Thursday, October 16, 2008

A problem I faced with WSS 3.0 configuration

I’d like to share a typical problem recently I faced with WSS 3.0 configuration on a Windows 2003 Server.

I created a virtual machine with Windows 2003 OS and named it “myvpc” in a hypothetical workgroup viz. “WKGP” (I initially planned to use it in stand-alone mode). Then I installed all available updates to the Windows Server and .Net framework 3.5 with IIS followed by Stand-alone installation of Latest WSS 3.0. The default team site and central administration site were working smooth. I even created another application using central administration.

Later I changed my mind and thought that it would be better if I include this virtual machine into our company’s local intranet Domain. At this point of time I had to change the PC name from “myvpc” to “SUDEV-VPC” due to some or other reasons.

Now, suddenly none of the SharePoint sites were accessible even from the “localhost“! I opened IIS console and noticed that “SharePoint Admin” site was stopped!!! I checked the systems log and found many errors stating “Cannot connect to SQL Server. MYVPC\Microsoft##SSEE not found“. I was surprised to see this, why SharePoint did not understand the change in name of computer.

I just thought lets run the “Configuration Wizard” again for the WSS. I did it but it failed too at the step-5 saying “Could not access search service configuration database“.

I uninstalled the WSS 3.0 completely and restarted the OS. I noticed that IIS don’t have the sites I created using WSS anymore.

I installed the WSS again, ran the configuration wizard but just to get a disappointment. The error continues to occur. This time I checked IIS and found that the sites I created with previous installation have been created again on the same port (sounds strange again, how new installation of SP came to know about it?)

The WSS 3.0 was using same database (Windows Internal Database aka SQL Server Embedded Edition). But at some location it was using previous computer name and at other it was using new name. (Surprised?)

So I thought lets re-install the Windows Internal Database itself. There is no direct way to uninstall it. So I uninstall the WSS 3.0 first. And then with help of MSDN link (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc708610.aspx) I uninstalled the Windows Internal Database as well. I removed the data files from “%windir%\SYSMSI\SSEE” as per their suggestion followed by a system restart.

Now I installed the WSS 3.0 in stand-alone mode, ran the configuration wizard and guess what? The configuration wizard ran successfully and I was able to access the default team site and admin site again.

It took quite some time to figure out this solution but it worked for me. In your case you may need to retain the backup of the content database and configuration database before un-install and install of WSS.

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