Notes on Provisioning the User Profile Synchronization Service

By Michael Doyle posted 04-05-2011 19:30


The User Profile Service has changed a lot in SharePoint 2010. It is a much more challenging beast these days. Despite your best laid plans it can stop working. This happened to me recently when I installed the December CU. I am not exactly sure what happened, but when I ran the user profile service it looked like it was working but didn’t actually bring any data in. There were a couple of links that helped me out. The first one was on Technet at the other was SharePoint Server Illustrated (Daniel Brittain) Here are some of my additional notes.

  1. After you make a backup of the Profile Database (probably Profile DB) it was necessary to stop SQL Server and restart it before it would let me restore it.  I had stopped the User Profile Service and the timer and even tried to take the database offline but to no avail. In other words, do this stuff during some sort of outage.
  2. When I un-provisioned the User Profile Service, my two Forefront services changed to disabled automatically without my knowledge and I had to enable them to get things going. So, make sure you have the services window up and running and refresh often to make sure they are okay.
  3. There are several FIM local groups and I ended up putting my account that the User Profile Service runs under into those groups. That seemed to keep the FIM services running.
  4. After you run the provision command in PowerShell and then start the User Profile Service Synchronization in the Central Admin UI, go ahead and wait 10-15 minutes or so before pushing forward. Patience is the key to getting this thing working.
  5. Make sure you have your connection information for you data sources (usually AD) including the filter information down before you change anything.
  6. If the user import fails, then there is a chance all of your users’ personal sites will be marked for deletion and that nasty email will be sent out to your users so you might want to disable outgoing mail while doing this.
  7. Make sure you make a backup of your My Site host. If you run a profile and it doesn’t bring back all your users then SharePoint will start stripping out the profile pictures. You can just copy them back in by restoring the backup to another location and opening both sites in SharePoint Designer and then drag and drop. They are under the my site host root level under User Photos.

Well, that is about all I have to say on the subject. I hope you don’t have to deal with this but if you do I hope these notes will help.


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