Sorry. We broke your OneNote.

In mid December Office 2007 SP1 was released on Microsoft Update. It contains lots of good improvements and a few for OneNote. However, it turns out we also broke something with one of the fixes. You can't create notebooks on a Windows file share that is also running WebDAV. This is what we call a "regression" (when in fixing something you break something else). We feel very bad about this and we're working hard to address it.

Please leave a comment below if you have hit this problem. We'd like to get a sense of how common this is and any affected configurations beyond the ones we know. Prevalence affects how urgently we can get a fix through the pipe. And please mention anything you know about your server (what the server OS is, whether it's also running SharePoint or some other web server etc.).

Here are the details and a work around.

Issue: can't create notebooks on Windows file share running WebDAV

  • If you try to create a new notebook on a Windows file share server that also runs WebDAV then you will fail to create the notebook.
  • For example if you try to create a notebook called notebookname at \\fileservername\filesharename you'll get an error message like: "OneNote cannot create a new notebook at: http://fileservername/sharename/notebookname"

Workaround:

To work around this follow these steps.

  1. Go to the folder where you want the notebook in Windows Explorer (e.g. go to \\fileservername\filesharename )
  2. Create a new folder with the name you want the notebook to have (e.g. notebookname )
  3. Right click that folder and choose "Open as Notebook in OneNote"
  4. The folder will open up as a blank notebook in OneNote. Then click on the message in the middle of the screen to create the first section and you're good to go.
  5. Alternatively: instead of step 3 above you can start OneNote then go to "File"->"Open" -> "Notebook" and then select the folder you created in step 2.

Background:

  • For the curious, the bug is related to how we check the folder path and decide under the covers which client side file redirector will handle the remote file access when working against web servers. When you're actually trying to access the plain Windows file share on the server with a UNC path, and the server is also running a WebDAV server then this logic has a flaw in it that causes it to try the WebDAV redirector (UNC paths can be valid WebDAV paths...).
  • This won't affect many people in larger companies where Windows file servers and Web servers or SharePoint servers are usually kept distinct for clear role separation.
  • It is more likely to affect small business scenarios where a server may play multiple roles and is potentially acting as a web server as well as a file share. Examples might be Windows Small Business Server depending on how it's configured.