How to annoy your SharePoint admins – Circular Loop with Lookup Columns

The SharePoint June 2009 Cumulative Update fix list contains this entry (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/970946/):

When a SharePoint user creates a circular loop between lookup columns, if you click one of the lists that contain lookup columns, this action will cause 100% CPU usage on the SharePoint server. To work around this issue, you have to perform an application pool recycle.

(Also mentioned on my SharePoint updates page: http://blog.hemker.de/sharepoint-updates/)

I tested and this issue can be reproduced very easily.

1. Create two custom lists, for example list1 and list2

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2. Create a column in list1, for example c-list1. It is of type “Single line of text”

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3. Create a column in list2, for example c-list2. It looks up the column c-list1 in list1.

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4. c-list1 cannot be changed to type Lookup, so we have to delete it.

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5. Recreate c-list1 as type Lookup and let it lookup c-list2 in list2.

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6. Open list1 or list2 and enjoy the CPU load. Only IISREST helps here. At least until the next access to list1 or list2.

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If you apply the June 2009 CU, one of the existing columns will be changed to lookup the title column in the other list, not the lookup column.

If you try to create the circular loop columns when the June 2009 CU is applied, one of the columns will be changed to lookup the title column in the other list, not the lookup column.

Sony PRS-505, eBook Library in Task manager, but no GUI

I have bought some ebooks for my PRS-505 with the Sony Software eBook Library.

Recently, I could not start the software any more. The process “ebook Library.exe” was shown in Task Manager, but the GUI was not there.

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After some investigation I found this instructions at Sony:

    1. Click the Start button and click Computer .
    2. In the address bar, type C:\programdata and press Enter .
    3. In the ProgramData window, right-click the kinoma folder and click Delete .
    4. Right-click the Marlin folder and click Delete .
    5. In the address bar, click Local Disk C: , then open the Program Files folder.
    6. In the Program Files window, open the Sony folder.
    7. In the Sony window, right-click the Reader folder and click Delete .
    8. In the address bar, click Local Disk C: , then open the Users folder.
    9. In the Users window, open your username folder.
    10. In the username folder, open the AppData folder.
    11. In the AppData window, open the Local folder.
    12. In the Local folder, right-click the kinoma folder and click Delete .
    13. In the Local window, open the Sony Corporation folder.
    14. In the Sony Corporation window, right-click the eBook Library folder and click Delete .
    15. Close the Reader window and install the Reader software.

Source: http://www.kb.sony.com/selfservice/documentLink.do?externalId=C559635

Two things to consider before you start:

1. Uninstall the software first
2. Some folders are hidden, be sure that you enable Show hidden files.

For managing your ebooks I highly recommend calibre: http://calibre.kovidgoyal.net/

SharePoint (MOSS) Search, wrong IP in HOSTS file

A customer recently had problems with crawling his Web Application. This problems were solved, but after that, the crawl broke again.

After some investigation, I found out that the IP address of the dedicated WFE for crawling was wrong. SharePoint entered the wrong IP address in the HOSTS file.

What happened?
I configured the Search Service to use one dedicated WFE for crawling. This is very useful, because the other two WFEs can be used for user access only (they are load balanced).

Here is a picture of that:

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I discovered that the HOSTS file was filled with the first entry IPCONFIG shows on the target WFE:

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The .178 was added to the HOSTS file, but not reachable from the index server, it should have been the .148. The crawl was impossible.

Solution:

I configured the search service on the index server to use all WFEs for crawling. This way, it does not touch the HOSTS file and I was able to enter the right address to it manually.

Thanks to http://www.mindsharpblogs.com/daniel/archive/2007/02/01/1518.aspx for guiding me in this direction.

Microsoft Log parser and SharePoint ULS Logs

Recently I had to search all ULS logs on the servers of a customer because a Microsoft engineer (thanks Robin) found this failure in a portion of a provided log:

Aborting profile synchronization for content DB xxx

We wanted to see how often the failure happened in the past. I did some searching and found Microsoft Log Parser 2.2.

With Log Parser you can do SQL like queries in Windows event logs, IIS logs and all kind of text based logs. I am not a genius when it comes to SQL queries, but this query lead to success on the customers servers:

SELECT  * INTO c:\logparser\out.txt FROM ‘C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\LOGS\%computername%*.log’ HAVING Message LIKE ‘%aborting profile sync%’

Some explanation:

  • “INTO c:\logparser\out.txt” puts the output to out.txt
  • “%computername%*.log” was used because only ULS logs should be considered, not the upgrade.log, for example
  • “LIKE ‘%aborting profile sync%’” was used as the actual search query

I saved this query to the file query.txt and ran this command:

LogParser -i:tsv -o:tsv file:c:\logparser\query.txt

Again, some explanation:

  • -i:tsv defines that the input file is tab separated (like the ULS logs)
  • -o:tsv defines that the output file should be tab separated

The search in 1,5 GB ULS logs took about one minute!

When you want to use Log Parser, be sure to take a look at the included help file to learn about more input and output types.

Ebook Reader Sony PRS-505

Since yesterday I own an ebook reader, the Sony PRS-505.
I tested it yesterday and found it extremely nice!

However, I had an issue with authorizing the reader, so I could not view bought books which were secured with DRM.
I got a “Site not found” error when I connected the device to my PC and said yes when the software asked me to activate.

But I was able to authorize my reader on the “my account “ site:

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Until now, I like the device, already grabbed some Jules Verne books from google which have been optimized for the PRS-505 in epub format.

Much reading to be done now :)

Blog Update

I made some changes to my blog:

  • Last 5 Twitter Updates in the right sidebar
  • Page “Twitter” with all updates younger than 3 months
  • Page “SharePoint Updates” with download links, fixed issues and more
  • Allowed commenting

I will do some more changes in the coming days, so stay tuned.