May 8, 2013

Site creation error: the folder does not exist

I have a SharePoint 2010 team site which has a doc lib called "Process Deliverables" and it contains folders with numbered names:

'0.SOW – Charter'
'1.Review Decision Report'
'2.Final Deliverables'

I saved this site into a template with its content successfully. When trying to create a site based on the template, it throws an error:
"Adding properties to the folder with url {..} failed while activating feature, the folder does not exist."

The url here is: ‘Process Deliverables/0.SOW – Charter’

I renamed the first folder '0.SOW – Charter' into '0_SOW – Charter' (without quotes). Then saved the site as a template and tried to create a site based on it. It threw a different error with similar message:

Here the url is: 'Process Deliverables/1.Review Decision Report'. This means the first folder passed successfully but the next folder item in the library fails.

Cause & Solution:
Special characters such as " # % & * : < > ? \ / { | } ~ . generally cannot be used in folder names. 
A complete list of these characters here.
In our case: the dot (.) is allowed but must be not consecutively used neither at the start nor the end of name. However, for some reason it is appearing to be causing the error here. Rename your folder if they have any of the above including the dot, example:

'0_SOW – Charter'
'1-Review Decision Report'
'2) Final Deliverables'

Now save your site as a template and create sites happily!

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