Master Data Services Error – Missing Temp Directory

I recently had to install SQL Server 2016 again on my Windows 10 machine. This also meant that I had to install and configure MDS as well. Last time it didn’t went so smoothly: Master Data Services error – Cannot read configuration file due to insufficient permissions. However, this time I had already applied Service Pack 1, so I had another error when I tried to launch the MDS website.

Missing Temp Directory in MDS

The error this time: “The ‘tempDirectory’ attribute must be set to a valid absolute path”. If you can’t see the error, it’s possible you have to enable them in the web.config file of MDS. Typically you can find this configuration file in the folder “C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\130\Master Data Services\WebApplication”. The customErrors attribute should be changed to the following:

Anyway, apparently a temp folder is missing. Cody Konior already warned for this bug. The error message at the website is kind enough to provide you with the exact location of the error in the web.config file. Funny that the comment above explains that the Configuration Manager is responsible for this temp folder. Someone has not done its job properly.

The resolution is simple: create a temp folder with the name specified in the web.config file at the specified location. Now you are greeted with the following error:

missing permissions on the temp folder

Of course the MDS Application Pool account doesn’t have write access to the newly created temp folder. This is also easy to fix:

set permissions on temp folder

Note that I assigned permissions to the MDS_ServiceAccounts group. I manually added the MDS Application Pool account to this group, because MDS also forgets to do this. Now you can finally browse to the MDS website!

Koen Verbeeck

Koen Verbeeck

Koen Verbeeck is a Microsoft Business Intelligence consultant at element61, helping clients to get insight in their data. Koen has a comprehensive knowledge of the SQL Server BI stack, with a particular love for Integration Services. He's also a speaker at various conferences.

2 thoughts on “Master Data Services Error – Missing Temp Directory

  1. I’d encountered this issue today, but saw your blog after fixing it! The error can be seen in one of two ways – the folder doesn’t exist or the path is incorrect.

    I followed the same steps as you and then discovered it’s possibly the latter. If you browse your WebApplication folder, I suspect you might find an MDSTempDir folder in there;

    …Microsoft SQL Server\130\Master Data Services\WebApplication\MDSTempDir

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