This project has moved and is read-only. For the latest updates, please go here.

Can I remove Orpahned custom lists from all the sites?

May 16, 2013 at 10:36 AM
I have inherited a SharePoint 2007 environment which has a broken feature where a feature must have been forcefully removed without deactivating on the sites.
This has left orphaned custom lists in many sites across the farm. Due to this I cannot backup the sites as it returns an error when I tried to backup the site that has this orphaned list. I cannot even access that list via GUI but I can see it in the list when viewing all items. When I click on it it returns the generic error "feature <id> cannot be found" so I deleted the list with stsadm forcedeletelist which removed the list from the site (GUI) but when I reran the stsadm backup it returned the same error complaining about that feature. I used featureanalyser utility to find that feature and removed it from that site but I get the same result.
What do you suggest I should do? By using your tool I can probably remove the broken feature references but how can I cleanly delete these lists which are empty anyway. It is preventing me from backing up the sites.
Any help will be much appreciated.
May 16, 2013 at 8:48 PM
Hi Sharepointnerd,

sorry to hear that. I did not run into this issue yet.
Did you check, if there are any lookup sitecolumns or other lookup columns in other lists, that reference these orphaned lists? Maybe first delete those, then delete the lists.

This could be anything, I guess. If you do not have the source code for the feature any more, it is really hard to find out, what is causing this.
It might be possible, that e.g. an event-receiver is preventing you from deleting the list?!
The ULS log could tell you more, but it is very likely, that no useful information can be found there either.

If you are a developer, you should write a small console application, that iterates through all orphaned lists in this web and removes them or at least prints out additional information regarding the lists. Via code, you could also migrate the other healthy lists to another SiteCollection ...

If you are not a developer, I would recommend, that you try to backup the other lists (either check out the lapointe stsadm extensions for exporting lists or subsites, manually migrate the other lists to a subsite or e.g. migrate them via windows explorer, access or excel)

Hope that helps, good Luck! ;-)

Jun 4, 2013 at 4:13 PM
re: "it returns an error when I tried to backup the site"

What error?

(It's always best to copy & paste any error strings, when asking for help or reporting bugs. For developers, it is frustrating when users say "there was an error" but do not say what it was.)