IIS, SharePoint, Troubleshooting

Help! Need Help Diagnosing A 500 Errors In SharePoint? Try This…

Imagine the nightmare…you decided to sneak in a web part deployment in right before the start of the business day. Right after your deployment you see that the site is about to come back up…and…then nothing. A blank screen. In desperation you open Internet Explorer to try and see if it loads there as well..nothing but a 500 error. Then, the feeling rushes over you that this was a very bad decision. While we should address why you were doing an early morning deployment we shall spare you. 🙂 So what do you do now?

One of the best ways to see what is going on with a 500 error is to enabled Failed Request Tracing in IIS for the web site in question. Once enabled you can replicate the issue by refreshing the browser a few times; this should be more than enough to capture a few. Once captured then you will usually see where the issue is identified (especially with web.config changes that happen).

To do this:

1) Open IIS

2) Select the web site in question and open the Features View

3) Under the IIS section select “Failed Request Tracing” by double-clicking it


4) In the top right hand corner click the message in the Alerts section


5) When the pop-up comes up then select to enable and take the default directory (unless you need it elsewhere, then specify another location) and hit OK


6) Next, under actions select “Add…” and select “All content (*)” and click Next


7) Indicate the status code of 500 (and others where applicable) and click next again


8) Indicate your trace providers and click Finish


You should now see your created Failed Request Tracing Rules.


Now go and refresh the browser a couple times to see your error again. Once that is logged then go to the trace logs. To find that location go back to the site in features view, select Failed Request Tracing and select “View Trace Logs…”


Double click to view the recorded log (you can use IE):


Viewing these should at least help to identify the obvious when it is a line in the web.config or when there has been a setting changed as a result of saving a configuration option in SharePoint (or 3rd party products or web parts in SharePoint). Hope this helps, happy troubleshooting. Questions are always welcome.


Email, Sitecore, Troubleshooting

How to deal with: WARN An invalid character was found in the mail header: ‘,’ in Sitecore

If you are using Web Forms for Marketers in Sitecore then you may have an occasion where the email addresses that are being used to send messages to get updated by someone…then all of a sudden you start getting errors…then all of a sudden your phone starts ringing off the hook, right?

So in the Sitecore logs you will see something similar to:

 868 13:12:53 WARN An invalid character was found in the mail header: ','.
Exception: System.FormatException
Message: An invalid character was found in the mail header: ','.
Source: System
 at System.Net.Mail.DotAtomReader.ReadReverse(String data, Int32 index)
 at System.Net.Mail.MailAddressParser.ParseDomain(String data, Int32& index)
 at System.Net.Mail.MailAddressParser.ParseAddress(String data, Boolean expectMultipleAddresses, Int32& index)
 at System.Net.Mail.MailAddressParser.ParseMultipleAddresses(String data)
 at System.Net.Mail.MailAddressCollection.ParseValue(String addresses)
 at System.Net.Mail.Message..ctor(String from, String to)
 at System.Net.Mail.MailMessage..ctor(String from, String to)
 at System.Net.Mail.MailMessage..ctor(String from, String to, String subject, String body)
 at Sitecore.Form.Core.Pipelines.ProcessMessage.ProcessMessage.GetMail(ProcessMessageArgs args)
 at (Object , Object[] )
 at Sitecore.Pipelines.CorePipeline.Run(PipelineArgs args)
 at Sitecore.Form.Core.Submit.SubmitActionManager.ExecuteSaving(ID formID, ControlResult[] list, ActionDefinition[] actions, Boolean simpleAdapt, ID sessionID)

Huh? OK, so let’s go look at the Web Form Send Email action in question:


Nothing looks odd at first…until upon further research: I discovered after some reading about mail headers that the last entry of the recipients (To, CC, BCC) cannot accept a separator delimiter as a character on the end. You’ll also notice in outlook and other email clients that the behavior is the same.

The fix? remove the last character and save/republish your form. Problem solved!


Hope this helps. Questions are welcome!

IIS, Programming, VB

Need To Clean Your IIS Log Files (Older Than x Number of Days) For All Sites? Here’s a Script

You may have the classic issue of needing logs cleared but you do not have time to log onto each server and delete files for space. Here’s a script that will do it for all IIS sites and will let you select how many days back you wish to keep. For this example this script is wrote for 30 days and would be run on a task scheduler monthly.

  • Open notepad and create a file called IISLogMonthlyCleanup.vbs
  • Put in the following snippet and adjust your settings to apply to what you need:
sLogFolder = "c:\inetpub\logs\LogFiles"
iMaxAge = 30 ' # of days
Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
set colFolder = objFSO.GetFolder(sLogFolder)
For Each colSubfolder in colFolder.SubFolders
 Set objFolder = objFSO.GetFolder(colSubfolder.Path)
 Set colFiles = objFolder.Files
 For Each objFile in colFiles
 iFileAge = now-objFile.DateCreated
 if iFileAge > (iMaxAge+1) then
 objFSO.deletefile objFile, True
 end if

Save and run. *Poof* the old logs are gone. Set it up in a task scheduler and move on to more important things.

TIP: You can run the scheduled task as SYSTEM since it has privileges to run whether logged on or not. It also has access to the file system.

Hope this helps.