SharePoint 2010, User Profile Synchronization and Forefront Services… Chapter 1


This will be a series unless the powers that be either infuse detailed SharePoint knowledge into my freaking skull or it was just a missed step along the way to the yellow brick road.  Either way, here’s the scoop…

SharePoint Profile Synchronization Service no workee…

Yup, that pretty much sums it up.  But from the user side, I get to hear…

“Hey!” <—yes, they actually say this

“Why doesn’t _____ “ fill in the blank “show up in my organizational browser?”


Well, there have been several challenges to this and I’m putting this up on my blog in hopes that if you run into this, my exploration will help.

My Background

Over the past three years I have devoted a lot of time to SharePoint.  In the past, I’ve worked with 2003 and the place I’m currently at was running this as a proof of concept turned live.  Hmmmm… bet you’ve never run into that before?  Well, I’ve got a lot a skills with SQL and Development stuff so I just dove right in. 

Prepare Yourself

Ok, if you are going to deal with SharePoint, it’s best to partner up with your opposite in the IT world.  If you are a developer, work with a Systems Admin.  If you’re an SA?  You better partner up with a Dev.  Bottom line, if you are going solo on this, make dang sure you’ve got a reading budget.  You’re going to learn a lot about the other side of the shop.  This is a good thing.  Security, and all, makes this stuff tick.  PowerShell is an object oriented tool.   In other words, it’s not Grand Pappy’s command line script tool.  So plan some time to learn.

The setting

SharePoint 2010 running in a simple farm schema (single web server and separated db server).  Since the service is serving a group WAY UNDER the 10k user boundary, this should be more than sufficient.  Granted, the preferred configuration is a couple of web servers, a search server and a db server but I’m lucky to have the two machines.

Suspect Number 1



These two little services are critical to user profile synchronization.


Shows up ever so nicely on the admin server.

The set of errors I’m going to delve into…

  • Databases require upgrade or not supported.
    • The following databases require upgrade because their versions are older than the backwards compatible range:
    • Use Upgrade-SPContentDatabase to upgrade Content databases, or psconfig.exe to upgrade other databases. If some databases are too new, check the Patch Status page to find out if the current server are missing SharePoint software patches.
  • Verify that the critical User Profile Application and User Profile Proxy Application timer jobs are available and have not been mistakenly deleted.
    • A required timer job for a User Profile Application or User Profile Application Proxy is missing.
    • The repair action will recreate missing timer jobs required for the User Profile Application or User Profile Application Proxy.
  • Databases running in compatibility range, upgrade recommended.
    • The following databases have versions that are older than the current SharePoint software, but are within the backwards compatible range:
      Social DB,
      User Profile Service Application_SocialDB_0e088f2b178047cb9167c6878761582c,
      Managed Metadata DB,
      Profile DB,
      User Profile Service Application_ProfileDB_06c87034ec9e4bf68a557185194b4a92,

    • To achieve optimal results from these databases, use Upgrade-SPContentDatabase to upgrade Content databases, or psconfig.exe to upgrade other databases.
  • Expired sessions are not being deleted from the ASP.NET Session State database.
    • If expired sessions are not deleted, the server that hosts the ASP.NET Session State database may run out of disk space and the SharePoint farm may cease to function.
    • Connect to the server that hosts the ASP.NET Session State database, start the SQL Server Agent service, and verify that a DeleteExpiredSessions job is registered for the database. If you are using SQL Server Express, the SQL Server Agent service is not available.
  • Verify each User Profile Service Application has a My Site Host configured
    • Without a My Site Host, end users will not be able to use personal sites or people profiles. There will be no UI for consuming features offered by the User Profile Service.
    • To set up a My Site Host for an existing User Profile Service, you can use the Set-SPProfileServiceApplication commandlet. This commandlet takes in a parameter for MySiteHost.
  • People search relevance is not optimized when the Active Directory has errors in the manager reporting structure.
    • In Active Directory, only company leaders should have the ‘manager’ property set to NULL. As a result of errors, the Active Directory can incorrectly have the ‘manager’ property set to NULL for other users that can cause a decrease in people search relevance. By specifying the actual leaders of the company, these inconsistencies are not taken into account and the relevance problem is corrected
    • Specify the company leaders explicitly. Use the following PowerShell commands: $upap = Get-SPServiceApplicationProxy [appid]; Add-SPProfileLeader $upap [Domain]\[UserName]. Run ‘Get-SPProfileLeader $upap’ to check whether the leader was successfully added. As a last step, run a full crawl on the content source containing the start address (URL) of the user profile application

Upgrade the Content Databases…


    Returns the specified service application.



