Resolving Errors when saving Sites as Templates in SharePoint 2010

For all the improvements and updates introduced with the SharePoint 2010 release, there’s at least one segment of the platform that got harder to work with – saving sites as templates. Debates rage about whether and to what extent people should even use SharePoint site templates as a deployment mechanism (vs say Features) but if you found your way here, you’ve likely already made that decision and just need some tips on resolving some of the common errors we here at CorasWorks ran into when SharePoint 2010 was first released. Hope these help!

Error #1

“Error exporting the list named “YourList” at the URL: Lists/YourListURL

When getting this error, the name of the list is almost always the first list (in alphabetical order) within your site, and you’ll likely see an error screen like this:List Export Error

The error is often the result of the default content types not being present/enabled within the Site Collection you’re working in. A quick pair of PowerShell commands though and you can get them redeployed fairly quickly.

First, fully disable them:
Disable-SPFeature –Identity ctypes –url http://SiteCollection

Then, enable them anew:
Enable-SPFeature –Identity ctypes –url http://SiteCollection

Now you’re back in business; go ahead and try to save your site as a template again. If you get a new error however, read on…

Error #2

“The attachments column does not exist for list Id xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx, list name YourList

In this case, a generic error is displayed in the UI and the above message is found in the logs using the Correlation ID of the error.

Usually related to error #1 above, this error indicates the default Site Columns are missing and thus SharePoint is unable to build a functional Site Template. And just like above, a short pair of PowerShell commands are all you need to get said Site Columns redeployed.

Again, first disable them completely:
Disable-SPFeature –Identity fields –url http://SiteCollection

And then re-enable them:
Enable-SPFeature –Identity fields –url http://SiteCollection


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