So, we have our people picker working to add users to a site collection or User Info List in WSS 3. We implemented the STSADM command to search a specific OU and this works fine. Our problem is that a user has to be in the User Info list or they can not be added to a task because we will receive the error "The user does not exist or is not unique.". If we add the user to the User Info list first by using the same people picker it works fine and then we can give that user a task. We have sort of resolved this by running a script that adds about 13K to 40K users to each site collections User Info list which is not a great resolution by any means. Our problem is that we do not control the OU in question and every user exists in that OU with 2 or more accounts though they will only logon with one of them. I am trying to see if I can create a new people picker field or what can be modified so that we do not get this error and we can add users to tasks without having to first add them to the User Info list. Any thoughts are appreciated!

EDIT: I wanted to make it a little more clear on what is happening. The people picker returns the user that you search for. Unfortuantely it returns all of the accounts because they all exist in the same OU and we can not modify this at all. You can use the people picker to add users to the site, but not to a task unless you add them to the site first. So can we use an AD group to store the users we want to search for or will it still have an issue? Just want the best approach!

EDIT 2: Aftore more research, I am wodering if we have 1 site collection that has all the users in it, can we use this site collection for restricting the people picker for all other site collections and will it still try to validate the user in AD?

2 Answers 2


I don't know if this will help, but I tried to do this before in the Taxonomy page as we needed to add Administrators who were not in the AD but in our own database. I tried making a provider that would work well with the page, never could do it, but maybe your case is a better fit.


Mostly this was for MOSS2007 but I found some of it applied to SP2010 fairly well.

  • I actually went through this site which is how we got it to find the users in the people picker. I might not have been clear enough in that it returns multiple accounts for the same user so I want to see if there is a way to ensure it only chooses the right one. I will edit the question! Thanks! Apr 21, 2011 at 15:46
  • We end up with the same thing in some screens, where it presents Users from both AD and our custom database, we simply select the right Users. I didn't play around with the Providers a lot but if you only want a specific list can you limit the Providers on the page to only display the list you want?
    – MichaelF
    Apr 22, 2011 at 13:08
  • What I mean is that the user has two or more accounts in the same OU. I do not know how to use a custom provider or if we can do that, but all the users are in AD in the same OU. Apr 22, 2011 at 14:30

This is a little out in left field, but here goes. Could you create a Sharepoint group with no permissions to the site that utilizes all authenticated users. Then create the people picker field to use that Sharepoint group?

If that doesn't work, could the people in the OU be converted to a Security group, and that be used instead of all authenticated users?

  • We have no control over the OU and are not allowed apparently to create a different one :( We may have to try adding the users to a Security group but we may not be able to Apr 21, 2011 at 14:30

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