We’ve discovered a very weird behaviour in our SharePoint 2007 environment:

Looking at a document’s version history, we found out that sometimes a version gets lost after a new version gets checked in, as well as that the new version is checked in twice.

The following screenshot illustrates it:

We were at version 0.13, and checked out the document and edited it. It was then checked back in as version 0.14, which somehow was checked in twice (0.14 AND 0.15). And as you can see, version 0.13 has gone missing!

As you can also see from the dates in that screenshot, this is not just a recent issue, but one that seems to exist for quite some time already, so far unnoticed by us.

  • We’ve got confirmed cases for Word and Excel documents, so it’s not restricted to a particular type of document only.
  • The editors differ as well, furthermore they are located in different cities.
  • These versions also weren’t deleted manually, but rather really disappear "on their own" (without any user interaction besides the editing).
  • Also, it can happen multiple times for a file (e.g. 0.13 missing, 0.14 and 0.15 identical, later 0.21 missing, 0.22 and 0.23 identical, etc), but not all the time (In my example, versions 0.16 – 0.20 are there, no issues).
  • The missing versions aren’t in any recycle bin (neither in the site, nor in the site collection)
  • There are no workflows or Event Handlers attached to the library

We currently have no solution for this problem, as we don’t know what causes it. By chance, has anyone seen something like this before, or has an explanation what is happening here?

6 thoughts on “Document versions going missing in SharePoint 2007”

  1. Throughout the UI it appears that the document has gone missing. We had this happen once in our environment but we were never able to articulate how or why this happened. We were able to trace it back to some users (remote) having issues when checking out/in documents.
    However in Word you can see if version 0.13 is truly missing in the database, at least with MS Word you can. Go to the Review tab on the ribbon, click on Compare, Specific Version . . . . you should see v0.13 there for comparison sake.

  2. I’ve added this to my LinkedIn group for you too see. It’s a really weird thing! I’ve never seen that happen. I can’t begin to think what it an be.
    Is it only happening in one document library on one site on one site collection? Or is it rife across the platform?

  3. Rene,
    You may want to check whether there is any Event Handler attached to the document library. If the event handler runs any code upon a document update it might explain what you are seeing. The code may be trying to update some of the metadata which might result in the second version of the document (this is easy to avoid but if the code is not well written this could easily happen).

  4. Thanks all for your suggestions.
    @Stuart: document also doesn’t show up when I try to compare the versions in Word
    @Veronique: currently checking if it appears elsewhere as well, so far it’s confirmed in 1 library only
    @Bruno: no event handlers attached to it, also no workflows

  5. Is the double check-in always preceeded by a missing version? This is the case in the screenshot, but a single instance doesn’t necessarily indicatea a pattern. If that IS the norm, it is also a clue as to what’s happening…

  6. Hi Bill, yes, the double check-in always comes after a missing version (or the version goes missing after a double check-in?).

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