Applying SharePoint theme ‘Write error on file “/_themes/yourtheme” error

6 01 2010

I recently went to apply a custom SharePoint theme and was presented with the unhelpful error message above.

It turns out that the reason for this error is that SharePoint has encountered an unknown file that it cannot read from in the themes’ directory.

Navigation to your custom theme directory  – [Systemdrive]\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\THEMES\yourtheme and delete the rogue file.

In my case it was the windows generated ‘thumbs.db’ thumbnail database in the folder that was causing the problem. If you have used an editor to edit any of your theme files then you may possibly have some temp files in the directory which need deleting.

If like me it was the ‘thumbs.db’ file then be sure to disable thumbnail caching for the folder. To do this click Tools in windows explorer then select Folder Options > View, look for the checkbox entitled ‘Do not cache thumbnails’ and click it.

Hope this helps 🙂

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3 responses

11 03 2010
Mark Macrae

Helped me out again 🙂
Difficult to tell the exact file causing the problem as theres no detail in the logs. In my case it was some old copies of css files hanging around.

5 08 2010
Julian

Thank you very much!!, it works for me, i have a corrupt GIF image.

17 12 2010
Asmine

Hi,

I had the same pb, and it was because the theme folder name under template was different to the templateId value in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\1036\SPTHEMES.XML.

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