Cascade Skyline - with Microsoft Logo and Project Support header - author Brian Smith

March, 2007

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    An Unexpected Error Has Occurred, or Unknown Error in WSS 3.0

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    With Project Server 2007 being a WSS 3.0 application you may come across either of these error messages.  The Unexpected error can appear on web part pages, and the Unknown error is more likely on pages without web parts.  The two errors are really telling you the same thing - This page (or web part) needed some data - but the data doesn't fit what I was expecting.  If you get this then you probably need to raise a support call (see http://support.microsoft.com for options available to you) - or search through the KBs to see if there is a fix for the specific problem you are seeing (depending when you read this there may or may not be fixes up there right now).

    But for some potential immediate relief from the problem here are a few tips that may at least get that page displaying again.  The problem could occur on a number of different pages - but just to give some context lets talk about the "My Tasks" page.  This will be displaying the "My Assignments" view by default, but in fact as this web part loads the SQL stored procedure behind the scenes will be bringing in data for any of the views that a specific user has access to from the drop down of views.  So even if "My Assignments" is the default - if you also have a custom view in the list that perhaps includes some custom fields then this data will also have been retrieved (and could be the culprit!).  So identifying the bad data will help us with your support call and also hopefully get that page working again.  Thinking in rows and columns - any customization will be changing the columns - and the rows will depend on things such as date ranges, tasks and assignments.  So things you can try:-

    • If it is a web part page then go to the Web Part Maintenance and either reset the part - or remove it and then add it back again.  This will have the effect of defaulting the web page settings and if the bad data happened to be beyond the "current tasks" range or other filter specific to the part this may get things working.  This isn't a fix - just avoiding the bad stuff for now.
    • If you have customized then try removing any additional custom fields or other added fields from the view.  Again this isn't a fix, and certainly the customizations shouldn't lead to errors - but it may at least allow you to continue working.
    • Try removing some rows that could be causing the problem - so any recent assignments would be targets - or if timesheets are the problem removing some added task lines might help. 

    None of these are meant as long term fixes - they are really just avoiding the issue until a fix can be found - which either the support call or KBs will help you achieve.  But hopefully it will give you an understanding of what might have led to the issue - and could get your resources back up and running while together we solve the deeper problem.

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    SharePoint Configuration Step 8 of 9 is really slow all of a sudden!

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    We have been working on different SharePoint farm configurations recently and particularly those involving adding Microsoft Office SharePoint Server to a farm that already has Project Server loaded.  The penultimate step - 8 of 9 - was being really slow and we had reports of users canceling, starting again to try and solve this problem.  Then one of my colleagues said "That step is taking about an hour".  Hmm - having read Chris Boyd's recent posting on event registration not happening immediately because of the recent DST changes I suspected this process may also be affected by the issue documented in KB 932563.  A quick test setting the timezone to GMT and my colleague confirmed the whole process was now back to the 10 minutes or so!  So until next week be patient - or change your time zone as mentioned in the KB.

    I'm just waiting for the Autumn (Fall) as the clocks go back the other way to see if it then finishes 10 minutes before you start!

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    What makes a Good Repro when logging a support call

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    Sometime on a support call the customer will say "I have a great repro - just open this mpp file and things will crash!".  Unfortunately this is a little like seeing an automobile wreck and trying to work out how the cars got where they did - and which direction they possibly came from.  The mpp is already bad - but how did it get that way?  The perfect repro is starting from a new project, doing a set a steps and then something bad happens.  Even better is when following the same steps on our machines still gives the same problem! 

    Having a good repro also helps when working with Project Server 2007 issues - and the more information you have for us then the better we can help you.  This may be in terms of getting to a resolution more quickly - or understanding the root cause of something that can be avoided until we get a good fix.  Help us to help you!  It isn't unknown that when working a call we suspect a specific problem - but can't get confirmation directly, but the clues are all over the logs.  You know what the issue is; you know that we know that you know what the issue is...

