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UPA Persistent Stuck on Starting Issue

2nd August

The UPA Stuck on Starting journey – a trip into FIM hell!

TThere are many great articles that list various steps to clear "stuck on starting" in FIM – including the defacto bible of Stuck on Starting by Spence Harber: Here

However in certain circumstances the usual steps of clearing this issue don't always work.

Recently I had an issue where an OOTB SharePoint 2010 farm (No service packs or CUs applied) had un-provisioned itself.

When trying to re-provision, the one off timer job that does this did not materialise and I was left in a state of "Stuck on Starting" but with no timer job, all services stopped and the application online. This became very frustrating and no matter what I tried I could not get rid of the "Starting" state.

To rectify this I used the following method in this order:

Customer was using OOTB SharePoint config – with a named SQL instance so by default the service would not re-provision until the June CU or a hot fix was applied (see here for error details)– in this case the customer was not ready to go to sp1 so the hotfixes had to be applied:

  • Installed Hotfix Link on each FE and CA
  • Installed Hotfix Link on each FE and CA
  • Ran PSconfig.exe (just ran through the wizard) on CA to upgrade the DBs

After this is noticed the "Starting" was still persistent in mange services on server and when trying to start the FIM services manually - I got a slew of errors - Eventids: 22, 3, 26, 2, 3 :

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Running though the normal steps to clear this issue did not remediate it. Im going to list the steps here for brevity as in most cases they would of worked:

  • Stop User profile service and User profile sync service on ALL SharePoint servers in the farm
  • Clear timer config cache by following the "resolution" documented at here
  • Deleted the Pending timer job related to the UPA sync service provisioning using Central administration->Monitoring->check job status
  • Confirmed that the security token service has only windows and anonymous enabled ( from IIS manager->SharePoint web services->Security token service->Authentication (under IIS))
  • On the SharePoint server access the registry editor and confirm that the information related to FIM ( database servername , sync DB name etc ) are properly populated, if found wrong , back up the registry key and edit the values to reflect the right information.
  • HKLM\system\currentcontrolset001\services\FIMservice
  • HKLM\system\currentcontrolset002\services\FIMservice
  • HKLM\system\currentcontrolset\services\FIMservice
  • Delete all FIM related certificates from certificate store ( for account and system) . Make sure that no FIM related certificate is listed in any folders when looked at certificate manager.
  • From Central administration->Application management->Manage service application, Make sure the User profile service application and its proxy are started, If found stopped, its always recommended to recreate them taking necessary backups (mysites)
  • Start User profile service on the machine where you would like to start the User profile sync service (use central administration console)
  • Once the service is started, try starting the User profile sync service from the central administration site

So as you can see there were quite a few steps without success.

If you use the Get/Stop SPService instance you will be able to see the state SP thinks the UPA service is in. In this case there were 3 three UPA services, 2 of them stopped, but one of the them was "Stuck" in provisioning!

In the SP2010 command shell use the following command to list them:

get-SPServiceInstance | where {$_.TypeName -like "*User*"}

If you see an instance that is "Provisioning" you will need to stop it as it is this that is causing the issue:

Stop-SPServiceInstance -identity <GUID>

They should all now be disabled:

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Success! You should note now that the service should be registered as stopped in the interface:

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or good measure at this point I turned Verbose logging on for UPA (don't forget to turn it off when you're done). I then started ULS viewer and filtered category on "User Profiles" which helps to track the actual provisioning process so you can view errors as they occur. Start User Profile Service through the interface as normal

You should be able to watch the process provisioning in its entirety (usually takes around 15 minutes)

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I then went and recreated and my synchronisation connections and performed a full sync Hope you find this useful!

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