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After a fresh install of SharePoint Server 2010 (Standalone) on Server 2008 R2 I get this warning from the Health Analyzer: "The Security Token Service is not available."

The Windows Application event log is also full of these errors:

Source: Microsoft-SharePoint Products-SharePoint Foundation
Event ID: 8306
Task Category: Claims Authentication
Level: Error
Description: An exception occurred when trying to issue security token: The server did not provide a meaningful reply; this might be caused by a contract mismatch, a premature session shutdown or an internal server error..

I've got the KB976462 hotfix installed, and have tried every remedy I could find with Google but the problem remains.

Has anyone got any ideas?

Update: an example of this error from the SharePoint trace log:

07/22/2010 15:15:44.08  OWSTIMER.EXE (0x05F8)                       0x0340  SharePoint Foundation           Monitoring                      nasq    Medium      Entering monitored scope (Timer Job MetadataHubTimerJob)    cab840d1-04ed-435a-bdec-56489baf89e7
07/22/2010 15:15:44.08  OWSTIMER.EXE (0x05F8)                       0x0340  SharePoint Server               Taxonomy                        8yq5    Medium      Metadata Hub timer job starts.  cab840d1-04ed-435a-bdec-56489baf89e7
07/22/2010 15:15:44.09  OWSTIMER.EXE (0x05F8)                       0x0340  SharePoint Foundation           Claims Authentication           fsq7    High        Request for security token failed with exception: System.ServiceModel.CommunicationException: The server did not provide a meaningful reply; this might be caused by a contract mismatch, a premature session shutdown or an internal server error.    Server stack trace:      at System.ServiceModel.Channels.ServiceChannel.Call(String action, Boolean oneway, ProxyOperationRuntime operation, Object[] ins, Object[] outs, TimeSpan timeout)     at System.ServiceModel.Channels.ServiceChannelProxy.InvokeService(IMethodCallMessage methodCall, ProxyOperationRuntime operation)     at System.ServiceModel.Channels.ServiceChannelProxy.Invoke(IMessage message)    Exception rethrown at [0]:      at System.Runtime.Remoting.Proxies.RealProxy.HandleReturnMessage(IMessage reqMsg, IMessage retMsg)     at System.Ru... cab840d1-04ed-435a-bdec-56489baf89e7
07/22/2010 15:15:44.09* OWSTIMER.EXE (0x05F8)                       0x0340  SharePoint Foundation           Claims Authentication           fsq7    High        ...ntime.Remoting.Proxies.RealProxy.PrivateInvoke(MessageData& msgData, Int32 type)     at Microsoft.IdentityModel.Protocols.WSTrust.IWSTrustContract.Issue(Message message)     at Microsoft.IdentityModel.Protocols.WSTrust.WSTrustChannel.Issue(RequestSecurityToken rst, RequestSecurityTokenResponse& rstr)     at Microsoft.IdentityModel.Protocols.WSTrust.WSTrustChannel.Issue(RequestSecurityToken rst)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSecurityContext.SecurityTokenForContext(Uri context, Boolean bearerToken, SecurityToken onBehalfOf, SecurityToken actAs, SecurityToken delegateTo)   cab840d1-04ed-435a-bdec-56489baf89e7
07/22/2010 15:15:44.09  OWSTIMER.EXE (0x05F8)                       0x0340  SharePoint Foundation           Claims Authentication           8306    Critical    An exception occurred when trying to issue security token: The server did not provide a meaningful reply; this might be caused by a contract mismatch, a premature session shutdown or an internal server error..   cab840d1-04ed-435a-bdec-56489baf89e7
07/22/2010 15:15:44.10  OWSTIMER.EXE (0x05F8)                       0x0340  SharePoint Server               Taxonomy                        ch5x    Monitorable Proxy Managed Metadata Service throws an exception: System.ServiceModel.CommunicationException: The server did not provide a meaningful reply; this might be caused by a contract mismatch, a premature session shutdown or an internal server error.    Server stack trace:      at System.ServiceModel.Channels.ServiceChannel.Call(String action, Boolean oneway, ProxyOperationRuntime operation, Object[] ins, Object[] outs, TimeSpan timeout)     at System.ServiceModel.Channels.ServiceChannelProxy.InvokeService(IMethodCallMessage methodCall, ProxyOperationRuntime operation)     at System.ServiceModel.Channels.ServiceChannelProxy.Invoke(IMessage message)    Exception rethrown at [0]:      at System.Runtime.Remoting.Proxies.RealProxy.HandleReturnMessage(IMessage reqMsg, IMessage retMsg)     at System.... cab840d1-04ed-435a-bdec-56489baf89e7
