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I'm trying to get this to work in PowerShell:

$spListItem[$ppField] = "domain\username"

This gives me the following error:

Exception calling "Update" with "0" argument(s): "Invalid data has been used to update the list item. The field you are trying to update may be read only."

I know by that SharePoint is expecting something like 3;domain\username

What's the easiest way to get this? I hope I don't have to iterate over the full SPUserCollection.

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

Here is the solution:

 [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPUser]$spuser =    $spWeb.EnsureUser("domain\username")         
 $spListItem[$newSMTName] =  $spuser  
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You could also use the following

$spUser = Get-SPUser -Identity "domain\username" -Web $web;
$spListItem[$ppField] = $spUser;
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