Local access to your SharePoint 3.0 site

OK – just a quick poll . . .    Raise your hand if you’ve seen this:

You install Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (either on a Windows 2003 or 2008 server) and create a new web app & site collection.  While the site works great for all of your local clients, and even works externally – you can’t access the site from the server it is running on.  Specifically – when you try to browse to the site on the local server, you get prompted for credentials 3 times before getting a generic 401 unauthorized error.

I’ll admit I have been seeing this for quite some time, but have always been too busy to track down the cause, especially since the easy workaround is to just access the site from another machine.  Well, I finally did some digging and was able to identify the cause & the solution.  This is actually caused by a failing loopback check – which is the exact same scenario that causes the infamous 2436 Gatherer errors for our companyweb in SBS 2008.  And to keep things consistent – the exact same fix for the 2436 errors will fix our inability to access a WSS 3.0 site on the local server it’s running on.

You can find the specific steps on the SBS support blog:

http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2009/05/07/event-2436-for-sharepoint-services-3-search.aspx

Just add the URL of your site to the BackConnectionHostNames registry entry, run an iisreset and you’ll be good to go!

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