07/22/2010 15:15:44.10* OWSTIMER.EXE (0x05F8)                       0x0340  SharePoint Server               Taxonomy                        ch5x    Monitorable ...Runtime.Remoting.Proxies.RealProxy.PrivateInvoke(MessageData& msgData, Int32 type)     at Microsoft.IdentityModel.Protocols.WSTrust.IWSTrustContract.Issue(Message message)     at Microsoft.IdentityModel.Protocols.WSTrust.WSTrustChannel.Issue(RequestSecurityToken rst, RequestSecurityTokenResponse& rstr)     at Microsoft.IdentityModel.Protocols.WSTrust.WSTrustChannel.Issue(RequestSecurityToken rst)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSecurityContext.SecurityTokenForContext(Uri context, Boolean bearerToken, SecurityToken onBehalfOf, SecurityToken actAs, SecurityToken delegateTo)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSecurityContext.<>c__DisplayClass7.<GetProcessSecurityTokenForServiceContext>b__6()     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities.SecurityContext.RunAsProcess(CodeToRunElevated secureCode)     at Micro...  cab840d1-04ed-435a-bdec-56489baf89e7
07/22/2010 15:15:44.10* OWSTIMER.EXE (0x05F8)                       0x0340  SharePoint Server               Taxonomy                        ch5x    Monitorable ...soft.SharePoint.SPSecurityContext.GetProcessSecurityTokenForServiceContext()     at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPChannelFactoryOperations.CreateChannelAsProcess[TChannel](ChannelFactory`1 factory, EndpointAddress address, Uri via)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPChannelFactoryOperations.CreateChannelAsProcess[TChannel](ChannelFactory`1 factory, EndpointAddress address)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Taxonomy.MetadataWebServiceApplicationProxy.GetChannel(Uri address, Boolean& cachedChannel)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Taxonomy.MetadataWebServiceApplicationProxy.<>c__DisplayClass2c.<RunOnChannel>b__2b()     at Microsoft.Office.Server.Security.SecurityContext.RunAsProcess(CodeToRunElevated secureCode)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Taxonomy.MetadataWebServiceApplicationProxy.<>c__DisplayClass2c.<RunOnChann...  cab840d1-04ed-435a-bdec-56489baf89e7
07/22/2010 15:15:44.10* OWSTIMER.EXE (0x05F8)                       0x0340  SharePoint Server               Taxonomy                        ch5x    Monitorable ...el>b__2a()     at Microsoft.Office.Server.Utilities.MonitoredScopeWrapper.RunWithMonitoredScope(Action code)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Taxonomy.MetadataWebServiceApplicationProxy.RunOnChannel(CodeToRun codeToRun, Double operationTimeoutFactor)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Taxonomy.MetadataWebServiceApplicationProxy.GetIsServiceApplicationPartitioned()     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Taxonomy.ContentTypeSync.Internal.HubTimerJobDefinition.Execute(SPJobState jobState)  cab840d1-04ed-435a-bdec-56489baf89e7
07/22/2010 15:15:44.10  OWSTIMER.EXE (0x05F8)                       0x0340  SharePoint Server               Taxonomy                        8yq6    Medium      Metadata Hub timer job ends.    cab840d1-04ed-435a-bdec-56489baf89e7
07/22/2010 15:15:44.10  OWSTIMER.EXE (0x05F8)                       0x0340  SharePoint Foundation           Monitoring                      b4ly    Medium      Leaving Monitored Scope (Timer Job MetadataHubTimerJob). Execution Time=11.509195408448 cab840d1-04ed-435a-bdec-56489baf89e7
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Check the SharePoint ULS logs and add any entries from that to the question –  Wictor Wilen MCA MCM MVP Jul 22 '10 at 9:51

5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I ran into this problem. It turns out that our corporate standard IIS installation made changes to the .NET configuration that conflicted with SharePoint. Basically, SharePoint's web.config files include a "windowsAuthentication" configuration. That was locked by the applicationHost.config file that disallows that.

