Cleaning orphan database from SharePoint Farm

The issue:

You have patched your Sharepoint farm but if you run the configuration wizard and it is always failing on step 9 /10 on upgrade Operations and you have facing following error:

SharePoint Foundation Upgrade        SPWebApplicationSequence        ajy60        DEBUG        Web application [SPWebApplication Name=ContosoDB] has 1 IisSettings object        1a71389d-7618-d087-2401-036280754f67

10/17/2015 11:23:01.93        OWSTIMER (0x1920)        0x1614        SharePoint Foundation Upgrade        SPWebApplicationSequence        ajy61        DEBUG        Searching for sites with Server Comment = ContosoDB 1a71389d-7618-d087-2401-036280754f67

10/17/2015 11:23:02.36        OWSTIMER (0x1920)        0x1614        SharePoint Foundation Upgrade        SPWebApplicationSequence        ajy66        DEBUG        Adding a iis web site object with instance Id = [319138241]        1a71389d-7618-d087-2401-036280754f67

10/17/2015 11:23:02.36        OWSTIMER (0x1920)        0x1614        SharePoint Foundation Upgrade        SPHierarchyManager        ajyw5        ERROR        Attempt to register null pointer at:    at Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPHierarchyManager.AddNextLevelObjects(Object current, IEnumerable nextObjects)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPWssWebApplicationSequence.AddNextLevelObjects()     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPHierarchyManager.Grow(SPTree`1 root, Boolean bRecursing, SPDelegateManager delegateManager)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPHierarchyManager.Grow(SPTree`1 root, SPDelegateManager delegateManager)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPUpgradeSession.Upgrade(Object o, Boolean bRecurse)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPPersistedUpgradableObject.Upgrade(Boolean recursively)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPUpgradeSession.ReflexiveUpgrade(Object o, Boolean bRecurse)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPUpgradeSession.Upgrade(Object o, Boolean bRecurse)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPPersistedUpgradableObject.Upgrade(Boolean recursively)     at

Then you have checked that ContosoDB which is not present in SQL server but why are you getting this error with that database . This is an orphan database record issue . SharePoint has still have information about that database the record about that database present in SharePoint configuration database (inside the Object table) but in real there is no database present in SQL server with that name.

Ok how can you verify this;
First find the related Web Application Id by powershell
$wa = Get-SPWebApplication -Identity

Then we need to check in SQL server by running some sql queries to get xml configuration of this web Application object:

SELECT TOP [Id],[ClassId],[ParentId],[Name],[Status],[Version],cast([Properties] as XML)
FROM [SharePoint_Config].[dbo].[Objects] where Id = ‘<Guid of the Web Application>’

And if you look in details for the related XML


You have verifed that if there is <fld type=”null” /> record in that xml.
Also we know that the deleted database’s id is 44c186d2-6581-4314-90bd-a00f3efe18e3

If you search for this ID in configuration database’s Object table for this content database;you will not find any record about it ;So it is an oprhan item.

Ok so far so good , I can hear your question that how we get rid off this with a supported way  ?
– Well you shouldnt change SharePoint databases manually , it is not supported by Microsoft .

Resolution is easy but It is a little bit tricky.
To remove that oprhan database we will run a single command.
We need the Web Application object in powershell
$wa = Get-SPWebApplication -Identity
Then run this

The tricky part when you run this you will get an error ! Upss did i something wrong , NO!

PS C:\Users\SPFarmAdmin> $wa.ContentDatabases.Delete(“44c186d2-6581-4314-90bd-a00f3efe18e3”)
Exception calling “Delete” with “1” argument(s): “Object reference not set to an instance of an object.”
At line:1 char:1
+ $wa.ContentDatabases.Delete(“44c186d2-6581-4314-90bd-a00f3efe18e3”)
+ CategoryInfo      : NotSpecified: (:) [], MethodInvocationException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : NullReferenceException

 Well after run this command , just ignore the error .Normally it fixes the configuration database and cleans the orphan record .
Not sure ??
Check yourself again the XML configuration of the Web Application from SQL server by following SQL again.
SELECT TOP [Id],[ClassId],[ParentId],[Name],[Status],[Version],cast([Properties] as XML)
FROM [SharePoint_Config].[dbo].[Objects] where Id = ‘<Guid of the Web Application>’

if you do not see the orphan   <fld type=”null” /> , then you good to go 🙂 You can run the configuration wizard again .

