Windows Server 2008 WFE will not allow large file uploads

I had a client a couple weeks ago who upgraded from SPS 2003 to MOSS 2007 using the database attach method. This means the MOSS farm was built on new hardware which we chose Windows Server 2008 for. This was a very challenging upgrade for several reasons but primarly because the 2003 site database was in bad shape. Once we worked through the issues and got things up we noticed strange behavior. When uploading a large file (anything larger than 28 MB) the browser would instantly come back with a 404 error. So our first thought was check the three normal settings for large uploads.

  • Central Admin > Application Management > General web application settings. By default this is 50 MB. You can increase to 2 GB.
  • Then you can go into IIS. Find your web application and go to properties. Then change the IIS timeout from 120 seconds to a much larger setting.
  • Upload.aspx is an application page. Application pages have their own web.config which controls their timeout. The default for these pages is 360 seconds. You need to increase this.

All of these settings apply whether you are using w2k3 or w2k8 and are covered in this kb http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925083

We made all of those changes and no change in behavior. And besides we didn’t have a timeout issue because on a 27 MB file is processed for a few seconds and then uploaded no problem. On a 30 MB or greater file it failed instantly.

Todd Klindt to the rescue he pointed me at this KB944981 – You cannot upload files that are larger than 28 MB on a Windows Server 2008-based computer that is running Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

So I gave it a try and it actually made things worse. What the heck? Well then I reread it. They tell you to make a change to the web.config and say just put the change in the <configuration> section. WRONG! Well kind of. You need to make the change in the <configuration> section but it has to be after the </configSections> tag. So I recommend you paste their change between </configSections> and the <SharePoint> tag.

Now everything works great. Do note their change only allows you to upload files with a size of 50 MB. If you want larger you will need to increase the maxAllowedContentLength=.

If you are going to be playing with Windows Server 2008 and SharePoint I recommend you go poke around the SharePoint and w2k8 resource center at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/sharepointserver/bb735844.aspx. Thanks to Emily Schroeder for the tweet on that page which she runs. J

Even better yet Todd and I have some fun new stuff coming on Windows Server 2008 and 64 bit before the end of the year.

Shane – SharePoint Consulting

31 thoughts on “Windows Server 2008 WFE will not allow large file uploads”

  1. Windows Server 2008 WFE will not allow large file uploads

    I had a client a couple weeks ago who upgraded from SPS 2003 to MOSS 2007 using the database attach method. This means the MOSS farm was built on new hardware which we chose Windows Server 2008 for. This was a very challenging upgrade for several reasons but primarly because the 2003 site database was in bad shape. Once we worked through the issues and got things up we noticed strange behavior. When uploading a large file (anything larger than 28 MB) the browser would instantly come back with a 404 error. So our first thought was check the three normal settings for large uploads.

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  5. We made all of those changes and no change in behavior. And besides we didn’t have a timeout issue because on a 27 MB file is processed for a few seconds and then uploaded no problem. On a 30 MB or greater file it failed instantly.

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