    This example returns all service applications in the farm.


PS C:\Users\spadmin> Upgrade-SPContentDatabase -?


    Upgrades a content database.


    Upgrade-SPContentDatabase [-Identity] <SPContentDatabasePipeBind> [[-ForceD
    eleteLock] <SwitchParameter>] [-AssignmentCollection <SPAssignmentCollectio
    n>] [-Confirm [<SwitchParameter>]] [-ServerInstance <SPDatabaseServiceInsta
    ncePipeBind>] [-UpdateUserExperience <SwitchParameter>] [-WhatIf [<SwitchPa
    rameter>]] [<CommonParameters>]

    Upgrade-SPContentDatabase [[-ForceDeleteLock] <SwitchParameter>] -Name <Str
    ing> -WebApplication <SPWebApplicationPipeBind> [-AssignmentCollection <SPA
    ssignmentCollection>] [-Confirm [<SwitchParameter>]] [-ServerInstance <SPDa
    tabaseServiceInstancePipeBind>] [-UpdateUserExperience <SwitchParameter>] [
    -WhatIf [<SwitchParameter>]] [<CommonParameters>]

    The Upgrade-SPContentDatabase cmdlet upgrades a SharePoint content database
    . When the Upgrade-SPContentDatabase cmdlet is run, an upgrade of an existi
    ng content database attached to the current farm is intiated. This cmdlet b
    egins a new upgrade session, which can be used either to resume a failed ve
    rsion-to-version or build-to-build upgrade of a content database or to begi
    n a build-to-build upgrade of a content database.

    For permissions and the most current information about Windows PowerShell f
    or SharePoint Products, see the online documentation (



    To see the examples, type: "get-help Upgrade-SPContentDatabase -examples".
    For more information, type: "get-help Upgrade-SPContentDatabase -detailed".
    For technical information, type: "get-help Upgrade-SPContentDatabase -full"

So, Running Get-SPServiceApplication returns…

PS C:\Users\spadmin> Get-SPServiceApplication

DisplayName          TypeName             Id
———–          ——–             —
Access Services      Access Services W… ed255b7b-1ff8-4cb7-ab02-76a8129b9dbe
Secure Store Service Secure Store Serv… 31663d9f-1df0-49f3-9e4c-829ff9b41c0f
State Service        State Service        ba90ad16-f558-452c-94bf-5a2fa89bb73a
PerformancePoint … PerformancePoint … 95727ef9-df54-4dbf-b77b-2fda042ac240
Visio Graphics Se… Visio Graphics Se… d38f440f-5ae2-46a6-ad45-d80972615b48
Managed Metadata … Managed Metadata … ba182a51-8ba1-4754-82b4-0b667fd04136
Web Analytics Ser… Web Analytics Ser… ebf0155e-a788-44aa-819a-008a63234ccb
Excel Services Ap… Excel Services Ap… 833183c7-74a7-4e04-8b47-d2ad90235a4e
Security Token Se… Security Token Se… 330b2900-220a-499d-9aa8-05f2533b0204
Application Disco… Application Disco… 964478c1-12e1-44a0-8096-41b6523685d1
WSS_UsageApplication Usage and Health … 6c6a2cea-972a-46e5-a6d9-667df188a85e
Search Administra… Search Administra… a8ce1963-ac57-4c80-9776-cf392a0a3817
Search Administra… Search Administra… 3b01c8af-db8a-4a1a-9a58-ed45b457dcf0
Word Automation S… Word Automation S… fc27dff0-ab89-4fa8-a7d7-23403ffd36b8
Application Regis… Application Regis… ee04f502-6fcc-439b-8c94-8883328098a2
User Profile Serv… User Profile Serv… 0ffcc1b2-0775-41f8-8329-aef0a8b96b29
User Profile Serv… User Profile Serv… 79bfd459-4006-473d-9032-1d4ccaa5d5a2
Business Data Con… Business Data Con… 8f0c2923-ff36-4ebb-a968-bd8ffbed9e67
SharePoint Server… SharePoint Server… 2092cb84-096c-4c24-93eb-86cbf1a56db5
Search Service Ap… Search Service Ap… fda2a209-7acc-4dd8-a211-d9601b179646
Search Service Ap… Search Service Ap… 682b9774-3569-47e2-b669-58560b76a65d

There’s one or two to maintenance…

Running get-help Upgrade-SPContentDatabase –examples returns:

PS C:\Users\spadmin> get-help Upgrade-SPContentDatabase -examples


    Upgrades a content database.


