I have a server setup with wss 3.0, and I'm experiencing a problem accessing the home page of any site (default.aspx) or anything listed under the _catalogs folder accross all sites on the server.

For example, I can navigate to 'http://SITE/_layouts/settings.aspx' but 'http://SITE/default.aspx' causes an HTTP 404 error, the resource cannot be found.

The same error occurs if I try to navigate to any pages under SITE/_catalogs (for example 'http://SITE/_catalogs/masterpage/Forms/AllItems.aspx').

I believe the cause of the problem is that I opened C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\GLOBAL\default.master with sharepoint designer 2007 and caused the file to no longer be 'ghosted'.

what really drives me nuts is that if i now open for example central admin through sharepoint designer, i do in fact see default.aspx and i can even open it for editing but I cannot preview in browser or navigate to it without getting the same error...

I am not however certain that this is the case, and if it is, how do I resolve the issue?

1 Answer 1


You need to get a copy of default.master from another installation (or backup) SharePoint Designer has probably removed some ~ chars and made the masterpage invalid.

  • Thanks, that was all I needed to do what a relief, I was not looking forward to any of the possible alternatives
    – user8828
    Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 20:56

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