RENDER FAILED when filtering by a column in a grouped view

Error:

<!–# RENDER FAILED –>

RENDER FAILED is one of those problems that can happen in different situations which have very little in common with each other.
It may also be present, then fixed with one cumulative update and come back with the next cumulative update.

Case:

In a document library in SharePoint 2010 when filtering by a column that has more than 500 different values instead of listing all the choices in the dropdown it shows the link “Show filter choices”. When clicking this link the page reloads and shows dropdown controls without styling which contain all the choices no matter how many they are. This is the normal behavior and it should work for every view no matter is it grouped or not, one or two level grouping.

In my case when clicking “Show filter choices” in a grouped view of a document library an empty page with <!–# RENDER FAILED –> on the left top corner is shown.

Render Failed screenshot

Investigation:

I found online that other users have complained for <!–# RENDER FAILED-> error and they have reported it to Microsoft. There are  some hotfixes that Microsoft has released but none of the cases reported by users were the same as my case. Anyhow I installed the latest cumulative update but the problem was still there.

I created another document library using UI, generated more than 500 items,created new view, set up the grouping and surprisingly “Show filter choices” was working fine and it was not giving any error.

After inspecting the page of the problematic view I found out that it was using ListViewWebPart webpart. That webpart is the default webpart for list views in MOSS 2007. In SharePoint 2010 the default list view webpart is XsltListViewWebPart. That explains why the view in the new list was working fine.

It turned out that the site collection where the problem was occurring has been migrated from MOSS 2007 to SharePoint 2010 by attaching the content database. That explains why those old views were using ListViewWebPart.

To fix the problem I had to replace ListViewWebPart webparts with XsltListViewWebPart  webparts. I didn’t have to do that manually.. Fortunately just entering in edit mode and clicking Apply/OK for every old web part SharePoint automatically changes ListViewWebPart to XsltListViewWebPart. After that filtering by a column with more than 500 choices was working in the old grouped views too.

Solution:

Do the following for all the views that have the problem:

  1. Open view’s page in edit mode.
  2. Open view’s webpart in edit mode.
  3. Without changing anything click Apply/OK. That will automatically change the old ListViewWebPart to the new XsltListViewWebPart.
  4. If the problem is still present check the view’s page to make sure that the control is changed from ListViewWebPart to XsltListViewWebPart. This can be checked by adding ?contents=1 to the view’s Url or by opening the page in SharePoint Designer

This solution has fixed the problem for lists and document libraries in site collections that have been migrated from MOSS 2007 to SharePoint 2010. The same problem is seen and solved with this solution in lists and document libraries in SharePoint 2010 created by custom solutions developed originally for MOSS 2007,migrated to work for SharePoint 2010 and installed in SharePoint 2010.

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