I have a problem with an SharePoint 2007 site where the navigation menu flyouts (drop downs) render as a blank white space. This problem only happens on our clients network. It works fine on my own machine/network.

It renders like this:

But it should render like this: http://i52.tinypic.com/2hzfhx.png (broken image)

We have tested this in Chrome 7, FF3, IE6 and IE7 on multiple pc's within the clients network and only IE8 has this problem. I've checked to make sure that JavaScript and active x are enabled and that there are no group policies or anti-virus systems blocking this type of content (although I'm relying on our client to accurately provide me with this info).

When I switch the masterpage being used back to the default blueband, the problem does not occur which made me think it is related to our custom masterpage. BUT if this is the case, then why would it work in IE8 on my machine/network. Ignoring the latter, I decided to remove all js from the master page, this did not fix it, then I removed the css, this didn't fix it, then I replaced the navigation items in our custom master with those from blueband (SharePoint:AspMenu ID="GlobalNav" and PublishingNavigation:PortalSiteMapDataSource) - this didn't work either. Everything else in the page is just pure markup, and hence should not be affected by network or environment settings (or should it?)

Also, I found this previous post which sounds similar and states it was fixed by changing company intranet settings - although I don't know what settings those were.

What could cause DatePicker to render blank iframe?

Does anyone have any suggestions?

  • Could you folks try to elaborate this a little bit more? This is a IE8 issue, so how's a Windows Server HOTFIX installation able to fix it? Some of out client computers are having this issue, so it must be browser related, right? Now, having said all this, I looked at KB 981201, which only indicates it is for the servers. I assume that it is the IE8 browser on the server, or am I missing something? Another point I'm not clear is that folks are recommending opening the IE8 in Compatibility View, for our intranet sites, it is the default, so how's that affecting the flyouts? BTW, Emulating IE7 d
    – user5565
    Nov 8, 2011 at 22:28

4 Answers 4


Does it work on your network if you clear your browsers cache?

I'm just wondering - if you developed it, you might have a cached CSS file, different to the production one. It has the feel of a CSS issue.

  • Hi Andy, that's a pretty good suggestion, but unfortunately, it does still work on my network after clearing the IE cache. I've actually demo'd this site across multiple machines in meeting rooms and on other peoples pc's with no issues until we moved it to the clients network.
    – Robbie
    Dec 3, 2010 at 18:09
  • Okay, I'd suggest trying: View source on your and there systems. Check that the HTML is right by comparing between them. If it is (i.e. they're rendering the same) - could you try copy and pasting your CSS into the page header itself (!) I know it's kind of extreme, but it could tell you if the problem is with accessing the CSS file. Though I don't get why that should only be for IE8...
    – Andy Burns
    Dec 6, 2010 at 13:03
  • i did a compare of the "view source" using beyond compare and found only a few differences that don't appear to be important. ie. different user guids and domain names contained in links on the page. This makes sense in all cases i can find. I've also tried putting the css directly in to the head of the masterpage, but this doesn't work either. In the developer tools (f12) it shows that all css pages have loaded correctly. Fiddler also confirms this. There are no failed page loads in fiddler. Thanks again for your help.
    – Robbie
    Dec 6, 2010 at 14:47

Have experienced problems with SharePoint navigation that arises from the order that Office and IE are installed in. Not sure if this will appply to you here but try running a repair of MS Office, reboot and test again.

Failing that is everything checked in, published and approved? Have you used Fiddler to watch the page loading to see if there are any errors?



  • Hi Chris, thanks for your comments. Most of the machines i'm testing on don't have ms office installed - one of them has spd2007, but that is all. There are 5 default.aspx pages still awaiting approval. All of these pages are from subsites of the main site collection so shouldn't really affect the navigation. I'm having trouble approving these pages as nothing happens when i right click and approve. I'm currently installing this (tinyurl.com/yb2tybe) to attempt to force the approval, i'm not convinced it will make a difference to the nav if these pages are approved?
    – Robbie
    Dec 6, 2010 at 15:00
  • also, i tried fiddler, and it didn't show any errors loading the page or any of its dependancies (css, scripts, images). There were several 401's (Unauthorized) followed by 304's (Not Modified) of the same page but this is as I would expect.
    – Robbie
    Dec 6, 2010 at 15:04
  • I can confirm that everything in the site is checked in, published and approved, but still the menu's are blank... i'm running out of ideas... can anyone else suggest anything else?
    – Robbie
    Dec 7, 2010 at 14:15

did you fix it already?

This may be a problem with the doctype of your page.

Try adding this meta tag on your page and see how it goes.

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7" />

It worked for me, hope it helps you :)

Let me know if you have any doubts or concerns about it


  • Hi Rodrigo, I have now fixed the problem using the MS Hotfix i mentioned above, but regarding your post...i'm not sure, but wouldn't this render it in IE7 mode? If so, then that is highly undesirable as the site has numerous rendering side effects in IE7
    – Robbie
    Dec 23, 2010 at 10:08
  • yeah, sure, but i've assumed the portal was working fine on IE7 and the problem was just presenting on IE8. As per my experience, the portal was working fine on IE7 then the users upgraded to IE8 and the menu flyout was showing as blank. With this meta tag I was able to force the portal to render as IE7 mode and the problem was solved :) Thanks for the feedback! And I will test this MS Hotfix as well :)
    – Rodrigo Santos
    Jan 3, 2011 at 13:47

I have just managed to fix this issue.

While I don't fully understand the all the details of the problem, it seems the issue was related to the installation of Win Server 2003 R2 x64 Edition which our client was using.

The solution was to install this HotFix (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/981201). This fix supersedes a previous fix for this issue (http://support.microsoft.com/?id=962351) and can only be acquired by contacting MS support and requesting it directly.

I hope this helps anyone else who may experience similar issues.

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