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We are still in the process of rolling out SharePoint, but we’ve got the server up and running and the primary site is working. We set it up as I then created a new site called ‘Help Center’ and it’s URL was After adding a bunch of content, and starting to plan to roll it out we decided to change the URL to (just because we are picky like that). I did this by going to the site (at the original URL), going to Site Settings>Title, Description, and Icon, and in the URL name box I changed ‘help_center’ to ‘help’ and clicked OK. That’s when all hell broke loose. I got an error, and unfortunately I did-not capture it before moving on so I don’t remember exactly what it said – but I noticed that in the address bar it was still showing the old URL (/help_center/) so I tried changing it to the new URL (/help/) but then I got a 404 error. I tried IISReset, and even rebooted the server – but I still get a 404 error every time I try to access the page. Back on my primary site, the URL on the Help Center tab has been updated to the new URL (, but when I click it I just get the 404 error. I can’t access the site with the new URL or the old URL.

I can still see the site and all of it's assets in the site manager, but I still get the 404 error when I try to access any of the site settings from the menu (site settings, people and groups, advanced permissions, or general settings). If I try changing the URL in the address bar from the new name to the old name, i get a different error that just says 'file not found'.

I also tried using the stsadm commands (referenced here:, but I get the following errors:

  • When I try using the NEW name, I get the error: The site could not be found in the Web application SPWebApplication
  • When I try using the OLD name, I get the error: 0x80070002There is no Web named "/help_center".

In SharePoint Designer, I can connect to, and I can SEE the sub-site called 'Help Center' (it shows the URL /help/), but when I try to connect to it I get this: Server error:

The URL ""; is not contained within a Microsoft SharePoint Foundation site.

When I try to run the PowerShell cmdlets provided in my original post, I can't get past the first line before I get this error (same error when I use the old and new URL):

Get-SPWeb : Cannot find an SPSite object that contains the following Id or Url: At line:1 char:18 + $help = get-spweb <<<< + CategoryInfo : InvalidData: (Microsoft.Share....SPCmdletGetWeb: SPCmdletGetWeb) [Get-SPWeb], SPCmdletPipeBindException + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell.SPCmdletGetWeb

'get-spweb without parameters' gives me an error that I need to provide a full URL or spsite object. When I run get-spweb it just comes back with under URL. When I run get-spsite, I get a list that mainly contains root sites (we have a few for our AX/CRM environment), and then I do see which is another sub-site I created - but I do-not see the Help Center site listed.

I found this script on another thread (the one referenced at the bottom of my original post), and it returns a list that includes one titled 'Help Center' with the URL /help:

$site = Get-SPSite "" foreach ($web in $site.AllWebs) { $web | Select-Object -Property Title,Url | format-table -auto }

Any other suggetions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! ][Q][

Original post: Similar post:

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Aha! I finally found a solution, although I'm still unsure what the problem was. I used SharePoint Manager 2010 [] to change the 'ServerRelativeUrl' in the properties back to '/help_center' and now the site works again! I'm not even going to bother trying to change it back - don't feel like messing with it anymore... – Eriq Stern - MCITP Sep 11 '12 at 17:20
You don't happen to have a managed path or site collection identified in central admin at /help do you? – SpartanDonut Sep 11 '12 at 20:06
Actually, yes there is a managed path in my web application called 'help'. is this a default? if-so, i think it's strange that SP would even allow me to change a site URL name to 'help'. here's what I'm seeing: help - Explicit inclusion – Eriq Stern - MCITP Sep 13 '12 at 16:33
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can't have a sub site at the location of a managed path as managed paths help define the root of a site collection.

Help is not a default SharePoint 2010 managed path out of the box. You can check if a site collection exists at that location by navigating to:

Application Management -> View all site collections -> Go through each web app and check for any site collections at /help (switch web apps from the upper right drop down menu)

If a site collection at /help does not exist and you are fairly certain it is not going to be used or is already needed by a feature or third party solution solution later down the road you should be able to safely remove the /help managed path.

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