This week’s hair-thinner: The page you selected contains a list that does not exist.
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Published by Chris Johnson, on Friday, April 18, 2014

Out of nowhere, a client received this error when attempting to access any of several custom list instances:

List does not exist.

The page you selected contains a list that does not exist. It may have been deleted by another user.

Here are the symptoms and the surrounding circumstances:

  • The error was displayed to all users, all the time, when accessing custom list instances contained in several custom web-scoped features.
  • If the web feature containing the list was deployed directly to the site (from Visual Studio 2012), the error did not occur.  This dumbfounded me.
  • I could not recreate this error in any of three separate farms; it occurred ONLY in one farm.
  • All of the list templates and instances shared several common fields, all of which were present in the default view of each list.

The last one basically seals it, but you can probably guess that the second and third bullet points sent me reeling in the wrong direction for longer than I care to admit.  Blogs all over the interwebs suggested messing around with the alternate-access mappings, but a quick check dismissed bad AAM configuration as the root cause of my problem.

After chasing after several possible causes (the ULS logs were absolutely no help), I begrudgingly removed fields from the default view of one of the lists in question, one-by-one, until the error disappeared.  Bingo.

For some reason– and let me emphasize that this is not typical SharePoint behavior— two of the fields common to all lists caused this error.  Why?  Because they were Managed Metadata fields, and they weren’t connected to a term set.

Simply being disconnected from any term set should not and does not cause Managed Metadata fields– or, more specifically, views that include them– to throw this error.  I was able to deploy this same feature to three separate farms without encountering the error, and in all three of these farms, the fields were not connected to a term set.

I can’t say for sure why the fields being disconnected from a term set caused this error, but my theory is that something in memory or in the farm configuration database caused the field to attempt to connect to a term set that didn’t exist (rather than simply being disconnected from any term set in the managed metadata service application altogether).  These fields had been previously deployed and, via a manual process, connected to a term set at some point in time.

And as for why the error didn’t occur when deploying from Visual Studio, your guess is as good as mine at this point.

So if you encounter this error while attempting to access a list view that includes a Managed Metadata field–

List does not exist.

The page you selected contains a list that does not exist. It may have been deleted by another user.

— there may be a chance that the field needs to be connected to a term set.

Why?  I don’t know.  I’ll file this one under things to ask The SharePoint if I ever get to meet it in-person.

Categories: SharePoint,SharePoint 2013,error,list does not exist,list view,managed metadata,PSC

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