Future Reference – SPS-2003 must run as .NET 1.1

Have been some issues & troubles at a client-side, with a SPS-2003 implementation, when adding users to the portal/site – with an error message simply stating “unable to validate data”.

Some fruitless searches & config checks centred around Active Directory permissions, etc. – and then some googling found the following Microsoft KB (Knowledge Base) article :

Error message when you try to add a user to the portal site in SharePoint Portal Server 2003: “Unable to validate data”

This described that ASP.NET 2.0 is not allowed for .NET 2.0 – and should actually uninstall .NET 2.0.   BUT – we have some other pages/sites that NEED to use .NET 2.0 – and this should be OK – esp. following the installation of SPS-2003 SP2.

I did notice that the Sharepoint Virtual Directory in IIS was configured to use ASP.NET 2.0.

We do not support configurations in which a SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Web application runs under ASP.NET 2.x.

Further evidence that something is amiss – and could be cause for concern :

SharePoint Portal Server 2003 must use ASP.NET 1.1

Running a SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Web application under ASP.NET 2.x is not supported. If you try to run a SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Web application under ASP.NET 2.x, you may experience unexpected consequences.

Ummm – yep !   That’s the problem then, eh ?

Back to IIS, and attempt to change the site to use “1.1” instead of “2.0” – and then re-load the site.

But – the dreaded Server Error in ‘/’ Application was shown – ie. something bad before even “starting”.

Change back to use “2.0” – and it works !    But, that blasted error when adding users.    *hhhmmm*

It turns out, that the “someone” who had installed the SPS-2003 instance had done the “stsadm -upgrade” command – to ensure that it works with .NET 2.0 !

Aaarrrggghhh !    Nvermind that this relates to WSS – not SPS – which is not supported for .NET 2.0.

Not much happens really – just a few lines in the Web.Config file are changed.

The following article explains how to reverse the above – thereby restoring the SPS-2003 instance to be .NET 1.1’able – and all is happy again !

If you (need to) change the version of ASP.NET that the virtual server uses from ASP.NET 2.0 to ASP.NET 1.1, you must use the Stsadm.exe command-line tool to update the settings in the Web.config file.


After ensuring that the server was playing nicely, we recommended to the client to run the SharePoint Configuration Analyzer to see if any monkeys had broken anything else.


2 thoughts on “Future Reference – SPS-2003 must run as .NET 1.1

  1. Hello, I am just starting with sps 2003 and I arrived at the same conlusion as you. But I have a problem that I cannot resolve since a week. I need to have asp.net for other web application. When I create a new virtual directory in the default website application. I put .net2 for this virtual directory and the website works only on pages where I dont use asp and session. When I create a new web site directory in the IIS and redo the sames steps as above the web application works correctly. SPS 2003 is installed on the default website of IIS.
    Do you have any idea why it doesnt work.

    Hope i have been clear on my problem and that you can help
    Thank you

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