Generic Errors with Lists and Manage Content and Structure Tool


An unexpected error has occurred. Yep. Very helpful! Recently, when attempting to use the Manage Content and Structure tool (found under Site Actions > Manage Content and Structure), I received the above error. Looking into the ULS logs, all I was able to get ahold of was a System.NullReferenceException. Again, not really handy, or useful, at all.

I was able to determine that it had to probably be due to a list… turns out, we had deactivated and retracted several features from our farm recently, several of which relied on custom lists to store the data. If I go to View All Site Content (Site Actions > View All Site Content), and click on one of these lists, I get a similar error to the above.

Luckily, one of the times when attempting to launch the Manage Content and Structure Tool, I was able to get this error in the ULS logs.

Failed to determine the setup path of the list schema for feature {553B9E4F-C7EA-4442-845F-94390C1EAE44}, list template 10000.

So, basically, we need to remove these lists. We cannot get into the “Delete this List” option within the List management screen – otherwise you’ll get an error similar to the above. I also attempted to use SharePoint Manager 2010, which also gave an error. I just couldn’t delete the list using traditional means…

You have two options here…

  1. Write some code to delete the list (C#, PowerShell… whatever you desire)
  2. Use Gary LaPointe’s STSADM extensions and PowerShell scripts.
    1. Remove-SPList PowerShell Command
    2. gl-deletelist STSADM command

Either of those should do the trick! Now, to get the List URL is simple, the lists should still appear under View All Site Content, just right-click and copy the shortcut to the list view, for example:

Use that when calling those commands with the URL parameter, and you’re good to go.

About Geoff Varosky
Geoff Varosky is a Managing Consultant at Jornata (, a Microsoft Gold Partner focusing on SharePoint, Office 365, mobile technologies, and custom development solutions. Geoff is focused on delivering high value solutions to his customers in SharePoint and Office 365. He has been architecting and developing web based applications for over 16 years, and has been working with SharePoint for the past 10 years. Geoff is an active member of the SharePoint community, President and Co-Founder of the Boston Area SharePoint Users Group (, co-organizer for SharePoint Saturday Boston and speaks regularly at SharePoint events and user groups.

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