TechTip: SharePoint 2007 showing HTTP 500 error without /default.aspx

This article contains troubleshooting instructions for a bizarre HTTP 500 - Internal Error returned by SharePoint 2007 subsites, when opened without the default page name specified (for example, when opening inst dead of

I am not going to attempt to explain why this error happens, but I will provide the very illogical solution for making it go away. For the purpose of this article, lets assume that our problematic SharePoint site is located at

1. Add "_layouts/role.aspx" at the end of the URL (so it looks like this: to access the Permission Levels settings page for the site.

2. Above the permission levels list click "Edit Permission Levels" to stop inheriting permission levels from the parent site.

3. You will see a pop-up message asking you to confirm, click "OK" to proceed.

4. Once the change is applied, you will see 3 new selections above the permission levels list setting page, click on "Inherit Permission Levels from Parent Web Site" to revert the last change and inherit permission levels again.

5. You will again see a pop-up asking you to confirm the change, click "OK" to proceed:

6. Restart your browser and open the website again (navigate to - you should no longer receive the HTTP 500 error.

As you can see this solution is simply removing the existing Permission Levels inheritance from the parent site (copies them to the subsite that is having a problem), and then inherits them again from the parent site (overwriting the copy created in the previous step). I still have no idea why this works, or why the error happens in the first place - but I did have it happen a couple times now and this is the only way I could find to make it go away. If you have a more scientific explanation - please let me know.

1 comment:

fabio said...

Hi, i'm sorry for my bad english.

I experienced your error that i solved using your guide.
At the same time my sharepoint gave "unknown error" when i tried to create a new site.
I've found the solution at ""
( some of the .dll files that are located in the \Inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\1000\_app_bin folder are not upgraded successfully).
The issue is relative to SharePoint Services 3.0 Beta 2 but worked also for my SharePoint Server Version

Also in the Application Event Viewer was filled by the couple of error 5553 and 7888 ( a real tomato garden ) that i solved installing sharepoint inspector and following the guide at
"" and

After the reading of the above links, and talking with an expert, my honest opinion is that all this problem are relative to upgrades of
At the link "" i have found the guide "Deploy software updates for Office SharePoint Server 2007", but i've not read yet.

I hope this help!