I ran across this strange error while trying to backup a site collection
I noticed that while running automated SharePoint backups that a certain site collection was not being backed up. This was a site collection one level down from the root site collection. For example, if the root site was http://mySharePoint, this was a sub-site collection (sub-SC): http://mySharePoint/sites/subSiteCollection (this was running MOSS 2007 Enterprise).
I logged on to the machine and ran the script in a command prompt and it worked fine, it just skipped over the sub-SC. This got me thinking as to why this was happening, as the script is supposed to enumerate down through all site collections. First I tried to run a manual backup by running:
stsadm -o backup -url http://mySharePoint/sites/subSiteCollection -filename \\backups\subSC.bak
And it gave me the error:
Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
I then tried to enumerate through the sites:
stsadm -o enumsites -url http://mySharePoint
And all of the other sub site collections showed up fine, but I got this error:
<Site Url="http://mySharePoint" Owner="DOMAIN\naspinski" SecondaryOwner="DOMAIN\stan" ContentDatabase="WSS_Content_Root" StorageUsedMB="500" StorageWarningMB="0" StorageMaxMB="0" />
<Site Error="Object reference not set to an instance of an object." />
As you can see, the first site shows up, but it is followed by the vague error message where the second site report should be. This is an incredibly non-descript SharePoint error that leaves you scratching your head. I knew the site collection was there; I could navigate to it, I could find it in my Central Administration and everything worked fine. I was able to back up other site collections and everything, just not this one.
Turns out after scouring the internet and checking every setting I could find without any help at all, I fell back on one of my List of 5 Simple SharePoint 2007 Fixes (which I should have done first) and number two on the list fixed it. I ran SharePoint Technologies and Configuration Wizard and magically the problem had stopped. Once again, not sure exactly why SharePoint did what it did, but this seemed to work out.