Common Theme Problem: “Write Error on file _themes\” 5

When placing custom SharePoint themes into the 12 folder, sometimes you may run into this error when you try to select your new theme:

“Write Error on file _themes\

Typically, this error happens when you are making changes to a theme and decide to make backups of some of your images by doing a simple file copy and paste. I’m not exactly sure what about this process causes the error, but simply moving the copied files to the desktop (or somewhere other then the theme folder) should correct the problem. Be sure to perform another IISRESET before re-selecting the theme.

5 thoughts on “Common Theme Problem: “Write Error on file _themes\”

  1. Reply aesthetica Jun 23,2008 5:12 pm

    I had this issue after I copied the files over to a Mac to edit in Photoshop, ziped the files, copied the archive back to the IIS server, then unzipped. Either the Mac or the Zipping created an invisible file called “.DS_Store”. When you try and apply the theme, Sharepoint copies the file from the C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWeb Server Extensions12TEMPLATETHEMESYOURTHEME file into the internal Sharepoint database. Since .DS_Store is not a recognized file type, it causes a write error. Deleting this file made the error go away.

  2. Reply The Mossman Jun 23,2008 11:15 pm

    I think the problem is the underscore in both of our cases. In my case, windows adds an underscore when it makes a new name for a copied file.

  3. Reply The Mossman Jun 23,2008 11:21 pm

    Or maybe a space in my case… I dunno, all I know for sure is certain filenames cause this error.

  4. Reply David Bullock Jun 18,2009 9:41 pm

    Aesthetica had the goods. In my case, it was a backup file by my favourite text editor (theme.css~) which was causing the problem. Remove the file, re-apply the theme, and it works.

  5. Reply Anonymous Nov 12,2009 12:40 pm

    The bad file that was throwing my sharepoint server off when trying to change to a modified theme was duplicate files with () brackets in the filename that windows names by default for a copied file.

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