How to: Troubleshoot “Server Error in ‘/’ Application.” error after SP2010 SP1 update

In case you just installed SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 1, or one of the new August/September 2011 updates is giving you a hard time, if you’re facing the following error:

“Server Error in ‘/’ Application.
Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

Exception Details: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Source Error:

An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below.

Stack Trace:
[NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.]
Microsoft.Office.Server.Administration.UserProfileApplicationProxy.get_ApplicationProperties() +134
Microsoft.Office.Server.Administration.UserProfileApplicationProxy.get_PartitionIDs() +44
Microsoft.Office.Server.Administration.UserProfileApplicationProxy.IsAvailable(SPServiceContext serviceContext) +329
Microsoft.Office.Server.WebControls.MyLinksRibbon.get_PortalAvailable() +44
Microsoft.Office.Server.WebControls.MyLinksRibbon.EnsureMySiteUrls() +60
Microsoft.Office.Server.WebControls.MyLinksRibbon.get_PortalMySiteUrlAvailable() +15
Microsoft.Office.Server.WebControls.MyLinksRibbon.OnLoad(EventArgs e) +91
System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive() +65
System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive() +190
System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive() +190
System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive() +190
System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive() +190
System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive() +190
System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain(Boolean includeStagesBeforeAsyncPoint, Boolean includeStagesAfterAsyncPoint) +2427”

You might be able to solve the error by simply deleting your User Profile Service Application.

Indeed, this is not best practice obviously, but if you need to get back to working fast, this is a quick solution (hence, this is a  “Quick tip” post).

In order to delete the Service, you need to visit the Central Administration of your SP2010 installation, at the page where the listing of your Service Applications resides (Central Administration > Application Management > Manage Service Applications)

ie. /_admin/ServiceApplications.aspx

Click next to the User Profiles Service Application (NOT on it) and then, from the ribbon options, select Delete.

As I said before, this is hardly best practice but, still, it will help you get back to work until a more suitable solution comes around.

Update: You will see in the comments that Tobias Karlsson proposed a console command to solve this issue. I tried it and it does work. Depending on whether you’re comfortable with running a full fledged farm upgrade, you might want to try this:

PSConfig.exe -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b -force -cmd applicationcontent -install -cmd installfeatures

As I said already, it did work for me. Thanks Tobias.

MGR: the Intelogist

About MGR: the Intelogist

SharePoint Server developer, turned Sitefinity developer, turned Angular developer, turned SharePoint Online consultant, turned Unily consultant, turned O365 consultant... Never a dull moment!

24 thoughts on “How to: Troubleshoot “Server Error in ‘/’ Application.” error after SP2010 SP1 update

  1. Ravi Varaprasad

    I have dettached the User profile synchronization service application from the service applications through CA

    • MGR

      Well, yeah, but that’s not really optimal either, is it? I think what Tobias suggested in the comments is a better solution. Thank you for the comment though Ravi. As always, different solutions work in different scenarios. It’s great that we can have them all together so that people can try them out and find the one that works for them.

  2. Sue Wong

    I haved tried all of the above. I am unable to create any site other than a blank site and only lists not libraries. Any ideas?

  3. Sue Wong

    I have tried all of this. I was able to create a blank site but I get errors on creating a Team Site and a Document Library….Any ideas?

  4. thanks your solution worked

  5. ram

    thx a lot. it worked for me. spent lot of time debugging this issue.

  6. What worked for me was just deleting the user profile service application (if that is an option for you).

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