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Unfortunately, help seems to be broken... RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have setup a SharePoint Foundation 2013 small farm (2 WFE - 1 APP - 1DB).  Anytime anyone tries to access the "?" "help" on any site, it throws the "Unfortunately, help seems to be broken...

    Any ideas?

    Thank you,


    Rumi


    • Edited by Rumi's Point Wednesday, December 18, 2013 4:09 AM missing content
    Wednesday, December 18, 2013 4:08 AM

Answers

  • I did some research on this and found out that the issue is related to renaming the Central Administration Content DB in order to remove the GUID.  I had renamed the DB without any issue but noticed this "compatibility range mismatch" errors ad well as "an exception of type microsoft.sharepoint.administration.spupdatedconcurrencyexception" error.  I noticed all these while trying to troubleshoot/fix the original "Unfortunately, help seems to be broken..." issue. 

    Here is how I resolved my issue:

    Since I am using virtual machines for my farm and had the luxury of snapshots and was working on a pre-production farm.  I reverted back to a clean state of my farm right to the pre-configuration wizard snapshot.  I reran configuration wizard and let it create the DBs and decided not to rename the central admin content DB and live with the GUID in the name.  Once I got my farm configured, created my web/application and attached my content DBs – everything works including the “Help”.

    What I conclude and advise is unless you are using PowerShell to provision the config and central admin DBs, stay away from renaming it after config wizard has provisioned those DBs.  I did not have this issue in Foundation 2010 but 2013 seems to have issues with it.

    On the topic of renaming SharePoint 2013 DBs to remove the GUIDs, I did the same for all the Search DBs since I can’t stand the GUIDs.  For Foundation 2013 – you cannot provision Search using PowerShell so you have to rename the DBs after the fact if you want to remove the GUIDs.  I used the following MS article to perform this:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj219654.aspx

    I was able to successfully rename all the DBs but when search started the crawl, it would give all kinds of errors and the index partition would degrade.  I reset index several times but after the crawl – it would degrade.  I even recreated Search Service App all over again and renamed the DBs all over but only to face the same issue.  Finally, I decided I will live with the GUIDs.  So, I reprovisoned Search Service App and did not rename the DBs and Search is working great.

    If you do decide to rename these DBs – I would suggest don’t do superficial testing before you go live into production.  Make sure you test the farm fully.

    I hope this helps some folks who may encounter these issues while working on Foundation 2013. 


    Rumi

    • Proposed as answer by Waqas Sarwar(MVP) Thursday, December 19, 2013 4:56 PM
    • Marked as answer by Victoria Xia Tuesday, December 24, 2013 1:42 PM
    Thursday, December 19, 2013 4:53 PM

All replies

  • first go to the site collection setting> under the site collection > click on help settings.

    see if Help options are selected( which you are looking). if not enable and then try...

    2) run the following powershell to see which help collection installed.

    Get-SPHelpCollection (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff607790.aspx)

    3) try to install the help collection via powershell

    this is for English:

    Install-SPHelpCollection -LiteralPath ‘C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\HCCab\1033\OSSAdmin.cab’ 

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff607637.aspx

    4) are you looking for other than English Language help?


    Please remember to mark your question as answered &Vote helpful,if this solves/helps your problem. ****************************************************************************************** Thanks -WS MCITP(SharePoint 2010, 2013) Blog: http://wscheema.com/blog

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013 5:25 AM
  • When I try to go to the site collection setting and click on help settings, I get the error below.  This is a clean SharePoint Foundation Install and everything works fine.  But, this error doesn't look good.  Any help would be appreciated.

    There is a compatibility range
    mismatch between the Web server and database "SP_CentralAdministration_Content",
    and connections to the data have been blocked to due to this incompatibility.
    This can happen when a content database has not been upgraded to be within the
    compatibility range of the Web server, or if the database has been upgraded to a
    higher level than the web server. The Web server and the database must be
    upgraded to the same version and build level to return to compatibility
    range.

    This


    Rumi

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013 7:14 AM
  • lookalike you DB requires upgrade.

    Did you install any Updates to farm( CUs), if yes did you run the Config wizard?

    1st thing go the central admin > upgrade and migration > Review database status.....from here check if any of database status required upgrade?

    you can directly go their by

    http://centraladmin url /_admin/DatabaseStatus.aspx


    Please remember to mark your question as answered &Vote helpful,if this solves/helps your problem. ****************************************************************************************** Thanks -WS MCITP(SharePoint 2010, 2013) Blog: http://wscheema.com/blog

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013 3:24 PM
  • all the databases including the central admin database indicate a status of "no action required".

    Rumi

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013 8:01 PM
  • did you try to install the help via powershell?

