A Problem Occurred While Connecting to the Server


We’ve all gotten this error before.

ErrorOpening

This can mean any number of things. This article will describe a very specific situation that we discovered with one of our users.

Scenario

Library Settings Applicable to this Scenario

  • Require documents to be checked out before they can be edited? = YES

This setting can be found by navigating to the library > Library Settings > Versioning Settings

  •  Open in the client application

This setting can be set at either the site collection level or the library level

  • Site Collection = Site Actions > Site Settings > Site Collection Features
  • Library = Library Settings > Advanced Settings 

Issue

When a user attempts to open a document in the library noted above, they get the following messages.

New Open Behavior

Server Read-Only This document was opened from a server in read-only mode.

When the user clicks the Edit Document button they then receive this error

ErrorOpening

A problem occurred while contacting the server. If the problem continues, contact your administrator.

Cause

In this particular case, the cause was due to the site collection admin cutting and pasting the library into a manually created folder they had created in Explorer view.

Here are the steps they took to create the problem.

  • User navigated to the site in the web interface
  • Created 2 Document libraries named Library01 and Library02
  • Open the site in Explorer View
  • Right click and create new folder called Manually Created Folder (see image below)Before Library Move
  • Right clicked Library02 and selected Cut
  • Right clicked Manually Created Folder and selected Paste
  • Library02 now resides in the newly created Manually Created Folder

Reason

The reason this breaks the library is due to existing pointers in the content database that will still point to the original location.

Resolution

In order to repair this issue, you must reverse all changes performed

  • Open site in Explorer View
  • Navigate to the Manually Created Folder location
  • Right click Library02 and select Cut
  • Navigate up to the original location the library was created in
  • Right click and choose Paste
  • Right click the Manually Created Folder and choose Delete
  • The correct folder structure will look like the image below

Proper Structure

It’s easy to mistake a library for a folder within a library in Explorer View, and you may not notice any issues until you start using other features/settings within your library. The best advice is to just leave it alone unless you’re fully aware of what you’re doing. Luckily for this user, this was easily remedied and we haven’t seen any major issues because of it. Hopefully that will remain the case.

Troubleshooting Tip

Navigate to the Library Settings of the affected library. Now examine the URL of the library. Are there any directories in the URL that do not match up to a sub site in your site structure? If so, this is likely the folder that was created by the user

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2 thoughts on “A Problem Occurred While Connecting to the Server

  1. Love posts like this. For someone that isn’t a pro by any means, we can do small fixes ourselves. Now I can reference your site for help. I hope you keep these up. Not everyone has a techie person in their back pocket! Thank you! 🙂 Koko

    • For the most part, I stay up to date on most of the things tech wise I post. I typically only post stuff about techie solutions if there isn’t anything widely published already online about it. No real reason to if there are already 20 posts you know. I am an IT Pro so I can usually help folks out with most things as long as you’re not looking for help on writing an application as I’m not a coder. I’m blessed I guess that tech comes easy to me for the most part, but yeah, if you have questions shoot me a note. Can’t always guarantee I’ll know the answer, but I’ll do my best. 😉

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