How to Fix Errors in the Quick Launch Navigation

I was working with a client today to try to figure out an error and we saw a pattern which I wanted to document here in case anyone else ran across it. The first diagnosis was “corrupt permissions”, but that turned out not to be it at all.

The issue was on a site with a URL like this: http://[servername]/rx/sy/cx/la1

Whenever we’d click on the People and Groups link in the Quick Launch

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we’d get this error:

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As with many SharePoint errors, not so helpful. But there was a clue, which I’ve highlighted above: File Not Found. That didn’t make much sense because the file was _layouts/People.aspx, which comes from the file system on the server and so it *has* to be there. We were certainly able to look at People and Groups in other sites.

After staring at this a bit, we realized that the URL that SharePoint was trying to open was:
http://[servername]/rx/cambridge/la1

See the problem? Well, none of us did at first, either. Finally we realized that the URL SharePoint was trying to load wasn’t even valid. It should have been /rx/sy/cx/la1, not /rx/cambridge/la1. At some point in the past, the link for People and Groups had gone south on us. In fact, *most* of the Quick Launch headers were wrong, pointing to this other site URL which didn’t exist.

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The fix was quick, but manual. We went to Site Actions / Site Settings / Navigation and changed the URL for the People and Groups header (and all of the other problematic headers) to have the right path to the site.

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Bing, bang, bong, done. We’ll probably never know *why* the links were bad, but we know how to fix ‘em.

Lesson learned: You always have to be careful about your first diagnosis of a problem, as it might well be wrong. Because the People and Groups link was bad, we assumed that it was a problem with permissions, when in fact it was an issue with the Navigation settings, and nothing to do with permissions. Don’t be afraid to rethink that hypothesis!

BTW, rule of thumb: I’ve never seen “corrupt permissions” before.

1 Comments

  1. I see this quit often with customers.. Reason nr.1… when somebody has chosen a SharePoint Team site or Blank site (which is a WSS type of site) as their top level site collection. Default this site has the Quick launch and Top level bar as a navigation. When they turn on the Office SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure (in the Site Collection Features), these options are replaced by the ‘Navigation’ option. After this it happens that the quick launch links become unavailable or the links don’t work anymore. I had to fix this this week also in a Moss2007 environment with a customer.

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