Error: Exception from HRESULT: 0x80131904

A customer has told us they are experiencing the following error in SharePoint: Exception from HRESULT: 0x80131904.


Researching the problem on the internet returns stories of SQL Server problems, such as this one which can be due to the content database being out of space. However, this was not the problem in our case.

After spending a lot of time trying to find the problem, we eventually found that it is to do with the item-level permissions in lists referred to in lookup columns in other lists. The error is created by conflicting permissions set in the list settings and on the item level.

If the list referred to in the lookup column has its item-level permissions set to “Read items that were created by the user”…

Read all items created by user

and one of the items in the list has unique permissions…

Shared with


Unique permissions

then the error message will appear in the list with the corresponding lookup column. In the SharePoint ULS log you may see the following error, followed by a massive SQL command:

System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException (0x80131904): Invalid column name ‘tp_Author’.

If this error occurs, you should check the item-level permissions in the advanced list settings and also for the item itself.

I hope you found this information useful. If you have any problems or any other questions, please send an e-mail to [email protected] or post a comment.