I tried creating a custom site template however the template name and the folder name within 14/SiteTemplates didn’t match and I received the following error:

Event log message was: ‘Failed to completely create the top-level Web site.’. Exception was: ‘Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException: Failed to instantiate file “default.master” from module “DefaultMasterPage”: Source path “default.master” not found

I looked around for the same error and found many reasons but not many people with fat fingers like I have. Silly typos!

Anyway, what is happening? When a site definition isn’t found SharePoint seems to assume some defaults and picks up the default onet.xml? resulting in the above error. Not very useful, but at least consistent.

Avatar for Pieter Veenstra

By Pieter Veenstra

Business Applications Microsoft MVP working as a Principal Architect at HybrIT Services Ltd. You can contact me using contact@sharepains.com

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