Blank Dialog Box Fix

I had a problem with a blank dialog box, all that showed was the close button and the title such as ‘upload document’ or ‘upload image’.  My gut feeling was that it was a CSS issue and after going on a merry little dance and in turn learning about distributed cache and appFabric it was indeed a CCS issue.

Somewhere my theme or possibly SharePoint Cache references an old stylesheet!  I only picked this up once on page load in Firefox’s  developer tools.  By hiding and un-hiding style sheets I picked it up.  The reference isn’t in the Master page so I can only assume it’s a cache issue, anyway, removing the entry in the style sheet did it fix it.

display: none;

remove the above and all became visible.  I think at some point I’d added a style sheet with it in.

Also in turn I’ve fixed the ribbon issue I had with Bootstrap.  This may help you out if needed:

#contentBox {
min-width: 0;

.ms-dlgContent {
line-height: 1.1;

#s4-ribbonrow {
line-height: 1.2;

#s4-ribbonrow a:hover,
#s4-ribbonrow a:focus,
#s4-ribbonrow a:active {
text-decoration: none;

.ms-cui-tooltip {
line-height: 1.1;
font-size: 8pt;

.ms-cui-glass-ie {
background-color: transparent;

#s4-ribbonrow *,
#s4-ribbonrow *:before,
#s4-ribbonrow *:after,
#ms-help *,
.ms-dlgFrameContainer > div,
.ms-dlgFrameContainer > div:before,
.ms-dlgFrameContainer > div:after,
.ms-dlgFrameContainer > div > div,
.ms-dlgFrameContainer > div > div:before,
.ms-dlgFrameContainer > div > div:after,
.ms-MenuUIPopupBody *,
.ms-MenuUIPopupBody *:before,
.ms-MenuUIPopupBody *:after,
.ms-ToolPaneOuter *,
.ms-ToolPaneOuter *:before,
.ms-ToolPaneOuter *:after,
*[class*=’ms-cui’] *,
*[class*=’ms-cui’] *:before,
*[class*=’ms-cui’] *:after,
*[class*=’ms-dlg’] *,
*[class*=’ms-dlg’] *:before,
*[class*=’ms-dlg’] *:after{
-webkit-box-sizing: content-box;
-moz-box-sizing: content-box;
box-sizing: content-box;



SharePoint SP1 Update, and….

SharePoint updated to SP1.  It didn’t seem to be an issue until a few things started to go wrong.  This unbelievably took me nearly a week to sort out until I discovered you have to run psconfig after every SharePoint update.  Now the guys working with SharePoint for years will more than likely laugh, but like everything if you dont know, you dont know.


PSConfig.exe -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b -wait -cmd applicationcontent -install -cmd installfeatures -cmd secureresources

This broke the newsfeed, so we had to install a KB to fix it.


Global Navigation Hell

Oh my, wth!  To this day I have to hold my head in disbelief!  Give me a wordpress site or Moodle LMS and this is a no brainer.  But why oh why did Microsoft think that not being able to have global navigation across sites was a good idea? I know someone will more than likely have some reason for it (yes, security across sites) but hey, do us mere mortals a favour, give us the option!

How did I get around it?  Well at first I tried managed navigation, but then soon realised I could only use the navigation set once! thanks for that then, you showed so much promise.  I basically created a xml file containing my navigation from my bootstrap theme, saved it in to a the style library in a folder called ‘code’. Next in my masterpage added a xml webpart pointing to my xml file.

UPDATE: I had to change this.  Now I’ve had to pull the code from the xml file and simply add it straight into my masterpage, so not global at all.  But since I ony have top level (plus sub sites) and my sites its no big deal.  I suspect this to be due to appFabric as I’ve just discovered I have to update it myself.

Team sites suck, well they did then!

Initially I set up the top level site as a team site.  I also want to theme SharePoint so we have our identity. These two things clashed!  I soon discovered team sites done play well with theming.  Widgets dont theme that well, so the theme just gets pushed and pulled all over the place.  The lion was playing with a soft toy!

Next I explored setting up a top level site as a publishing site.  This didn’t last long either as I soon realised publishing sites don’t have many features.

So where are we now?  Wikis.  Thats my happy place.  Yes I had to activate some site features such as publishing and site feeds but I had the ability to style my sites.  Why theres no site that does both OOTB I don’t know, maybe there is, remember I’m on my own here!

