Microsoft cloud engineer - SharePoint, Office 365, Azure, DotNet, Angular, JavaScript.
Microsoft cloud engineer - SharePoint, Office 365, Azure, DotNet, Angular, JavaScript.

November 2009

Unable to assign this e-mail address to the list, because the address is in use – FIXED

I came across this WSS error message today while working on incoming email updates and was stuck.   The browser clearly showed the list has no inbound email enabled and offered no alternatives on how to enable.   My enable failed, the address is taken, and I have no way to remove.

SQL Studio to the rescue!

addr in use

OK.  First of all I know, I know I know.   TSQL against the databases even in read only mode is frowned upon.   What I am doing here is far beyond supported, not safe, and I am a crazy man.  Again, I know this.   I had no other options and needed a solution.

FROM [SharePoint_Config].[dbo].[EmailEnabledLists]
WHERE [Alias] ='my_old_alias'

The config database holds a central table the incoming email references to get the site, web, and list GUID for where to place the message.    I found my old email alias in here despite the fact the web GUI showed it was disabled.  


  I wrote a select statement and copied the output to notepad in case I needed to INSERT this row back.   I then changed “SELECT *” to “DELETE” and killed the one row.   Flipping back to IE and clicking OK, it worked perfectly!   Never had any issues since and this was weeks ago.   Like they say on TV … “don’t try this at home”

Making a cozy PowerShell home

During the Chicago SharePoint 2010 road show (#SharePointRS) Darrin Bishop (@bishopd) showed us a cool admin trick with the below command:

Add-PPSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell


    Adds one or more Windows PowerShell snap-ins to the current session.

    Add-PSSnapin [-Name] <string[]> [-PassThru] [<CommonParameters>]

Every product shipping with Microsoft now seem sot have it’s own start menu icon and matching PowerShell console.   I’m a simple guy and prefer fewer icons.   So I changed my default profile.ps1 file (C:Documents and Settings%username%My DocumentsWindowsPowerShellprofile.ps1) to have all of the cmdlets loaded in one place.

It was a nice time saver for me, give it a try on your machine! 




Excel fill down for easy admin scripting

As an admin I use several scripting languages.    I find one common trick helpful across them all.    It’s amazingly simple and easy to adapt – Excel Fill Down.    Maybe you already use this and that’s cool.   But for those that don’t you’ll want to give it a try.




Simply copy/pasting output from Command Prompt, SQL Studio, or PowerShell can help build an Excel worksheet of inputs.   Simple string concatenation in Excel can build commands in bulk.   Fill down then copy/paste back to your server to execute.    I realize with SharePoint 2010 this could be a moot point considering how nicely PowerShell object collections pipe but I somehow think I’ll still be using Excel fill down to build scripts each day.

It’s a simple trick, but many of our best admin tools are the simple flexible ones we can use in many ways.

One last trick worth sharing is the drag and drop capability of Command Prompt.   File and folder paths can be long and tedious to type.   Why waste your time?    Just open Explorer side by side and drag items to Command Prompt to type them perfectly every time. 


Hyper-V and Virtual Server 2005 = smart combo!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past five years you’ve run a virtual machine.  Yes, we all love them.   They save hardware, energy, time, and even our butts in the event of a rollback.    As a developer or administrator I think it’s best to understand the structure and have many tools available.   Our creativity is our single best long term tool to solve problems.

If you run Hyper-V I still recommend you install Virtual Server 2005.


  • Great utilities like VHDMOUNT.     Amazing tool that lets you modify VHD files directly without booting anything.   Partition resize, modify contents, etc.
  • Backwards compatibility with older systems (i.e. Virtual PC 2007 on Win XP)
  • Run older VM without upgrading them to Hyper-V.
  • Original source Virtual Machine Additions install media (ISO, VFD)

Keep your options open.  You might need them one day.   Also, don’t forget about Disk2vhd which lets you convert P2V (physical to virtual) by creating a .VHD from a live physical disk.



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@ SPJeff

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