Paul Liebrand’s Weblog

Welcome to my blog mainly about SharePoint

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 | , , , | 3 Comments

“TinyUrl” for SharePoint Feature Requests

[Update – 9/2/2009]

I have released the first public version of my SharePoint URL Shortener. Please read the following blog posts for more information:

I am soliciting feature requests on Twitter for the first version of the “TinyUrl” for SharePoint feature I’ll am developing.

If you do not want to post them to Twitter, feel free to post them in the comments of this post.

March 3, 2009 Posted by | SharePoint | , , , | 2 Comments

Article on – Introduction to SharePoint Feature Stapling – Part 2

The second part of my article, Introduction to SharePoint Feature Stapling – Part 2, has been posted on Hopefully you find this information useful.

Please check it out of you have a free moment.

November 6, 2008 Posted by | SharePoint | , , | Leave a comment

Updated: "TinyUrl" like feature for SharePoint

[Updated – 8/30/2009]

For those of you who have not seen it yet, my SharePoint URL Shortener has been released.  Please see the following posts for more information:

[Updated – 4/13/2009]

As you have probably seen by now I was unable to get the TinyUrl like feature for SharePoint posted by my self imposed date. At this point I am not sure when I’ll get it posted – rest assure, it is coming.

[Updated – 4/2/2009]

For those who missed my Twitter the other day – My current plan is to release the first version of this feature to CodePlex on 4/12/2009 (perhaps sooner). I’ll let you know if this changes.


I have been working on a proof of concept idea to attempt to shorten the URLs that appear in SharePoint. Anyone using SharePoint knows that the URLs can get extremely long and sometimes can be be overwhelming to end-users who have a need to copy and paste them in emails for example.

This feature is not quite complete yet but I thought I would post about it as an early preview.

The basic premise of this feature is to use URL Rewriting, a mechanism to generate a short uniquely ID, and a SharePoint list to store them in.

1. Activating the feature:


2. Navigate to a document library and click the Actions button, or the drop down on a document and select Get ShortUrl


3. You will be redirected to a page that displays the new ShortUrl and it will also automatically copy it to the clipboard:


As you can see the URL generated is http://server/ShortUrl/3V. This URL can now be included in emails, bookmarks, etc and it will always be a direct link to this document.

Even if more than one person selects the Get ShortUrl option on this document, it will always retrieve the same ID.

Stay tuned — I’ll have a downloadable version, instructions, and source available soon.


September 8, 2008 Posted by | SharePoint | , , | 27 Comments

Article on – Introduction to SharePoint Feature Stapling

The first part of my article, Introduction to SharePoint Feature Stapling, has been published.

Give it a read if you have a moment.

August 18, 2008 Posted by | SharePoint | , , | Leave a comment