User Profile Service Error

I was configuring a fresh User Profile Application Service today and noticed that after I started the User Profile Synchronization Service from the Services on Server page, provided the password for the farm account, the status changed to “Starting”, stayed that way for maybe 10 minutes and the reverted back to “Stopped”.  I started investigating what was going on and found the following error in the event log multiple times…

Unknown SQL Exception 0 occurred. Additional error information from SQL Server is included below.

Cannot generate SSPI context.

Googling the error turned up some possibly useful content in the following article:

Microsoft Support: How to troubleshoot the “Cannot generate SSPI context” error message

One of the areas the article point to possibly causing the problem was if the domain account used to access SQL was locked out or has recently had its password changed. I checked if the account was locked out and it wasn’t which also confirmed for me that the password hadn’t been changed. Obviously if the account had problems accessing the DB it could cause this problem so I checked that it had permission on SQL. Yes again. Finally I tried again to start the  User Profile Synchronization Service from the Services on Server page and then realised I had more than likely provided the SharePoint Admin password but the service at that stage still wanted to start with the SharePoint Farm account. Once I provided the correct password for the SharePoint Farm account the service started correctly.

Interestingly, supplying the incorrect password for the SharePoint Farm account didn’t cause it to get locked out on the domain. Thankfully!

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Filed under Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007, SharePoint 2010

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