Directory [-AssignmentCollection ] [-BackupThreads ] [-ConfigurationOnly ] [-Confirm []] [-Force ] [-Item ] [-Percentage ] [-WhatIf []]

Another Syntax(This doesn’t backups actually, it shows the items to be backed up in this command):

Backup-SPFarm -ShowTree [-AssignmentCollection ] [-ConfigurationOnly ] [-Confirm []] [-Item ] [-WhatIf []]

PS C:\Windows\system32> backup-spfarm -directory \\KSSHRPT01\FarmBackUp -backupmethod full
PS C:\Windows\system32> backup-spfarm -directory \\KSSHRPT01\FarmBackUp -backupmethod full -ConfigurationOnly

*The shared path shall be accessible from all the server. You can use local PC path in case if you have single server farm and have both SP and DB are installed on the same machine.

BackUp a Site collection
Backup-SPSite [-Identity] -Path [-AssignmentCollection ] [-Confirm []] [-Force ] [-NoSiteLock ] [-UseSqlSnapshot ] [-WhatIf []]

PS C:\Users\spadmin> $s = "http://ksshrpt01"
PS C:\Users\spadmin> $pth = "C:\KS\SiteBackUps\Primarysite.bak"
PS C:\Users\spadmin> backup-spsite $s $pth
PS C:\Users\spadmin> backup-spsite $s -path  $pth

Another way to do the same:

PS C:\Users\spadmin> get-spsiteadministration $s | Backup-spsite -path $pth

PS C:\Users\spadmin> backup-spsite $s -path  $pth -usesqlsnapshot -force
This example backs up a site collection using database snapshots to ensure backup integrity.Specifies a SQL Database Snapshot will be created when the backup begins, and all site collection data will be retrieved directly from the database snapshot. This snapshot will be deleted automatically when the backup completes
The UseSqlSnapshot parameter is recommended if the database server hosting your content database supports database snapshots such as SQL Server Enterprise Edition and SQL Server Developer Edition. This is because it will ensure a valid backup while allowing users to continue reading and writing to the site collection during the backup. It is not necessary to specify the NoSiteLock parameter when specifying the UseSqlSnapshot parameter.

PS C:\Windows\system32> backup-spfarm -showtree -item "Microsoft sharepoint foundation web application" -verbose
*Gives the tree path of back procedure, but doesn’t actually backs up the Farm.

PS C:\Windows\system32>Backup-SPFarm -Directory C:\Backup -BackupMethod full -BackupThreads 10 -Force
This example performs a backup of a farm using 10 threads and forces the backup to be saved to the C:\Backup directory even though SharePoint estimates that it does not have sufficient space available.

Performs a farm-level configuration-only backup.


Backup-SPConfigurationDatabase -Directory [-AssignmentCollection ] [-DatabaseCredentials ] [-DatabaseName ] [-DatabaseServer ] [-Item ]

Backup-SPConfigurationDatabase -ShowTree [-AssignmentCollection ] [-DatabaseCredentials ] [-DatabaseName ] [-DatabaseServer ] [-Item ]

The Backup-SPConfigurationDatabase cmdlet performs a configuration-only backup of the current farm or a configuration-only backup of a separate configuration database which is not attached to the current farm. If you wish to perform a configuration-only backup of the current farm, there is no need to specify the DatabaseServer and DatabaseName parameters. However, using the Backup-SPFarm cmdlet with the ConfigurationOnly parameter is recommended for such a scenario.
An example of a configuration backup is an administrator creates a farm configuration template which then can be applied to other SharePoint farms by performing a restore using the Restore-SPFarm cmdlet.

PS>Backup-SPConfigurationDatabase -DatabaseName SharePoint_Config -DatabaseServer SqlServer1 -Directory \\server\share\Backup -ShowTree

This example displays components that are available for inclusion in a configuration-only backup.

PS>Backup-SPConfigurationDatabase -DatabaseName SharePoint_Config -DatabaseServer SqlServer1 -Directory \\server\share\Backup -Verbose
This example performs a configuration-only backup with verbose output.


Returns a history of backup and restore operations.
The Get-SPBackupHistory cmdlet reads a history of backup and restore operations that have been run. Specifies whether you want to display only the backup history, only the restore history, or all of the history.

