Difficulty Accessing a Sharepoint Site


In some cases, users who should have access to a Sharepoint site on the Marshall University Sharepoint 2007 Server will report being unable to login.   In that situation, please follow the following steps to resolve the login issue.


  1. Verify that you are able to access the site and are being asked for a username and password.   You should be prompted to enter your user credentials.   If, instead, your browser reports a “Page Cannot Be Displayed”, “Site Not Found”, or similar error, you will need to connect to the Marshall University VPN before attempting to access the site.   You can login to the VPN by visiting the MUVPN Site in your browser and logging in with your MUNET username and password.  NOTE:  If you are on the campus network, you do NOT need to access the VPN.   The VPN is for, and will only work for, off campus users attempting to access a campus network resource.   Attempting to reach the MUVPN site from on-campus will result in an error page telling you that you cannot reach the site.
  2. If you are prompted for credentials, but are being told that your access has been denied, take the following steps:
    1. Examine the login prompt and make sure that you are trying to log in as a Marshall domain user.   You can determine this by looking at the domain indicator beneath the username and password text boxes in the login box (as seen below).
    2. If the “Domain” box in your prompt indicates anything other than “Marshall”, enter your username as “MARSHALLusername” to force authentication back to the domain.
    3. If you are still not able to login, try to authenticate to the site from a different web browser.     If this works, you may need to clear your primary browser cache and restart before attempting to log in again to the site.
  3. If none of these steps resolves the issue, verify with the Sharepoint Site Administrator that your user account has been granted appropriate access to the site or resource you are trying to authenticate to.    Common problems include users attempting to log in with School Of Medicine domain accounts where only their primary Marshall domain account has been granted access – and vice versa.
  4. If you are still unable to log in after working through each of these steps, please open a support request with the IT Service Desk.   To assist in resolving your issue as quickly as possible, please include the full URL of the Sharepoint site you are trying to access, along with your MUNET username.

Sharepoint Sites Ask For Login Info Multiple Times

As you begin working with Sharepoint based sites, you may notice these sites asking you to authenticate multiple times throughout the day.   In order to eliminate the need to log-in multiple times, please follow the steps outlined below:


NOTE: These steps are appropriate for your primary personal or office computer.   They are NOT appropriate for shared or public computers.

  1. Go to the SharePoint site.
  2. From the Internet Explorer Tools menu choose Internet Options.
  3. Click the Security tab.
  4. Click Local Intranet . Click the Sites button.
  5. Click the Advanced button.
    Note: If needed, un-check the Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone check box.
  6. Confirm that the appropriate URL is in the Add this website to the zone box.
  7. Click the Add button. The address should appear in the Websites list.
  8. Click the Close button.
  9. Click OK. Click OK.
  10. Exit Internet Explorer.
  11. Re-open Internet Explorer and go to your SharePoint site
STEP TWO (if following the steps above does not resolve your issue)

If, after following the procedure in STEP ONE of this document, you are still asked to log in multiple times, please follow these additional steps:
  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. In the menu across the top, select View>Explorer Bar and check to see if the last option in the list, “Discuss”, is checked
  3. If checked, click on the checkbox to clear it

"Page Cannot Be Displayed" Error When Accessing Sharepoint Sites

When you attempt to access your Sharepoint based site from an off-campus location, you receive a message in your web browser indicating that “The Page Cannot Be Displayed”, similar to the image shown below in Figure 1.

Figure 1

This error occurs when your site is deployed on a Sharepoint Web Application configured for internal and campus network access.   Examples of such applications are http://sharepoint.marshall.edu/, and http://inside.marshall.edu/.

In order to access these sites from off campus locations, users must first connect to the Marshall University VPN using their MUNET account credentials.    Connecting to the campus VPN is a simple and quick process, and helps to maintain the security of data contained within your site.

For instructions on how to connect to the Marshall University VPN, please visit the University Computing Services VPN Help Page.

MOSS Surveys on Public Facing Sites

Sharepoint surveys can be used to gather data, create user polls, or otherwise interact with visitors to your site. Using surveys, you define a set of questions (both multiple choice and open) and have users of the site fill them in.   Surveys allow for simple data gathering, scale rating, and even branching logic (determining the next question in a series of questions depending on the last answer provided).

When you have a public-facing site, it will be (by default) configured with anonymous read access for all users.   This makes sense, as typically you will want your users to be able to read your web content without logging in.    They will not, however, have write access to your site.    This presents a problem when working with surveys, as users must be able to write to your server in order to answer survey questions.    Fortunately, with some minor configuration changes, you can configure your site to allow users to provide you with data via the survey utility.    Follow these steps to properly configure your site.

Create the survey

Create a new survey by selecting ‘Survey’ from the Site Settings page. You will see this screen:

Enter a title and description for the survey.   Cick Next, and begin creating the questions that will make up your survey:

You can add as many questions to your survey as you like.  When you’re satisfied that you’ve entered all your questions,  click Finish and allow the survey to be created.  You will be redirected to the Survey Settings page: On the settings page, make note of the following two settings: ‘Advanced Settings’ and ‘Permissions for this survey’.  Begin by clicking  ‘Advanced Settings’.

Configure advanced settings

Set ‘Read Access’ to ‘All Responses’, ‘Edit Access’ to ‘Only their own’ and ‘Allow items from this survey to appear in search results’ to ‘No’.

Configure permissions

Navigate to the permissions screen: By default, the survey will inherit permissions from the site.  To properly configure your survey, you will need to break this permissions inheritance by selecting ‘Edit Permissions’ from the ‘Actions’ menu. Once you’ve selected ‘Edit Permissions’, a settings menu will appear and from it, you will choose ‘Anonymous Access’. Make sure that the checkboxes for ‘Add’ and ‘View’ are selected.

Configure advanced settings a second time

Again, navigate to the ‘Advanced settings’ screen and set Read Access back to ‘Only their own’.

Congratulations, your survey can now be completed by all anonymous users, and they will not be able to see each others entries. The information collected via survey responses is stored in the survey’s library.  Site Owners and Administrators can review the responses, including aggregated graphs of all entries.

Cautions and Items of Note:

  • Setting ‘Allow multiple responses’ to ‘No’ has no effect when a survey is configured to allow response from anonymous users.    This makes the survey functionality unsuitable for “voting” applications.
  • Users will be able to see the Survey summary page, which displays the number of entries. This may not always be as desired.
  • Sharepoint does not support allerts on lists that allow users to see only their own entries. You may be able to keep track of new entries by consuming the RSS feed from the survey.