To change the URL of my sharepoint 2010 site, I:

  • Went to Central Admin -> Web Applications
  • Extended the webapp to a new URL
  • Made sure the new URL worked
  • Went to "Remove sharepoint from IIS website" and removed the site for the old URL
  • Removed the Alternate Access Mappings for the old URL, so it now says Zone: Default, Public URL:
  • Restarted IIS

I can access the site from internet explorer, but clicking Site Actions -> Open in Sharepoint Designer gives me an error:

The server could not complete your request.

For more specific information, click the Details button.

(The details button opens a blank window, there are no details in there!)

Clicking on ok brings up a second message:

An error occurred while trying to fetch data from your SharePoint site. Unexpected response from the server. The content type of the response is "". The status code is "OK".

I've checked under Manage Web Applications -> General Settings -> SharePoint Designer, and all 4 checkboxes are enabled to allow designer.

I've also checked the bindings in IIS, and it only has the new url listed there. No other ones.

What change did I miss that broke sharepoint designer?

Edit: Application log shows another related error:

WebHost failed to process a request. Sender Information: System.ServiceModel.ServiceHostingEnvironment+HostingManager/38841100 Exception: System.ServiceModel.ServiceActivationException: The service '/_vti_bin/client.svc' cannot be activated due to an exception during compilation. The exception message is: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.. ---> System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object. at Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities.SPUtility.ConfigServiceHostIfClaimsAuth(ServiceHost serviceHost) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SPClientServiceHost.OnServiceHostOpening(ServiceHost serviceHost) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Services.MultipleBaseAddressWebServiceHost.OnOpening() at System.ServiceModel.Channels.CommunicationObject.Open(TimeSpan timeout) at System.ServiceModel.ServiceHostingEnvironment.HostingManager.ActivateService(String normalizedVirtualPath) at System.ServiceModel.ServiceHostingEnvironment.HostingManager.EnsureServiceAvailable(String normalizedVirtualPath) --- End of inner exception stack trace --- at System.ServiceModel.ServiceHostingEnvironment.HostingManager.EnsureServiceAvailable(String normalizedVirtualPath) at System.ServiceModel.ServiceHostingEnvironment.EnsureServiceAvailableFast(String relativeVirtualPath) Process Name: w3wp Process ID: 5160

  • Strangely it seems to start working if I extend the webapp to a second site. But stops working again if I remove the second site.
    – Grant
    Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 16:13

1 Answer 1


Well, I still have no idea what I did wrong, but I figured out how to fix it.

  • Extend the webapp to a new temporary site in the Custom zone

  • Delete the site with the new url

  • Extend the webapp to the new url in the default zone

My best guess is that I messed up the zones somehow when extending the webapp the first time.

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