I have a feeling I could deal with team sites and publishing sites now as I have done with wikis but thats for another day.

Lesson learn’t, use wikis, style them with a simple bootstrap masterpage and activate a few site features (don’t forget to activate top level features to match).



V3 was Born

So here we are, the latest install.  Its not been plain sailing, but it’s still alive, caged up.

How did I install it and get to here?

Same server, windows 2010, R2, SQL SharePOint 2013.

A question here must be, why not 365?  I’ve had no guidance, what do you expect!

Installed using the installer but very carefully.  This didn’t include the service applications.  These were set up using sharepoint powershell from the dashboard.

Each Service app was set up on its own database as recommended by the multitude of reading I did, and each named without stupid GUIDs.  win, win!  right now theres one database with a GUID, not sure what it is, but I can handle one.  The ones I’ve had to deal with are named correctly (according to me anyway).

setup was also the different suggested service accounts.  sp_admin, sp_pool, sp_farm, sp_services, sp_userprofile(maybe?).  Each was used as the name suggests.

Created the top level site as a team site, set up my sites on a different web application and set up a search centre.  I’ll come back to my fun with this lot.

Install V2

It broke, this wasnt my fault!  The guys left the server in the ##### .  This resulted in the service accounts being removed, so a mighty crash happened.  It didnt take long, only a coupe of hours.  But hey, we move on, lessons learn’t, Install V3 was born!

AppFabric Update to CU7

I’ve been getting what I thought was distributed cache errors on my SharePoint site.  If I try and open a dialog box to add an image or document to a content webpart, its blank.  This only happens on the top level site and not on a subsite that inherits the masterpage, pagelayout and permissions.  To me that simply wasnt logical for my little mind!  So a very long search led me to believe its distributed cache.  I thought that multiple calls to files on page load such as css and javascript files failing and giving me 401 errors was causing by this, so I conceeded an appFabric update was required.  I used a couple of sites as I was fully aware of the problems doing it wrong would cause.

How to patch SharePoint Distributed Cache the proper way

Now although appFabric needed upgrading, and to be fair, its now a skillset I’ve acquired, its not the cause. That I still havent sorted yet!  But I have discovered why there’s multiple calls and 401 errors.

As this link states, its due to NTLM, something we have running. First call is an anonymous call and really a 401 error is expected. Next call is a NTML call as the first one says do that next and expects a 401 first as its a challenge request, then you should get a 200 code. All expected behaviour apparently.

So the issue I started with persists but I now know why a double 401 error happens and also how to update appFabric the correct and safe way. Even if I did have an issue halve way through, a solution was found below in order to correct and restart it.

Day 1, the first time round

Happily the guys sorted me out a windows box and a few bits already installed.  Server Op and appFabric.  The reason being it can be a little daunting to install.

This broke, it took me a couple of days but I did eventualy break it.  I think I shut down appFabric or something similar and didnt at the time know how or what to do to fix it!  At the time of writing I’m still a little sketchy.

What did I learn, dont shut AppFabric down by just shutting down the service.  Shut it down gracefully.

This will come in handy tomorrow, as of yet I managed to dodge the bullet of shutting it down.  Now I have to in order to update AppFabric.  I’ll get to this later and link back.


I thought it was about time I documented my journey and experiences with SharePoint, but also so I have a record of what I’ve done, in case the lion decides to wipe me out and I have to go back to square one!

So why pokingalionwithastick? well, when I first had the pleasure (!) of being given the task of setting up a SharePoint install thats what it felt like!  and every day it’s not a million miles away from it.  At this stage, about 7 months in (I do have other duties) I feel a little happier but still have it in the back of my mind, it’s going to bite me when I least expect it!

So the setup:

  • Microsoft Server 2010 R2 and standard SQL as required.
  • SharePoint 2013 (now updated to SP1)
  • helpers – A few techy network guys who initially said “get on with it”

My initial experience with SharePoint – pretty much zero!  Dabbled on a server as a user, but nothing more.  Dont get me wrong I’m experienced in web tech and much more, but installing, configuring, and setting up the whole shebang, a big fat zero!

So here I was, very green.  Where do you start?  lets go back to the begining…….