So I ran into an interesting problem in my MOSS development environment

It happened last week and I am not sure of the exact cause... I have a few demonstrations that provision site collections and I am constantly deleting and recreating them as I show the solutions to customers. I should also point out that I recently was updating everything in the environment... WSS SP1, MOSS SP1, the new WSS Extensions for VS.NET etc. Bottom line, I had a site collection that would show up in Central Administration that wasn't really there. I tried to navigate to it and got a 404 message. Interestingly, I could select it in the "Delete Site Collection" tool in Central Administration, but none of the details would show up on the right hand side of the selection dialog. Clicking OK so that I could delete the site, simply did nothing. For some people, such an oddity in a dev environment isn't that big a deal. However, I was intrigued and I strongly resisted the urge just to go to the database and delete the record myself.

My first approach to a solution, involved trying the database repair operations of STSADM. These are detailed here. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc263282.aspx. The problem was that this approach didn't report any orphaned objects. So no help.

So I did solve the problem and as I told others the solution, they told me I had to definitly include a blog entry about it. My solution was to drop the content database in Central Administration. I remembered that as part of a content database attach process, SharePoint would examine the db to see what site collections existed. So after detaching and then re-attaching, sure enough the site showed up in Central Admin and I could delete the site collection.

I realize it's not mind blowing... but just in case anyone has had a similar situation creep up on them...