Get-SPBackupHistory -Directory [-AssignmentCollection ] [-ShowBackup ] [-ShowRestore ]

PS C:\Windows\system32> Get-SPBackupHistory -Directory \\KSSHRPT01\FarmBackUp

T S Operation ID                         Method    Start Time
- - ------------                         ------    ----------
B Y 3682c4c6-7eb8-4f61-9714-9870e67d9948 Full

PS C:\Windows\system32>

PS C:\Windows\system32>Get-SPBackupHistory -Directory C:\Backup -ShowBackup
This example returns all of the farm backup operations that have been run for the C:\Backup directory.

PS C:\Windows\system32>(Get-SPBackupHistory -Directory C:\Backup -ShowBackup)[0].SelfId | Restore-SPFarm -Directory C:\Backup -RestoreMethod overwrite

This example gets all of the farm backup operations that have been run for the "C:\Backup" directory, finds the most recent backup, and then passes its backup GUID to the Restore-SPFarm cmdlet. The Restore-SPFarm cmdlet will then perform an overwrite restore from that backup package.

Restores one or more items from a backup.

This cmdlet contains more than one parameter set. You may only use parameters from one parameter set, and you may not combine parameters from different parameter sets. For more information about how to use parameter sets, see Cmdlet Parameter Sets.
The Restore-SPFarm cmdlet restores one or more items from a backup such as an individual database, Web application, or the entire farm. This cmdlet can also be used to apply a farm template to the entire farm.

Restore-SPFarm -Directory -RestoreMethod [-AssignmentCollection ] [-BackupId ] [-ConfigurationOnly ] [-Confirm []] [-FarmCredentials ] [-Force ] [-Item ] [-NewDatabaseServer ] [-Percentage ] [-RestoreThreads ] [-WhatIf []]

Restore-SPFarm -Directory -ShowTree [-AssignmentCollection ] [-BackupId ] [-ConfigurationOnly ] [-Confirm []] [-Item ] [-WhatIf []]


PS>Restore-SPFarm -Directory \\file_server\share\Backup -BackupId 12345678-90ab-cdef-1234-567890abcdef -RestoreMethod new -ConfigurationOnly

This example restores the configuration settings from the backup package in the \\file_server\share\Backup directory to the farm.

PS>Restore-SPFarm -ShowTree -Directory \\file_server\share\Backup -BackupId 12345678-90ab-cdef-1234-567890abcdef -Item "Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application" -Verbose

This example show which components of the farm would be restored under the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application node, but does not actually restore them.

PS>Restore-SPFarm -Directory C:\Backup -BackupId 12345678-90ab-cdef-1234-567890abcdef  -RestoreMethod overwrite -RestoreThreads 10 -Force

This example restores a farm by using 10 threads and suppresses the overwrite warning.

Restores a site collection.
The Restore-SPSite cmdlet performs a restoration of the site collection to a location specified by the Identity parameter. A content database may only contain one copy of a site collection. If a site collection is backed up and restored to a different URL location within the same Web application, an additional content database must be available to hold the restored copy of the site collection.


PS>Restore-SPSite http://server_name/sites/site_name -Path C:\Backup\site_name.bak

This example restores a site collection from the backup file C:\Backup\site_name.bak to the site collection URL http://server_name/sites/site_name.

PS>Restore-SPSite http://server_name/sites/site_name -Path C:\Backup\site_name.bak -Force -DatabaseServer SQLBE1 -DatabaseName SQLDB1

This example restores a site collection backup from the backup file
C:\Backup\site_name.bak, but overwrites the existing site collection at http://server_name/sites/site_name while specifying that the site collection must be stored in a specific content database.

PS>Restore-SPSite -Path \\file_server\share\site_name.bak -HostHeaderWebApplication http://server_name

This example restores a site collection backup from the backup file \\file_server\share\site_name.bak to the host-named site collection on the Web application http://server_name.

Reference: MSDN

Visual Studio Build Error - The "GenerateResource" task failed unexpectedly

Error: "The GenerateResource task failed unexpectedly" This error is quite common while building the project in Visual Studio....