Can someone please explain to me HOW to figure out what is causing the unbelievably vague error of "Server Error in '/' Application....turn off custom errors...blah, blah, blah"

Of course, I have changed ever web.config in the c:\InetPub\wwwroot folder (and subfolders) to have the correct setting....and still.

When I attempt to add a new user via the 'Central Administration:Site Settings:People and Groups - Farm Administrators'

I'm able to enter the user name on the 'Grant Permissions' but when I click ok...I get the error.

any advice would be great!


2 Answers 2


Of course, I have changed ever web.config in the c:\InetPub\wwwroot folder (and subfolders)

Actually, starting from SharePoint 2010, they have several additional web.config files in 14 hive. If error is happening under _layouts folder, you will need this web.config:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\web.config

Also, you can find this error details either in your LOGS folder, or using PowerShell Get-SPLogEvent. Sometimes, Windows Event Viewer can also help you.

  • This is not something specific for sp2010. It is because layouts is a virtual application in IIS and hence has its own web.config. This was also the case in sp2007 :) Apr 26, 2011 at 18:47
  • Please refer from "hi <user>.." and "hope is helps" in comments. We want to keep the answers as precise and clear as possible :) for more info on this issue read meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2950/… Apr 26, 2011 at 18:49
  • fixed, thanks for the link, didn't know that it's a bad practice :( Apr 26, 2011 at 19:24
  • no problem, keep the good answers and questions coming :) Apr 26, 2011 at 19:26
  • Changing that web.config does indeed give me a more useful error. Not that I have a clue why it's upset since I AM a member of the Local Administrators group.
    – Iunknown
    Apr 28, 2011 at 15:24

Are you running a windows server 2012 environment?

Try running psconfig a couple of times....

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