1. Introduction

In setting up a SharePoint Server 2013 (single server) development environment, I came across a few problems. The initial installation seems to run smoothly. However, after the installation I could not create new web applications using Central Administration nor SharePoint PowerShell (a few days after).

2. The Problem

When trying to create new web applications, I was getting the error “Name cannot begin with the ‘,’ character, hexadecimal value 0x2C. Line 15, position 34.“. This made no sense to me whatsoever. I could see the web application in “…/_admin/WebApplicationList.aspx” list and in IIS. Browsing to the web application through IIS or in a browser away from the server directly where SharePoint was installed, I was getting “Server Error in ‘/’ Application.” As shown below in figure 2-1.

Figure 2-1

Looking around the web I found many so called resolutions but they mostly applied to ASP.NET and IIS only and did not actually work for SharePoint Server.

Many suggested that at “C:\inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\” in the port for the web application, I should alter the “web.config” file to;

  • Debug=”true” instead of the default of Debug=”false”
  • CallStack=”true” instead of the default of CallStack=”false”
  • CustomErrors=”Off” instead of the default of CustomErrors=”On

As mentioned, this did not work for the “web.config” file for the initial “SharePoint – 80” web application that was created via Configuration Wizard. The root folder of a new web application I was trying to create was completely empty. No folders and no “web.config” file to play with.

This led me to look at the log file at “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\15\LOGS”. Doing a Ctrl + F of the correlation ID, I was seeing that the web application I was trying to create wasn’t being created because there was no connection to the SQL Server.

Hold on, before you MVPs or experts scream – I am not allowed to use “SharePoint Log Viewer” or “ULS Viewer” on the development server until it had been approved by the infrastructure team. In the meantime, I was trying to resolve a problem (so that I can start some custom development).

3. The Solution

After wondering, reading on msdn.com and chatting on sharepoint-community.net, I figured out that the problem was RAM. According to Microsoft or technet.microsoft.com, a minimum of 8GB of RAM is required for a Single server with a built-in database or single server that uses SQL Server for small deployments (fewer than 1,000 users – which applies to me). Although I started out with 16GB of RAM, that wasn’t enough. Figure 3-1 shows SQL and SharePoint services not running.

Figure 3-1

4. Conclusion

SQL Server consumes a lot of RAM. Essential SQL services such as SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER) and SQL Server Agent (MSSQLSERVER) would stop by themselves even though their “Startup type” was set to automatic (production set-up has SQL, SP and other services running on different servers).

An increase to 32 GB or double the RAM was enough to keep all SQL services running. As you may all know if either SQL and or SharePoint Services (mainly SharePoint Administration) aren’t running this means that SharePoint sites will be inaccessible.

About the author 

Larry Saytee