I have a sharepoint 2010 production environment "SQLSErver, WFE & Domain Controller" in office and ditto virtual environment at home (3 machines)...ive taken the back up of sharepoint 2010 content database from office and created new web application and mount it. Working fine when i access my portal.

When I log in through SharePoint 2010 Designer with my credentials I cannot check-in/check-out the master page as it shows "SHAREPOINT\system" in modified by column. Since SID's of domain has changed (i know) and have rights of FULL control on the whole portal as i can edit page...how can I take the ownership of this master page and do my check-in and check-outs to make changes. Getting the following error when I try to check-in or modify.

The file "_catalogs/masterpage/myportal.master" is not checked out.

In Designer I get

Server Error: the file "http://myportal.myorg.com/_catalogs/masterpage/myportal.master" is checked out for editing by (unknown)

I am trying through "Site setting->MasterPage Gallery" and "Discard CheckOut" but same error..and page state is showing "Pending".

How to resolve this issue.


2 Answers 2


Here is what you need to do in order to be able to fix the issue:

  1. Find out about both UserIDs(UserID before and after migration)
  2. Connect to your SQL database server
  3. Crack open the corresponding database for your web app.
  4. Run queries below to search for checked out items relevant to the previous creator/whom the files were previously checked out to, in the "ALLDOCS" table.

SELECT * FROM [AllDocs] WHERE [CheckoutUserId] = 'Previous User ID'

SELECT * FROM [AllDocs] WHERE [LTCheckoutUserId] = 'Previous User ID'

  1. Update/Replace previous CheckoutUserId and LTCheckoutUserId column values with the new UserID in your new invironment by running these two lines:

UPDATE [AllDocs] SET [LTCheckoutUserId] = 'New UserID' WHERE [LTCheckoutUserId] = 'Old UserID'

UPDATE [AllDocs] SET [CheckoutUserId] = 'New UserID' WHERE [CheckoutUserId] = 'Old UserID'

at this point you should be able to check in or discard check out.


Did you try to take over the checkout using your account from the portal > site settings > Galleries > Masterpages & Page Layouts . This works if you have added yourself as the site collection administrator. The site collection administrator can take over any checkouts.

All you need to do is do a "one time" [checkout+ check in] from your account through the portal and have SharePoint re-establish the publishing details of the masterpage mapped to your account. Open SharePoint Designer once again and then try to check out the same masterpage. In all likelyhood your error will go away.

  • I am the site collection administrator and doing exactly the same what you are telling me but I cannot discard checkout and not even getting "Approve/Reject" option even I have Full Control and added "Approve" permission (given to myself just to check if it works)
    – user3697
    Jun 16, 2012 at 9:35
  • Does it give you the option to delete the masterpage. If yes, the download a copy of the masterpage then delete the file. Upload the masterpage once again and check in. Can you try this and let us know..
    – ArkoD
    Jun 16, 2012 at 12:45
  • ive tried everything but it is not letting me even do anything with the masterpage..now it says the page is referring to other pages in portal...ive created a new master page and make it as "Set as Default" and in my site collection masterpage the new page is set..but still cant delete the monster.
    – user3697
    Jun 17, 2012 at 17:35
  • Then probably there is a page layout that refers to this masterpage which can be a bigger culprit. Can you validate any page layouts that refer to this masterpage and are lying in checkout state.
    – ArkoD
    Jun 19, 2012 at 14:27

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