It is SP2010 enterprise farm. It is a 2 sharepoint servers (both are wfe) and 1 SQL topology.

Whenever a user perform a update action (e.g. approve a task, delete a file) will get a generic SharePoint error with correlation ID. By look up the ID in ULS log we get something like

System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException: A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server.

In event viewer, we can find warning level log:

Exception information: Exception type: InvalidOperationException Exception message: Timeout expired. The timeout period elapsed prior to obtaining a connection from the pool. This may have occurred because all pooled connections were in use and max pool size was reached.

When it happened, refresh the page will not resume. He has to close the browser and open the site again and it will works. When the user get error, other users do not get error at the same time (if other users do not perform "update" action).

Also, the update actually works. If the user check the same item he updated before, he can see the correct last modified time and the updated content.

What can be the cause?

  • Is there any custom code deployed? Sounds like an issue with SQL Connection pools being exceeded, just my 2 cents Nov 8, 2016 at 21:08
  • No it is not custom code. We try create a new site collection and test on default "shared document" library. Upload file-> no problem. Upload file and edit the properties -> error.
    – Mark L
    Nov 9, 2016 at 1:14

1 Answer 1


The clue are "close the browser and open the site again works" and "the update actually processed".

It means the session was not working. We checked our web.config file for each web application and found all of them are pointing to a SQL database in another SharePoint farm. Here is the line in web.config:

<sessionState mode="SQLServer" timeout="60" allowCustomSqlDatabase="true" sqlConnectionString="Data Source=oldSQLserver;Initial Catalog=SessionStateService;Integrated Security=True;Enlist=False;Connect Timeout=15" />

After correct above connectionstring, the SharePoint is back to normal.

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