Paul Liebrand’s Weblog

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SharePoint 2007 Flaw with Profile Imports and My Sites

Wow! What an interesting morning. I arrived at work today to discover that all our “My Site” profile information (and related information) has been deleted from our environment.

I figured out what happened and thought I would share my findings with the community (I’ll most likely be opening a support case with Microsoft to try get this resolved).


Our environment performed an incremental profile import at 11pm last night. However, at the time the import process began the domain controller we have specified in our profile import connections setting was unavailable.

At this point, SharePoint flagged all the profile accounts in the database to be deleted. I verified this by looking at the bDeleted column in the dbo.UserProfile view in the Shared Services Provider database – all the values were set to “1”.

Then at 12:00 am (midnight) the My Site Cleanup Job timer job ran. According to Microsoft TechNet’s SharePoint Timer job reference (Office SharePoint Server) page, it states the purpose of My Site Cleanup Job is:

“When a user is deleted, starts a workflow on that user’s My Site. The default behavior is to send an e-mail message to the manager with a link to the deleted user’s site. The e-mail message contains a request to the manager to move any documents or data that the manager wants to preserve, because the site might be deleted in the future.”

Please note that this job runs Hourly.

What this page fails to mention is it also wipes out all profile specific data. Not only does it wipe out all profile data (stuff not imported from AD); it also deletes any user Quick Links, Colleague Tracker, Profile Picture, etc.

At least the users documents, etc are safe – but what a pain!

In the ULS, I was seeing the following error message:

“Domain {0} cannot be found.”

Followed by:

“MySiteCleanup: Unable to change owner of MySite for user profile because the new owner was not specified.”


It seems to be a major flaw with this process if SharePoint flags everyone to be deleted simply because the domain controller used for the profile imports is unavailable (for whatever the reason is).

Now domain controllers are rarely unavailable but you should at least be aware of this flaw and plan accordingly.

I am just thankful I did not have the “Site use confirmation and deletion” options enable to automatically delete dead webs. Would have completely ruined my day.

By the way, this environment is running version (which is the Approval 2009 Cumulative Update).


July 1, 2009 - Posted by | SharePoint | , , ,


  1. We expereinced the same issue three times recently. We are working with Mircosoft to find the root cause, but are having a difficult time reproducing the problem. Have you opened a support case with Microsoft?

    Comment by Jim McGuire | July 22, 2009

    • Yes. I have identified the problem and Microsoft is already working on a) a solution, or b) hot-fix.

      Comment by Paul Liebrand | July 24, 2009

  2. Yes – we a had a similar issue. Lost a domain controller and profiles got removed.

    In our case we had our own custom profile cleanup job that removes profiles flagged as “deleted” using a stored proc (not supported I know but left over from a vendor). It checked the bdeleted flag and removed all these profiles.

    Now we have a few more checks in place before that job runs, and monitor the number of profiles that get flagged as deleted.

    I am sure it will be fixed in the next version…. 🙂


    Comment by Peter | July 28, 2009

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