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Need step-by-step Custom Template Help

Posted By:      Posted Date: August 31, 2010    Points: 0   Category :SharePoint
I would like to create 5 custom templates and deploy the same ones to all 13 site collections (living under one web app). Here's what I can successfully do: 1. Create a site 2. Turn off features (on a hunch after experiencing the below problems) 3. Add branding, web parts, etc. 4. Site Settings -> Save Site as Template 5. Test by immediately creating a site in the same site collection with the template (this works). However: * Weeks to months after creating the template, it stops working (in the same site collection). Could be something I'm configuring, I don't know. Users get message "The template you have chosen is invalid or cannot be found." * If I go to the template gallery, right-click and save-as,  put the template on my desktop, and then upload it to another site collection, it doesn't work in the new site collection. Again, "The template you have chosen is invalid or cannot be found." When I open the template and look at the code, I see references to absolute URLs from the site where the template was created. Would really prefer to deploy these templates without coding. * If I use stsadm -o addtemplate -filename "filename.stp" -title "title" the template also doesn't work. It allows me to create a site with it and set permissions, but then I immediately get: Server Error in '/' Application. The resource cannot be

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