About SharePoint 2013 Virtualization and Best Practices

Best Practices

  • For the highest level of performance, configure a VP:LP ratio of 1:1 for any virtual machine that is used in a SharePoint 2013 farm. Remember that oversubscribing the CPU on the physical host used for virtualization can reduce performance.
  • For optimal performance of demanding workloads, run Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V on SLAT-capable processors/hardware. This offers the additional benefits of improved performance, greater virtual machine density per host machine, and reduced overhead as compared to non-SLAT systems.
  • When you are planning how to use the host server’s memory, it is important to consider the virtualization-related overhead. Whether you choose to use NUMA or Dynamic Memory, both have some overhead related to memory management in the virtualized environment. In the case of SharePoint environments, Microsoft does not support the use of Dynamic Memory, or technologies similar to Dynamic Memory found on alternative hypervisor platforms. This is because certain features of SharePoint can suffer from performance degradation when Dynamic Memory is enabled. For example, the cache size for the Search and Distributed Cache features are not resized when the memory allocated to the virtual machine is dynamically adjusted.
  • In most production SharePoint Server deployments, we recommend that you have at least 8 GB of RAM on each web server. Capacity should be increased to 16 GB on servers that have greater traffic or deployments with multiple application pools set up for isolation.

In Summary  : I am always sharing following rule with our customers ;

“The Golden Rule for SharePoint 2013 Virtualization” : Configure your virtual machines like a Physical Machine with all dedicated resources ( CPU,RAM,HDD etc.)  for any hypervisor platform and avoid shared Resources.

Heads up are you still using SharePoint 2010

I want to spread my colleague Stefan’s post for this important headsup:

Mainstream support for SharePoint 2010 will end on October 13th, 2015:

After this date only security fixes will be provided for SharePoint 2010. That means if you are running into an issue after October 13th which is caused by a problem in SharePoint 2010 and which has not already been addressed before you will no longer be able to request a hotfix.
Not the best situation if you are using SharePoint 2010 as a business critical application.

There are still three months till deadline – enough time to evaluate SharePoint 2013 and consider an upgrade.


SharePoint 2016 IT Preview Now Available

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Download SharePoint Server 2016 Preview

Get up and running quickly with SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview with the new Quick Start Guide >

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SharePoint Workflow Configuration Common Issues

  • Unable to connect to the remote service

PS C:\Users\mossadm> Register-SPWorkflowService  -SPSite “; -W
orkflowHostUri -AllowOAuthHttp
Register-SPWorkflowService : Unable to connect to the remote service at See InnerException for more details. Client
ActivityId : e592f590-80d3-4f43-9118-39e526e3c5ff.
At line:1 char:1
+ Register-SPWorkflowService  -SPSite “; -WorkflowHostUri
http:/ …
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+ CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (Microsoft.Share…WorkflowService:
RegisterSPWorkflowService) [Register-SPWorkflowService], WorkflowEndpointN
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.SharePoint.WorkflowServices.PowerShell

In here ; SharePoint is telling you that it cannot find the Workflow Manager service endpoint at this address
– Check for the Firewall and possible networking issues.
– Make a browser test that you can browse the workflow host uri
-Check the WFM IIS for the bindings of the Workflow Manager Site
-Check that the workflow manager  IIS to make sure that the Workflow Manager Front End is running on correct port !.

  • When you try to publish a workflow you may face following issues.

Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException: App Management Shared Service Proxy is not installed.
at Microsoft.SharePoint.AppRegistration.GetProxy(SPServiceContext serviceContext)
at Microsoft.SharePoint.AppRegistration.AddOrUpdateAppNoPermissionCheck(SPAppPrincipalInfo appInfo)
at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPAppPrincipalManager.RegisterWithInternalDirectory(SPAppPrincipalIdentityProvider identityProvider, String nameIdentifier, String displayName, List`1 appEndpointAuthorities, List`1 redirectAddr

You can face this  because App Management Service application is not provisioned or the App Management Service is not running or the App Management Service Proxy is not added to the default proxy group.
-Check the app management service from CA -> Application Management -> Manage Service Application . If it is not provisioned , provision it.

Then if you face this ;
Microsoft.SharePoint.SPEndpointAddressNotFoundException: There are no addresses available for this application.
at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPRoundRobinServiceLoadBalancer.BeginOperation()
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPServiceApplicationProxyBase`1.ExecuteOnChannel(Boolean requireDelegation, Action`1 codeBlock)
at Microsoft.SharePoint.AppManagement.AppManagementServiceApplicationProxy.GetScaleOutDatabaseMap()
at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPScaleOutDatabaseMap.GetMapCacheEntries

-Dont forget to start App Management Service from CA-> Services on Server -> App Management Service
Make an IISReset

  • When you try to run a SP 2013 workflow, you get a ‘suspended’ error message, and the error states;
    RequestorId: <Guid>. Details: RequestorId: <Guid>. Details: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the workflow instance. Exception details: System.ApplicationException: HTTP 401 {“error_description”:”The server was unable to process the request due to an internal error.

The reason may the security service application is unable to identify the user id from the user claim

-Open IIS Manager, navigatred to Application Pools > Click on the app pool named “Security Token Serice Application Pool”
-Click Advanced settings
-Modified the value for the property named “Load User Profile” from FALSE to TRUE
-Perform an IISRESET /noforce

The SPListItem being updated was not retrieved with all taxonomy fields

The problem definition is simple , you have some taxonomy fields on a list or in a content type which is using manage metadata columns . When you edit an item and try to save you will facing an error like validation error

The SPListItem being updated was not retrieved with all taxonomy fields”

Ok lets start and give some information , I have recently faced this issue and make a couple research internet to find a solution .
And i found some suggestions but it is dangerous !.

For example :

To fix this go to Central Administration, Manage Web Applications, select the web application, and then choose the dropdown under General Settings select Resource Throttling.

The setting for List View Lookup Threshold and raise it from the default 8. it can go up to 1000 although you are unlikely to need this many lookups.”

!!! Please do not change or exceed SharePoint Boundaries and Limitations (unless Microsoft told do so) . There is a reason that SharePoint Product group relaese these boundaries and limitations .
As you may see many articles suggests increase the “List View Lookup Threshold” , No ! if you do that in a highly utilizated production environment , your sharepoint can be unreachable and face absolute dead-lock stiuations in SQL server .

I could not expose the source code but you can find the details if you know how to use reflector.
This error only happen we have static function TouchAllTaxonomyColumns called when saving a list item which contains Taxonomy Fields.
And  when this function called , we looping all taxonomy fields in that library (added by content type or manually) , not only the one you want to update .Thats mean any of the taxonomy field in that libary have any problem then you will see this error .

For example you have added two taxonomy field to a Pages Library , One of them comming from a content type and it is healty . and the second one was added manually and have a problem .
Then you are creating a Page and editing the page by using this Content Type, you will see only the first taxonomy field because this content type does not contains the second (problematic) taxonomy field . Even so when you try to save you’ll see this error . Because when you save an item we are touching all taxonomy fields present in library at behind .

So what can be the problem of the second taxonomy field ?

