We've encountered a strange problem accessing a SharePoint 2010 document archive through Windows Explorer on a Windows 7 machine. The archive has been mapped as a network drive and everything works as expected most of the time. However, some folders can not be accessed. Windows Explorer alternates between giving an error message ("[search path] refers to a location that is unavailable. It could be on a hard drive on this computer, or on a network. ...") or opening the folder, but without any of the content showing. Other folders at the same level, with similar name and similar content, works as expected.

If we go through the web browser, everything works perfectly.

Potential problems we've ruled out include not having a site at the root, forbidden characters in folder or document names, and too long names or paths.

We've looked high and low for a solution, but haven't even found anyone with this problem, let alone a solution. Any ideas?

  • 1
    Could possibly be an alternate access mappings issue? I've seen weird behavior when they aren't set up right. Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 14:26
  • I agree it is most likely access mappings, I have to say this is where Windows 8 really shines, and it so much faster.
    – Hugh Wood
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 14:27
  • Thank you for your input! I'll send this on to my installation and configuration expert and see if he can fix my problem.
    – tomenq
    Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 10:06
  • Have any solution been found? I'm encountering the same problem. Commented Jun 14, 2013 at 8:28

2 Answers 2


I know its a little late. But I just had the same problem. After a long .. long.. search.. it turns out it was a file within the folder that was causing the problem. I found out it was a file that had symbols like <> or :: in the title. (not the file name).

When I deleted that file I could access the folder again.

Hope it helps anyone who is facing the same problem.


I also experienced this issue. In my case the user had a folder called 3.DD

Renaming the folder to e.g. 3.DDXXXX allowed the explorer view to work. I suspect that as .DD is a filetype denoting a compressed archive in some O/S's that that was the source of the problem.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.