Retire those legacy farms and sites. SharePoint on-premise locking, unlocking and no access sites

I had to retire an old SharePoint 2013 on-premise farm following a successful migration project. Since this wasn't a wholesale migration, there was a small level of uncertainty whether we moved all the relevant content over. I removed locked all the sites in the farm as read-only and parsed the IIS logs to monitor access. When I was satisfied that I had redirected all the users to the new locations, I removed access to all sites and will leave it like that for a couple months before retiring the servers.

This works much better than shutting down the servers. If you've ever had to turn on a server that has been offline for an extended period you have no doubt experienced domain membership issues, patching compliance issues, outdated anti-virus signatures, etc.

If someone needs access to content in their My Site or something, I can unlock it by using the PowerShell command:

set-spsite -identity https://mysite/username -LockState "Unlock"
Unlock all sites in a farm:Get-SPWe…

Christmas Lights installation service

This isn't my normal topic for this blog site, but I just saved 60% having my Christmas lights hung by a local landscaper:

They are a local landscaping company that I use for pruning and heavy work in my Tri-cities Washington yard. We used them for hanging lights and he did it for less than half what the other local companies were charging.

I was so impressed, that I am posting this in hopes that it helps them in some way.

Thanks for your time.
Back to SharePoint now.

The quickest and simplest ways to check the patch level of SharePoint

There are two ways to get the most accurate patch level and quickly:

Central Admin - System Settings - Servers in farmPowerShell SharePoint Management Shell:(Get-SPFarm).BuildVersion

Error backing up service applications SharePoint 2013 on premise

When I run this command:

Backup-SPFarm-Directory\\server\share\backups-BackupMethodFull-Item"Farm\Shared Services\Shared Services Applications"-Verbose

I am receiving this error:

FatalError: Object Search Service Application failed in event OnBackup. For more information, see the spbackup.log or sprestore.log file located in the backup directory.
 FaultException: Management called failed with System.InvalidOperationException: 'Job failed: Have tried to perform backup/restore operation twice on all in-sync members in cluster...

Here's the issue:
the share location was locked down. I had the Farm account and SQL service account in there with Modify permissions, but some other account needed to have to have write permissions. I actually just gave "Authenticated Users" write permissions to the subfolder because I couldn't successfully pinpoint the failure with reasonable certainty.

SharePoint 2013 Search Service offline "The remote server returned an error: (503) Server Unavailable"

After some significant maintenance on our on-premise SharePoint farm after a failed cumulative update, our search service would not come back online. All the services pretty much needed to have their services restarted after restoring the front-end and SQL server from a pre-update virtual machine snapshot.

I will save you the gory details of all the things that were tried. No solutions offered by numerous blogs and technical articles helped. All the application pools were online, the search service was online according to the PowerShell commands

Here is how I brought this back in our case: Started all services, as appropriate for each web/app/search serverSearch Service Application System Status in Central Admin showed an Administrative Status of "The remote server returned an error: (503) Server Unavailable"After trying all kinds of fruitless endeavors, I ended up using these PowerShell commands to get everything back online $SSA = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication R…

How do I add a page on a SharePoint 2013 "Project" site?

The Add a Page link is missing from the setting gear in a site built with the Project templatePROJECTSITE#0We have a lot of Project sites--sites built with the PROJECTSITE#0 template--in our organization.
One of the main drawbacks of this is that it doesn't have a Site Pages library built-in. This prevents the helpful Add a Page link from showing up on the settings gear.

There are a couple of work-arounds for this: Use SharePoint Designer to add a page to the site. You don't need to do anything with that page. You are just using it as a method to get the Site Pages library. Once you have created that empty page, go back to your site in the browser. Go to Site Contents then click on the Site Pages. Click on the Files tab on the ribbon. Select New Document then add the page (either wiki type or Web Part Page as you prefer). Add an App. Select the type to be a Wiki Library. Name it Site Pages. To expose the ribbon, modify the URL in the address bar as such:.../Site%20Pages/Forms/AllP…

Unknown server tag 'AdminControls:CreateSiteTooltipBar'. when creating site after May 2017 Cumulative Update SharePoint 2013

After updating to the May 2017 CU for SharePoint 2013, I could no longer create site collections from Central Admin.

I received this error:
Unknown server tag 'AdminControls:CreateSiteTooltipBar'.

I made a backup copy of the createsite.aspx file location here:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\15\TEMPLATE\ADMIN

then I edited the file in place and removed the section from the bottom of the page:

This was in all my SharePoint farms but didn't cause an issue in all of them.

I reported the issue to Microsoft. I will post a permanent fix if one becomes available.

You may also use PowerShell New-SPsite to create sites as a work-around.