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Restore the Default.Master File in MOSS 2007 Central Administration After Overwritten or Customized

by on August 4, 2011

So your client (surely not you!) has overwritten default.master with a malformed master page, or customized it until broken. They may even have deleted it.

Here is the error you see:

File Not Found.

Troubleshoot issues with Windows SharePoint Services.

The hyperlink is useless as is the error message. Here is how to resolve the issue.

Option 1

Check naming of default.master and make sure there is one! If it has been renamed, you can name it back to default.master. However, you may still want to restore the ORIGINAL default.master – in this case continue with Option 2.

If it has been deleted, continue with Option 2.

Option 2

If option 1 checks out, do the following:

  1. go to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\GLOBAL
  2. Copy default.master from the template folder to your desktop
  3. Open the Central Admin site in SharePoint Designer
    1. Start > All Programs > Microsoft Office > Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007
    2. In SharePoint Designer, click on File > Open Site
    3. Copy your Central Administration url into the address bar and delete the “/default.aspx” portion
    4. Click on Open
  4. Expand _catalogs > expand materpage
  5. Drag file from desktop into the master pages contents
  6. When you get the Confirm Save popup, click on Yes
  7. Reload Central Admin in the browser – you should see central admin appear as normal
  8. If it still does not appear correctly, you may need to reset the default.master file as the Default & Custom master page
    1. right click on default.master
    2. Click on Set as Default Master Page (if it is greyed out it is already applied) – this will apply it to system created, back end, and default site pages
    3. right click on default.master
    4. Click on Set as Custom Master Page (if it is greyed out it is already applied) – This will apply it to created or published pages
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