    This leads me on to one of my favorite current issues - but this will have to wait for my next blog - "An unexpected error has occurred".  What's the deal with this message - and how can you recover?

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007 - Common installation problems

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    These are probably repeats for many of you reading - but based on personal experience there are still some people that haven't got these messages:-

    1. If you are going to run Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 on the same farm then ALL servers need both sets of bits loaded - and preferably Office SharePoint Server loaded first.  Failure to do this will probably first be seen when provisioning fails for your PWA sites.  You don't have to run all the services on all the servers - but you just can't have a "Project Server" in a farm of SharePoint servers.
    2. If you do a one-click installation of Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 (either using the Basic option, or then Advanced and Stand-alone) and then can't find your databases then chances are they are in a SQL Server 2005 instance called <machinename>\OFFICESERVERS.  The one-click doesn't allow you to choose your database server - it creates a SQL Server 2005 Express Edition instance for you.  If this isn't what you want then best to uninstall and try again - this time using the Advanced, and then Complete - which does allow you to select your SQL Server.  This will still permit you to have everything on a single stand-alone server - but with the SQL Server of your choice.

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    RESOLVED! ActiveX Component Can't Create Object: Cube build failure against SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services

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    The original posting is still repeated below to help with other's troubleshooting.  I uninstalled the client tools to double check if the original instructions were OK.  It turned out that I didn't have the SQL Server 2005 Management Objects installed - even though when I tried loading it again it told me I hade a "higher version". (It also didn't show in Add/Remove in control panel - my clue to home in on this component). 

    To find out more about this "higher version" message I re-ran the msi with the /l* <logfilename> parameters to get a more complete log file.  This identified a component that was triggering the "higher version" message.  So I searched the registry for this GUID and identified it as the SQL Server Reporting Services 2005 Add-in for Microsoft SharePoint Technologies - which is a neat add-in to get SSRS report libraries in SharePoint and is a SQL Server 2005 SP2 feature.  I uninstalled this add-in and could then load the Management Objects.  I re-applied SP2 and then I could build cubes!

    The specific thing that identifies this issue is that in Process Monitor I found that the system could not find the key HKCR\CLSID\{554BBCA3-925F-4797-9460-2421A8CD7030} - I guess that the client tools has the bits I needed - as well as the Management Objects.

    I then re-loaded the SharePoint add-in and it said a lower version was present; did I want to upgrade - so somehow these two components are tied together.

    UPDATE - re-installing the add-in removed the key again and cube building breaks!  Remove it and add back the Management Objects and all is OK.  I'll search for a workaround that enables both to coexist...

    ORIGINAL POSTING BEGINS HERE...

    I've been working on my own servers and testing cube builds to remote servers this week, and one of the combinations of servers gave me this error - ActiveX Component Can't Create Object.  I quickly fell in to the "one error - one solution" trap and assumed I hadn't installed the components required - so re-visited the KB and checked.  They were all apparently there.  So I compared to a running system and ran Process Monitor to try and catch the differences.  It seemed the first failure point was trying to find Microsoft.AnalysisServices.DLL and the working server had this as it also had the full install of Analysis Services 2005 - even though for my tests I was building a cube on a remote server.

    The long and the short is that I then loaded the client tools for SQL Server 2005 on my application server and it all started working.  Not sure at this stage if it came from the management tools, connectivity tools, SDK or the legacy components - but I will have a look around next week and see what more detail I can find.  I'm not keen on giving workarounds like loading a set of stuff you don't really need - but if it gets someone out of a hole...

    One of the purposes of my work is to get a new KB together that serves for Project Server 2007 the way that KB 921116 serves for 2003.  We usually refer people to this KB even for 2007 - but the hotfix part of the KB is irrelevant for 2007 - so it can get confusing. I'd like to get to the bottom of this particular issue and cover as many failure modes as possible.

    If you haven't used Process Monitor then it is a cool tool.  A combination of filemon and regmon that shows all file and registry access and you can track what accounts are doing what.

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