Error opening master page in SharePoint Designer

I had recently updated a custom Master Page. When trying to open this Master Page in SharePoint Designer I received this error.

soap:ServerServer was unable to process request. —> The file http://server/sites/site/_catalogs/masterpage/xxxxx.master does not exist.

I could see the page in the list however I couldn’t open it. All other files appeared do be fine and would open normally.

Back in a web browser I tried manually checking out the Master Page from the Master Page Gallery, which worked fine. However when I tried to check the file back in again it errored.

There is no file with URL ‘_catalogs/masterpage/xxxxx.master’ in this Web. at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequestInternalClass.CheckInFile(String bstrUrl, String bstrWebRelativeUrl, Int32 iCheckinType, String bstrCheckinComment, Boolean bIsMigrate, Int32 iEditorId)
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequest.CheckInFile(String bstrUrl, String bstrWebRelativeUrl, Int32 iCheckinType, String bstrCheckinComment, Boolean bIsMigrate, Int32 iEditorId)

In the end I had to manually re-upload my custom Master Page into the Master Page Gallery.

This has fixed the issue however I am still unclear as to why it failed in the first place.

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4 Responses to Error opening master page in SharePoint Designer

  1. Geetha says:

    even i faced the same issue. Did u find out why it has failed at first. I dont have my custom master to upload 😦 kindly suggest me some solution

    • tidwtf says:

      Sorry for the very late reply Geetha. Sorry I didn’t ever find the root cause for this issue. I recommend using a Source Control system to ensure you always have your master pages backed up but I know this doesn’t help in this case 😦

  2. Crimscent says:

    Actually it can happen if the page layout was moved to different feature. Even if it’s provisioned to the same location. But I still couldn’t find out why this is happening.

  3. Actually it can happen if the page layout is moved to different feature. Even if it’s provisioned to the same location. I don’t know why, I could not find any link to feature.

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