SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010 Database Attach Upgrade Error

During a recent migration attempt from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010 I ran into the following error in the upgrade log during the database attach upgrade process:

Exception: Attempted to perform an unauthorized operation.  at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSite.set_AllowMasterPageEditing(Boolean value)
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.Upgrade.AllowMasterPageEditingAction.Upgrade(SPSite site)
   at Microsoft.Office.Server.Upgrade.SiteAction.Upgrade()
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPActionSequence.Upgrade()

This really didn’t make much sense at first because I was running the PowerShell command to attach/upgrade the database using a farm administrator account.   It had to be a permissions issue, but what was causing it?   I tried running PowerShell under a couple different accounts, all coming back with the same exact error.

I remembered one key thing I had done;  I disabled the ability for users to detach pages from site definitions and disabled site collection administrators from being able to modify master pages and page layouts using SharePoint designer.   I went back into central administration and enabled those functions and tried restarting the upgrade using the PowerShell command Upgrade-SPContentDatabase.   This time it completed successfully with no errors.

To change SharePoint Designer permissions:

  1. Open SharePoint 2010 Central Administration
  2. Choose Manage Web Applications
  3. Select your web application and then click on the General Settings drop down in the ribbon bar
  4. Choose SharePoint Designer
  5. Modify the settings as appropriate and then click ok.

0 thoughts on “SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010 Database Attach Upgrade Error”

  1. You just saved my life. I am in the middle of a production upgrade and I hadn””t seen this error in any of my testing. Of course, I forgot that I modified all of the SharePoint Designer settings between testing and go-live. Thanks for posting!

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