1 )This problem mostly happens when you move content types between site collections by powershell or using 3rd party tools or SharePoint Manager.
Every SharePoint Site Collection has a TaxonomyHiddenList . And if you check for the Field definition you will see there is a reference to TaxonomyHiddenList in LookupList property.
So if you move a site column or a content type have a taxonomy field from an another site collection the lookuplist id must be updated ! otherwise it will be pointing a different TaxonomyHiddenlist which is not present in target site collection .
SchemaXML looks like below:
<FieldType=“TaxonomyFieldType” List=“{<TaxonomyHiddenListGUID>}” WebId=“<GUID>“ …..

you can find the correct TaxonomyHiddenList id by running following powershell;
$site = get-spsite
$web = $site.OpenWeb()
$web.Lists | sort Title | ft id,title

The verify the problem check for all taxonomy fields in the Library ( I used Pages library for a sample)
$list = $web.Lists[“Pages”]
$list.fields | ? { $_.typeasstring -like “Taxo*” } | ft InternalName

then check for every taxonomy field to see what is the LookupList
$field = $list.Fields.GetFieldbyInternalname(“<internalname of the field>”)

It will show you the GUID of bounded TaxonomyHiddenList , compare with the TaxonomyHiddenList Guid in that Site Collection . If it is different then you have the problem !.

The resolution is delete the problematic taxonomy fields and re-create it . Well it is not an easy process , you may need to clean from content type or dependent parents that using it .

2) Another issue managed metadata field type required additional Notes field type as well.If you have a missing “Note” field type some how , you will face this problem .
$field = $list.Fields.GetFieldbyInternalname(“<internalname of the field>”)
Shows you the dependant Note field , if it is not present , then you have a problem of your custom creation or migration code/script.

About UserNotFoundException when SharePoint AD LDS (LDIF) sync operation

You are trying to Configure profile synchronization using a Lightweight Directory Interchange Format (LDIF) file in SharePoint 2013 Using the following article : You have successfully used this method in your SharePoint 2010 farm, however when you try to configure it in SharePoint 2013 and attempt a synchronization, you an ma-extension-error.

System.Reflection.TargetInvocationException: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation. —> System.AggregateException: One or more errors occurred. —> Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.UserNotFoundException: A user with the specified SID could not be found in the domain.  Check the spelling of the account name ‘’ and try again. —> System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception: No mapping between account names and security IDs was done
at Microsoft.Office.Server.Utilities.Win32.AdvApi.LookupAccountName(String lpSystemName, String lpAccountName, IntPtr Sid, Int32& cbSid, StringBuilder ReferencedDomainName, Int32& cchReferencedDomainName, SID_NAME_USE& peUse)

Reason for this error

The objectSid attribute was not included in the LDIF file.  The objectSid is required in SharePoint 2013 to process the accounts listed in the LDIF file.

For resolution :

1. Go to the LDIF MA, right click and select properties
2. Select Configure Attributes
3. Select New
a. Name: objectSid
b. Type: Binary
c. Select Ok
4. Go to the LDIF MA, right click and select properties
5. Now Select “Define Object Type”
6. From the Object types: select user and click Edit
7. Select objectSid and put it into the May have attributes:
8. Select OK
9. Select Configure Attribute Flow
10. Expand the user object
11. From the Data source attribute, select objectSid
12. From the Metaverse attribute, select objectSid
13. Mapping Type is Direct
14. Flow Direction is Import
15. Select New
16. objectSid displays in the Configure Attribute Flow
17. Select OK
18. Right click the MOSS MA and select properties
19. Select Configure Attribute Flow
20. Verify that the SID to objectSid attribute flow exists
21. Select OK
22. Open your LDIF file for edit
23. Add the objectSid to your accounts
24. Save the file
25. Run a Full Sync

An example from my test LDIF file

dn: CN=John Doe,CN=Roles,CN=Partition,DC=Contoso,DC=COM
changetype: add
displayName: John Doe
sn: Doe
givenName: John
objectClass: user
objectSid:: AQUAABTfkXMrX0BU0ChCzd4FhEeWw8XrYl1T+Q==

-How you find the correct sid ? You need to extract correct sid from AD LDS.
ldifde -f “c:\import.ldif” -s “localhost:389″ -d “CN=partition,dc=contoso,dc=com” -r “(objectClass=user)” -l “dn,changetype,displayName,userPrincipalName,mail,givenName,sn,objectSid