When SharePoint Services go AWOL…

I don't know what I did to anger the SharePoint gods, but somehow my VPC image of Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise with SharePoint Services 2.0, Business Scorecard Manager 2005 CR, ProClarity Analytics Server, ProClarity Dashboard, etc, got sideways. The root website lost all of its SharePoint-ness and trying to remove/re-extend it from SharePoint Central Administration resulted in the following error:

Unable to read configuration for Microsoft Internet Information Server.

Which was a total bummer... It's hard to publish/test scorecards when SharePoint isn't cooperating. All the search engines on the planet weren't of much use. Most of the links are talking about older versions of IIS and FrontPage Server Extensions (which I don't ever install if I can help it). Trying to repair or remove/reinstall SharePoint Services 2.0 had no effect on the symptoms. I did notice this error in the Application event log, though:

The configuration information of the performance library "C:\WINDOWS\system32\inetsrv\w3ctrs.dll" for the "W3SVC" service does not match the trusted performance library information stored in the registry. The functions in this library will not be treated as trusted.

So I bit the bullet and uninstalled SharePoint Services 2.0 then uninstalled IIS, rebooted, reinstalled IIS, rebooted and reinstalled SharePoint Services 2.0 - that fixed it. Temporarily. When I installed .NET 3.0 (among other Windows Updates), it broke again with this error:

Cannot connect to the configuration database. For tips on troubleshooting this error, search for article 823287 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base at http://support.microsoft.com.

Since something set the localhost\sharepoint instance of SQL Server to Manual startup, I started it and set it to Automatic... and that didn't fix it. The default IIS website somehow got configured to use .NET 1.1, so I switched it to 2.0, but that didn't fix it. Uninstalling .NET 3.0 didn't fix it, either. Doh. Back to square one. Uninstall SPS. Uninstall IIS. Reinstall IIS. Reboot. Reinstall SPS.

Since doing the mass "all Windows Updates at once" didn't work, it was time for something new. I got the order down correctly the second time, though, and all the pieces work together nicely (do all the IIS updates and .NET 3.0 first THEN reboot THEN do the SPS updates second). The update for SPS 2.0 (KB924881) still seems to set the SharePoint database instance to manual, though, for some reason... but that's an easy fix. I had to fake up the Business Scorecard Manager Web Service website (since it disappeared in all the metabase hocus pocus -- shoulda made a backup!) in order to get that uninstalled/reinstalled correctly.

I hope somebody else has an easier fix/workaround/install order, though, because I'd hate to have to do that hokey-pokey and all the rebooting in a production environment just to get the SPS updates in place. Anyone?

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