I am using SharePoint Server 2007 Enterprise with Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, and I am using publishing portal template. I am using SharePoint Designer 2007 to import a list to a web page by using Data View -> Insert Dataview,

  • I find when the list is from the same site, it is ok;
  • I find when the list from child site, there is error like (I drag the list directly to get all the content, no additional sub-filter on the list),

The server returned a non-specific error when trying to get data from the data source. Check the format and content of your query and try again. If the problem persists, contact the server administrator.

Any ideas what is wrong?

2 Answers 2


This is one of those wonderful errors that could be caused by many things. The first place I would look is in your ULS logs, you may be able to suss out a more definitive error message there that could point you in the right direction. I have seen this happen when permissions are not set correctly (visitor, sometimes causes this) and also when there are a lot of items in the list you are attempting to display. If you can do a little further research and let me know more about the list you are attempting to use, how many items, and also any errors that you might see in the logs, I'll be glad to research further.

  • "your ULS logs" -- how to find such logs? And do I need to turn on verbose level log?
    – George2
    Dec 23, 2009 at 6:09
  • "how many items" -- only 2 entries, 3 columns of single line of text -- the scale of text is very small.
    – George2
    Dec 23, 2009 at 6:09
  • 1
    These logs are found usually in the following path: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\LOGS. However, in some cases they may be moved to another location to conserve drive space. If they cannot be found there, check in Central Admin and see where they would be located. You can turn on Verbose logging, but don't forget to turn it off and set everything back to normal or your logs will get very large very fast!
    – Lori
    Dec 23, 2009 at 15:20
  • "You can turn on Verbose logging" -- can you show me how?
    – George2
    Dec 24, 2009 at 9:44


I'm not sure how you are able to drag a list from another site into the DVWP, but that won't work. What you need to do is add a connection to the other site as follows:

  • Open the Data Source Library by clicking Data View / Manage Data Sources.
  • At the bottom of the pane, click on "Connect to another library..."
  • Add the connection using the ensuing dialogs

Once you have done this, you can use the lists and libraries from the other site just as you would use lists and libraries in the current site. They will be listed separately under the name of the site in the Data Source Library.


  • For connect to another library, support parent site wants to use list from clild site, I should use "Connect to another library..." from parent site to connect to child site? Or use "Connect to another library..." from child site connect to parent site?
    – George2
    Dec 23, 2009 at 6:10
  • 1
    Connect where you want to use the data, not where it lives. Dec 24, 2009 at 16:27

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