You have a SharePoint 2010 site that was migrated by the database upgrade method from MOSS 2007. The site has several lists and libraries. You open the site in SharePoint Designer 2010, click on List and Libraries in the left navigation, and instead of seeing all of your list and libraries, you get a message saying “No items to display”. When opening the Lists and Libraries of sites created in SharePoint 2010 you do not receive this message.
Most answers that I found online to this problem indicated a hotfix was needed for the server. This may be true if you are getting the “No items to display” message on all of your sites, regardless of whether they were upgraded or created in SharePoint 2010. My servers already had the hotfix and I was only getting the message on one upgraded site. Other site’s Lists and Libraries opened fine in SharePoint Designer 2010.
I consulted my friend Woody Windischman (co-author of Beginning SharePoint Designer 2010) and he suggested checking the Site Collection Administrators on the upgraded site collection since it was upgraded from MOSS 2007. I checked and the Site Collection Admins were different than the empty top level site and other sites that I was not having problems with. I changed the Site Collection Admin to the SP2010 accounts and still got the error when trying to access Lists and Libraries in SPD2010.
Woody also suggested that the original root collection of the site might by blocked by the default one in the new web application, so I tried deleting and recreating the top level root site – everything started working!
Thanks for all your help Woody! Woody has a lot of great info on his SharePoint blog, The Sanity Point. You can also follow him on Twitter, @woodywindy, and on FaceBook, for lots of helpful SharePoint info.