    3) try to install the help collection via powershell

    this is for English:

    Install-SPHelpCollection -LiteralPath ‘C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\HCCab\1033\OSSAdmin.cab’ 

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff607637.aspx


    Please remember to mark your question as answered &Vote helpful,if this solves/helps your problem. ****************************************************************************************** Thanks -WS MCITP(SharePoint 2010, 2013) Blog: http://wscheema.com/blog

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013 8:08 PM
  • there is no "HCCab" folder under the "14" folder.  There is a "HCCab" folder under the "15" folder in this "HCCab" folder, I only see the following files:

    MS.Wss.14.HC.Cab
    MS.Wss.Admin.14.HC.Cab
    MS.Wss.Admin.HC.Cab
    MS.Wss.HC.Cab


    Rumi

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013 8:27 PM
  • i checked, i have Sharepoint Server installation not the foundation but i can see the following files:

    

    are you seeing the same files in 15\hccab\1033 folder?

    and what is output from this command:

    Get-SPHelpCollection


    Please remember to mark your question as answered &Vote helpful,if this solves/helps your problem. ****************************************************************************************** Thanks -WS MCITP(SharePoint 2010, 2013) Blog: http://wscheema.com/blog


    Wednesday, December 18, 2013 8:56 PM
  • Hello, no I don't see all those files.  As I mentioned earlier, I only see the following files:

    MS.Wss.14.HC.Cab
    MS.Wss.Admin.14.HC.Cab
    MS.Wss.Admin.HC.Cab
    MS.Wss.HC.Cab

    Here is the output from Get-SPHelpCollection

    PS C:\Users\xxxxx> Get-SPHelpCollection

    Title                                   Name
    -----                                   ----
    SharePoint Help                         WSSEndUser.1033.15
    SharePoint Foundation 2010 Central A... WSSCentralAdmin.1033.12
    SharePoint Foundation 2010              WSSEndUser.1033.12
    Central Administration Help             WSSCentralAdmin.1033.15


    Rumi

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013 9:20 PM
  • what is your server build number?

    did you apply the March PU for sharepoint Foundation 2013?


    Please remember to mark your question as answered &Vote helpful,if this solves/helps your problem. ****************************************************************************************** Thanks -WS MCITP(SharePoint 2010, 2013) Blog: http://wscheema.com/blog

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013 9:23 PM
  • the build number is:  Configuration database version: 15.0.4551.1001

    I have installed the March 2013 PU and the October 2013 CU.


    Rumi

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013 9:28 PM
  • ok, two things you can try:

    1) rerun the config wizard, let it install the Help collection/feature again. Rerun will not hurt but it will cause outage during the running period. if this is prod so plan accordingly.

    2) if above did not work( i am sure it will). 

    follow these steps to directly install the help collections:

    1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
    2. At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:

    cd %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\15\BIN

    1. At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:

    Hcinstal.exe /act InstallAllHCs /loc 1033

    After you run the command, you are presented with a return code that informs you of the result of the operation:

    •Return code 4 means that the operation was successful.

    •Return code 32 means that no action was taken.

    •Return code 256 means that the operation failed.


    Please remember to mark your question as answered &Vote helpful,if this solves/helps your problem. ****************************************************************************************** Thanks -WS MCITP(SharePoint 2010, 2013) Blog: http://wscheema.com/blog

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013 9:31 PM
  • running config wizard did not help.

    There is no "Hcinstal.exe" located in %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\15\BIN


    Rumi

    Thursday, December 19, 2013 5:05 AM
  • I did some research on this and found out that the issue is related to renaming the Central Administration Content DB in order to remove the GUID.  I had renamed the DB without any issue but noticed this "compatibility range mismatch" errors ad well as "an exception of type microsoft.sharepoint.administration.spupdatedconcurrencyexception" error.  I noticed all these while trying to troubleshoot/fix the original "Unfortunately, help seems to be broken..." issue. 

    Here is how I resolved my issue:

    Since I am using virtual machines for my farm and had the luxury of snapshots and was working on a pre-production farm.  I reverted back to a clean state of my farm right to the pre-configuration wizard snapshot.  I reran configuration wizard and let it create the DBs and decided not to rename the central admin content DB and live with the GUID in the name.  Once I got my farm configured, created my web/application and attached my content DBs – everything works including the “Help”.

    What I conclude and advise is unless you are using PowerShell to provision the config and central admin DBs, stay away from renaming it after config wizard has provisioned those DBs.  I did not have this issue in Foundation 2010 but 2013 seems to have issues with it.

    On the topic of renaming SharePoint 2013 DBs to remove the GUIDs, I did the same for all the Search DBs since I can’t stand the GUIDs.  For Foundation 2013 – you cannot provision Search using PowerShell so you have to rename the DBs after the fact if you want to remove the GUIDs.  I used the following MS article to perform this:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj219654.aspx

    I was able to successfully rename all the DBs but when search started the crawl, it would give all kinds of errors and the index partition would degrade.  I reset index several times but after the crawl – it would degrade.  I even recreated Search Service App all over again and renamed the DBs all over but only to face the same issue.  Finally, I decided I will live with the GUIDs.  So, I reprovisoned Search Service App and did not rename the DBs and Search is working great.

    If you do decide to rename these DBs – I would suggest don’t do superficial testing before you go live into production.  Make sure you test the farm fully.

    I hope this helps some folks who may encounter these issues while working on Foundation 2013. 


    Rumi

    • Proposed as answer by Waqas Sarwar(MVP) Thursday, December 19, 2013 4:56 PM
    • Marked as answer by Victoria Xia Tuesday, December 24, 2013 1:42 PM
    Thursday, December 19, 2013 4:53 PM
  • Thanks 
    Wednesday, March 8, 2017 12:34 PM