SharePoint: access denied when trying to copy a list (item)

Hey there,

Lately, while trying to copy a SharePoint list from one site to another (or later also single list items), I got this infamous “Access denied” SharePoint error. At first of course the idea is to log in as a super-user. But when this operation failed also with the account of Site Collection Admin and/or Site Owner role, it seemed less trivial than just a missing permission within the site collection.

Unfortunately, a quick jump into the SharePoint logs didn’t bring me much further:

Access is denied. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED))

Since this problem has occurred in more than one application on our SharePoint server, I was assuming it to be a global misconfiguration. Hence, had to check out the Central Administration. There was the solution:

In Central Administration > Operations > Service Accounts I checked which account actually is responsible for the communication with Windows SharePoint Services on our server. So, in the Web application pool section, I selected the WSS Web application and the application pool of the application which was giving me this “Access denied” message.

The account was the predefined one – the Network Service.

There’s the rub! Since we’re using own domain accounts for such cases and only they’re enabled to access the WSS, the Network Service account was actually getting the “Access denied” message (when trying to connect to one of the SharePoint Web Services).

Changing the account from predefined one to the configurable one with our username and password did the trick. I just had to do an iisreset after this change.

Probably this solution also fixes some other problems we might have encountered, where the communication between application and WSS would fail.

Hope this helps,
Łukasz

~ by Łukasz on 10 May 2011.

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