Internal 500 Error When Changing the URL to a Badly-Formed Value

Interesting issue we had to troubleshoot today. This issue is related to SharePoint 2007.  Say you have a sub-site in a SharePoint site collection (let’s call it “Subsite A”) and the user/admin changes the URL of the site to something malformed, what happens?

We start “Subsite A” like the following:

Then, we change the URL into something malformed (deliberately for this exercise). See the Web Site Address field below? We’re purposely putting in a bad value (the end-user accidentally did it in the real-world scenario).

After you click the Save button on the Title, Description, and Icon Settings Page, you get the following error on the browser:

This error (HTTP 500 Internal Server Error) means that the website you are visiting had a server problem which prevented the webpage from displaying.

Trying to access the site yields HTTP 500 error:

You think maybe you can rename using SharePoint Designer. But SP Designer throws you an error message instead:

Server error: The version of the Windows SharePoint Services running on the server is more recent than the version of the SharePoint Designer you are using. You need a more recent version of the SharePoint Designer.

But the SharePoint Designer error message is misleading–the SharePoint site is MOSS 2007. It’s the bad URL causing this.

You can fix this by using STSADM renameweb command. In the screenshot below, I rename the badly-formed URL to its original URL using STSADM renameWeb:

The site owner accidentally put in a bad URL and that is why we’re using STSADM to fix it. It’s hard to mess-up the site-collection URL. But if you need to change the URL of a site-collection, you can use STSADM renamesite.

For more details on how to use these commands, visit:

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