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web application is configured with claims authentication mode however the content database you are trying to attach is intended to be used against a windows classic authentication mode

We migrated Sp2007 farm to Sp2013 Server using Avepoint tool 6 months back. After that migration farm has been preety stable so far and it is now time for SP1 and new CU's to be implemented in the farm. I recently installed Sp1, upgrade went fine except few gliches, related to BDC database not being upgraded. which was later fixed.

I am now in Post upgrade health check stage and was going through Upgrade Logs, where i saw something interesting.

The [SharePoint - projects443] web application is configured with claims authentication mode however the content database you are trying to attach is intended to be used against a windows classic authentication mode.

I am not quite sure what is this error referencing to, My web application is configured using claims auth, but i dont know what does it mean by database trying to attach is intended to be used against a windows classic authentication mode.

This is the development server i am working, and planning for QA Upgrade next week.

So i ran test-Spcontentdatabase to some web applications, where same warnings were being thrown. this is what is reads:

    Category        : Configuration
Error           : False
UpgradeBlocking : False
Message         : The [SharePoint - solutionsqa443] web application is configured with claims authentication mode
                  however the content database you are trying to attach is intended to be used against a windows
                  classic authentication mode.
Remedy          : There is an inconsistency between the authentication mode of target web application and the source
                  web application. Ensure that the authentication mode setting in upgraded web application is the same
                  as what you had in previous SharePoint 2010 web application. Refer to the link
                  "http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=236865" for more information.
Locations       :

Although UpgradeBlock is set to false, but i am cautious and at the same time curious about what is happening in the back end.

I dont want any future trouble because of this, because i am going to upgrade production very soon with Sp1 too.

If anybody has any ideas or resources that would help me solve this issue would be greatly appreciated.

  • What about web applications in 2010, SP2010 is using classic authentication or Claims authentication? – Waqas Sarwar MVP Oct 18 '14 at 4:11
  • We never had sp2010, we migrated server from sp2007 using avepoint 6 months back. – allegro octopus Oct 20 '14 at 13:37
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SharePoint 2007 and 2010 used Classic authentication as default, while SharePoint 2013 use Claims as default. So the error is simple telling you that the databases are configured for Classic but mounted to a Claims web application.

You can create a web application that uses Classic authentication with PowerShell, but i think that is like asking for trouble. Claims is the way to go in 2013.

This is the official way to do it, provided by Microsoft: Migrate from classic-mode to claims-based authentication in SharePoint 2013

However, i was planning to move site collections in a temporerary database, one at the time for several reasons so i found this script that simply converts a database from Classic to Claims. I've used it for multiple databases and has not had one single error related to authentication in 2013.

The script is intended to be run AFTER the database has been mounted to the web application. ( mount-spcontentdatabse ). This script must be executed by your Farm account to. Check the source for the script for more information, and be sure to test it before using it in production if you decide to use it.

$wa = Get-SPWebApplication http://yourWebAppUrl 
$acc = 'domain\user' 
$arguments = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPWebApplication+SPMigrateUserParameters 
$arguments.AddDatabaseToMigrate($wa.ContentDatabases[1]) 
$wa.MigrateUsersToClaims($acc, $true, $arguments)

Converting A Classic Auth Content Database to Claims Auth in SharePoint 2013

Migrate from classic-mode to claims-based authentication in SharePoint 2013 the easy way

  • So the mount-db process will not fail/throw error when you try to mount a classic DB to a claims Web application? – emo Feb 12 '15 at 8:20
  • No, it will not fail or trow an error, however if you use the cmdlt test-spcontentdatabase after the mount to check for errors it will be stated that the database are using classic authentication and are attached to a claims webapplication. That's when you run this script using the farm account, check the links before using it and try it in a test environment before using it within production. – Christoffer Feb 12 '15 at 8:24
  • Thanks. I just tested it and you were right, a classic db can be mounted on a claims Web-App. I was sure that it would throw som errors, but nope. This saves me some time, so I do not have to re-create af classic Web-app. – emo Feb 12 '15 at 9:59
  • I got pretty tired of recreating so i found this and it worked really good as i migrated one site collection at a time. :) – Christoffer Feb 12 '15 at 10:05
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I tried MigrateUsersToClaims() method but was not successful. Users still cannot login.

Then I tried this command and was successful! (as stated by Microsoft official)

Convert-SPWebApplication -Identity "your-web-application-url" -To Claims -RetainPermissions
WARNING: The conversion of web application and most of the users to Claims mode is completed. However, one or more users could not be converted to Claims mode.

So my experiment shows that: Convert-SPWebApplication seems to convert any content database that is not claim based.
The warning by Test-SPContentDatabase is also gone

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