I'm going to preface this with a warning: My knowledge about servers and networking is VERY limited, and if you provide me with technical answers, I probably won't understand much until I research your answer further. I'm trying to expand my knowledge and learn about it, though. If the information that I am able to provide in this question is insufficient to answer the question, I understand, and it can be closed.

We have a SharePoint 2007 system that is extremely slow, mostly from huge amounts of use. We've been told that the main speed bottleneck is the access to the sql databases. However, they do provide a statistics dashboard, so I did some poking around, and noticed that we have 11.5 million or more 401 - access denied errors every month. Could this be causing major speed/performance decreases? Authentication for sharepoint uses active directory.

  • 1
    How many users do you have that you'd be getting over 383,000 errors a day?
    – Bart Silverstrim
    Apr 27, 2011 at 14:59
  • If that's mostly confined to the work day, it's only 13 errors per second. While it's definitely a problem somewhere in the system, it's unlikely to be a bottleneck.
    – Chris S
    Apr 27, 2011 at 15:00
  • Is the SQL on the same server or is it in a Farm Configuration? I would hit perfmon to check out the CPU, Memory and IO usage.
    – ITHedgeHog
    Apr 27, 2011 at 15:04
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    It sounds like there are major configuration issues with your farm. I'd be looking to elevate this problem to someone more qualified internally or to an outside consultant. 11.5 million 401s a month is not normal, but is also likely not your problem. I doubt that anyone will be able to help you out much, since SP is such a complex product and your question is so vague.
    – MDMarra
    Apr 27, 2011 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


401s are always perfectly normal. A browser sends a request to a web server, as anonymous, the server responds with 401 auth is required, then the browser auths appropriately, if it is able to. Since the connection is stateless, you'll be seeing lots of 401s.

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