Monthly Archives: December 2014

How to fix frequent WebDav “path not valid” errors

After experiencing some intermittent “path not valid” and very frustrating errors trying to open different types of files from my SharePoint server I’d had enough. I had to know what was going on.

Here’s the behaviour I was seeing. I had used a certain machine to edit SharePoint files in applications such as WordPad and Paint in the past so I just jumped on it and tried to open a file from SharePoint in MS Paint and it would just keep failing with “path not valid”. I tried the same file from another machine and it worked fine. So back the first machine with the error and I tried images from other directories on the same server, they all failed with “path not valid”. I then started trying to open different file types with different applications. What I found was quite surprising (to me anyway). I was able to successfully open a .txt file from SharePoint in WordPad and from that point on my original image files that failed to open in Paint started working fine.

Now I already knew that WebDav had a few dependencies and that the WebClient service had to be running, but I had initially dismissed this as a possible cause as I knew I’d been working fine with WebDav on this machine only a couple of days prior… it turned out this was a bad assumption to make.

What I wasn’t expecting was that there are some actions you can do that will start the WebClient service if it’s not already running. As I discovered, one of those actions it to use WordPad to try and open a file on a UNC path. A bit of digging around also revealed that putting a UNC path in Windows Explorer will cause the WebClient service to start as well.

Here’s the proof:

webdav-path-not-valid-sharepoint-fix-cameron-dwyer-01-stop-webclient-service

webdav-path-not-valid-sharepoint-fix-cameron-dwyer-02-open-with-paint

webdav-path-not-valid-sharepoint-fix-cameron-dwyer-03-invalid-path-errort

webdav-path-not-valid-sharepoint-fix-cameron-dwyer-04-web-client-not-running

webdav-path-not-valid-sharepoint-fix-cameron-dwyer-05-open-with-wordpad

webdav-path-not-valid-sharepoint-fix-cameron-dwyer-06-open-with-wordpad-successful

webdav-path-not-valid-sharepoint-fix-cameron-dwyer-07-webclienbt-service-started

Now trying to open the original image file (that failed) in Paint works fine.

webdav-path-not-valid-sharepoint-fix-cameron-dwyer-08-open-sharepoint-photo-in-paint

So I learned my lesson, even though it’s something I thought I already knew. If you are making use of WebDav MAKE SURE the WebClient service is set with a startup type of “Automatic”.

 

Further reading:

https://www.myotherpcisacloud.com/post/2012/11/13/Sometimes-I-Can-Access-the-WebDAV-Share-Sometimes-I-Cant!.aspx

Office Lens: The simple and free way to create an Outlook Contact from a business card

I’ve found Office Lens to be an awesome app for Windows Phone. Recently the app was enhanced to allow for the specific task of scanning business cards.

So how does it work? Simply fire up the free Office Lens app on your Windows Phone and tell it you want to scan a business card. Take the photo (scan) and save it to OneNote. Here’s what I ended up with when I scanned my own business card.

office-lense-scan-business-cards-cameron-dwyer-01-onenote

In OneNote (either directly on the phone or back on your PC – once OneNote syncs) you get the full picture of the business card at the bottom of the OneNote page, but it creates a section of formatted text above the image which extracts the main details from the business card and creates hyperlinks to call, email or open website addresses. Pretty cool.

The awesomeness doesn’t stop there. Embedded in the OneNote page is a .vcf file “BizCard”.

office-lense-scan-business-cards-cameron-dwyer-01-open-business-card

Click on the “BizCard” file and a full Outlook Contact profile is composed with all the details filled out ready to save.

office-lense-scan-business-cards-cameron-dwyer-03-create-new-outlook-contact-from-business-card

The screenshots above are from OneNote Desktop on my PC, but you get similar functionality directly on your phone. You can see the “BizCard” link and pressing it composes a new contact directly on your phone with all the details filled out which you can then edit/change before saving. Now that is really cool.

I’m looking forward to the next SharePoint Conference when I come home at the end of the day with a wad of business cards in my pocket.

Here’s an official article about the feature

http://blogs.office.com/2014/12/08/office-lens-gets-networking-scan-business-cards-onenote-contacts-outlook

You can download the Office Lens Windows Phone app for free from the Windows Phone Store.

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