  1. Edit C:\Windows\System32\inetsrv\config\applicationHost.config
  2. Change: <windowsAuthentication enabled="true" lockAttributes="enabled">
    To: <windowsAuthentication enabled="true">
  3. IISRESET

Other potential reasons I've read about for this are:

  1. The site is set to run in 32 bit mode
  2. The site does not have full trust
  3. The application pool is not running

Basically, it's an IIS/.NET problem.

See here for more about the .config files and locking.

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Thanks, was unable to test this out for some time, but it turned out it was a problem with IIS auth. –  Adam Jul 11 '11 at 8:01

Did you check the WMSvc Certificate expiry date?

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Had this issue when the password for the domain account used for one of the services was changed. Had to update the password in Central Admin -> Security -> Configure managed accounts

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We had the same issue and hopefully this will help you too.

Try this to reprovision the security token sevice! http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sowmyancs/archive/2010/07/16/sharepoint-2010-service-applications-bcs-metadata-access-service-are-not-working.aspx?CommentPosted=true

PS C:\Users\sowmyans> Get-SPServiceApplication

DisplayName          TypeName             Id                                  
-----------          --------             --                                  
Access Services      Access Services W... 77562ca9-5c80-45f4-9a21-6d86c013eb75
Secure Store Service Secure Store Serv... 5eceb8dd-ef3d-4c7d-b900-59436e4743a1
State Service        State Service        54dfbd6d-dc83-48e9-9b79-a52853aad23d
PerformancePoint ... PerformancePoint ... 7556e63a-4c50-400c-8788-de6724b64ab7
Visio Graphics Se... Visio Graphics Se... ac3ab2e0-3952-473d-9901-001b050ef945
Managed Metadata ... Managed Metadata ... 32eeb3d8-b710-4635-81d5-771701072593
Web Analytics Ser... Web Analytics Ser... 9cb8fdbb-c87c-4c11-9c91-d89e04aec703
Excel Services Ap... Excel Services Ap... 8918fc32-b6f2-49ad-9d60-f0d7a866d85d
Security Token Se... Security Token Se... 033b6266-261d-4318-9a9a-36f0e390d346
Application Disco... Application Disco... 80a9e9de-88d0-4ce1-8108-380117fc1c11
Usage and Health ... Usage and Health ... 746c7339-1e8c-47ae-8583-ea80faae5fac
Search Administra... Search Administra... 944cfcd9-155e-41c0-82b7-95386d737fcb
Word Automation S... Word Automation S... c2a414b6-dfb7-4974-8eb4-6c2c6da65af0
Application Regis... Application Regis... e1131c58-0242-4aab-9156-1de22c2be8a4
User Profile Serv... User Profile Serv... 24f623c3-d368-4901-aee0-aed2f8e3f129
Business Data Con... Business Data Con... 2d21dffe-a188-42d7-b46e-04850805bcde
Lotus Notes Conne... Lotus Notes Conne... 115431c5-80e7-40d4-bdd8-7a7254951714
Search Service Ap... Search Service Ap... 1f69450e-c835-4219-9b46-7f444c204059

PS C:\Users\sowmyans> $sts = Get-SPServiceApplication | ?{$_ -match "Security"}
PS C:\Users\sowmyans> $sts

DisplayName          TypeName             Id                                  
-----------          --------             --                                  
Security Token Se... Security Token Se... 033b6266-261d-4318-9a9a-36f0e390d346  

PS C:\Users\sowmyans> $sts.StatusOnlinePS C:\Users\sowmyans> $sts.Provision()
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I also ran into this problem, but in my case it was very simple to resolve:

The SharePoint Web Services site was stopped; once it was started the problem disappeared.

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