    C:\PS>$contentdb = Get-SPContentDatabase | Where-Object {$_.Name -match "SQ

    C:\PS>Upgrade-SPContentDatabase -Identity $contentdb

    This example selects a specific content database that is currently attached
     to the farm, and then initiates an upgrade session. This process continues
     until the upgrade is complete and might take some time, depending upon the
     amount of changes that have to be made during the upgrade.

Ok, So I tried and the result was…

Are you sure you want to perform this action?
Performing operation "Upgrade-SPContentDatabase" on Target
[Y] Yes  [A] Yes to All  [N] No  [L] No to All  [S] Suspend  [?] Help
(default is "Y"):y
WARNING: Database [SPContentDatabase Name=WSS_Content_MySitesHostDB] cannot be

Yes, that helped a lot didn’t it?

Checked the server log:

SQL Database ‘WSS_Content_MySitesHostDB’ on SQL Server instance ‘Data’ not found. Additional error information from SQL Server is included below.

Cannot open database "WSS_Content_MySitesHostDB" requested by the login. The login failed.
Login failed for user ‘<domain>\spadmin’.

Ah…  this I can fix…

After fixing the permissions on the database,   I got the upgrade to run.  More research will be needed here to see why the permissions got sideways…

So, both upgraded, now it’s back to the health analyzer to see what’s what…  While it was running, I went back to check on FOREFRONT…


A service attempted to access and now the IMSS is set to Disabled… hmmmm… “Are We There Yet?”  NO!!!!

Results from PowerShell

PS C:\Users\spadmin> Upgrade-SPContentDatabase -Identity 1de8dd7f-ff58-4f7f-b1f3

Are you sure you want to perform this action?
Performing operation "Upgrade-SPContentDatabase" on Target
[Y] Yes  [A] Yes to All  [N] No  [L] No to All  [S] Suspend  [?] Help
(default is "Y"):y
PS C:\Users\spadmin> Upgrade-SPContentDatabase -Identity e2f2b0e2-452e-4e3f-b695

Are you sure you want to perform this action?
Performing operation "Upgrade-SPContentDatabase" on Target "WSS_Content".
[Y] Yes  [A] Yes to All  [N] No  [L] No to All  [S] Suspend  [?] Help
(default is "Y"):y
PS C:\Users\spadmin>

So after that, still having issues.  Some research said to re-run the configuration wizard.  I figure that since change permissions, this might have more success (already tried don’t ya know).  Now this is not the FARM configuration wizard.  The products configuration wizard is located under installed products in programs…

<waiting while the wizard runs – Finished with success>

Ok, so that did nothing.

Hmmm… try a different issue then come back.

Asp.Net issue looks interesting…

So I followed the steps on Dave Pileggi’s blog

I’ll stop here for now.  More later…

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Originally, this was a pretty darn boring post. Kinda like... Well I won't go there. Perhaps its still on the robotic side but... I could say I like music. Safe, generic and non-comittal. Or, I could say that I've been having a blast tuning up my old guitars, getting blisters on my fingers and turning the amp up past 2. Amazaing what a little overdrive and a half pressed wahwah pedal can do for a sound. Get that cool "Money for Nothin" vibe happening. I get a real kick out of reading old Sci Fi. Reading Asimov's vision about the future is really entertaining now. When he wrote much of the material, the items that were futuristic were day to day tools I used in the early part of my career. Microfiche and the like. I also remember that upstart Microsoft and MS DOS...and can you say Lotus 123? So maybe this is a little better than "I like to read and play music". My career is focused on Team Leadership and Technology. Both share the attributes of continual growth and education. Currently, I manage a team of 4 programmers as direct reports. I've been in this role since 08/2007. Prior to that, I was the team lead (on site) for integration with the customer. Customers ranged from local government to manufacturing and medical. Teams ranged in size from one to six additional team members. On the other side is technology. I've been keeping current with .net technologies focusing on C# and Sharepoint (2007/2010). Specialties Team Building and Management Technical Staff Recruiting Microsoft Visual Studio 7 through 2010 (VB.NET and C#.NET) Microsoft SQL Server 6.5-2008R2 (DTS, TSQL, SSIS, SSAS, and SSRS ) SharePoint 2010 (Office Integration, InfoPath, Site Management and planning) Windows Server 2008 R2 AD DS PowerShell Techology analysis Puchasng and working with vendors Microsoft licensing management and compliance Business Systems Analysis Traning plans Mentoring Training coordination.

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