Troubleshooting Feature and Site Definition Development
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If you find that the changes you intend to make through a definition or Feature do not take effect, consider the following possible causes:
All definition and Feature XML logic is cached in memory. When you install any new files into Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (for example, new .aspx pages or XML files under the \web server extensions\12 directory), be sure to reset Microsoft Internet Information Services, which you can do by typing IISReset at the command prompt.
Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 logs errors during provisioning. Look under \12\Logs and check the latest log for hints as to what might be causing problems.
As you debug your feature, you frequently need to accomplish tasks such as changing scopes and changing definitions. If you make changes without deactivating and reactivating Features, you might cause problems for Windows SharePoint Services—for example, having the same Feature registered at both the site collection level and the Web site level.
If you create a custom list type through a Feature definition but receive a "File not found" error when you try to create a list, your Schema.xml file might refer to a file that is absent. Ensure that each file referred to within a View or a Form element exists in the underlying file system.
Be sure to use "Feature.xml" as the name of your Feature file; otherwise you may receive an error message saying that a "value cannot be null" when you try to install or activate the Feature.