Friday, 8 April 2011

Domain name, NetBIOS name and SharePoint User Profile Service

One month ago I was installing SharePoint for one of my client. After the installation I went to Central Administration, configured the user profile import from AD and then started a full synchronization job. When the import was completed, I checked which users were imported and found out that login names in imported user profiles where different from login names used by users to log in to SharePoint:

  • User login in User Profile service: contoso\user1
  • Actual user login used by user1:\user1
It's obvious there's something wrong. At this situation SharePoint is not able to match SharePoint user with his/her user profile because the user login is "primary key" used to locate the user profile. It means you can't use My Profile page, you can't use information in the user profile like the manager field and job title in workflows etc. 

So the question is what is the problem? What we can do to prevent this from happening?

The problem lies in NetBIOS name. Usually the domain name looks like and NetBIOS is then contoso. In this case both NetBIOS name and fully qualified name were the same: For some unknown reason (bug?) when SharePoint imports users from AD it trims everything after the first dot. I was consulting it with Microsoft support specialist and his advise was... to rename domain and NetBIOS name. Yes, RENAME domain and NetBIOS name. Wow!

So what is the lesson learned? Never use dots in NetBIOS name... and  always check NetBIOS name before installing SharePoint. You can do it easily with nbtstat -n command.

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