I am not aware of such limitation but recently while preforming some custom upgrades to our farm I experienced some strange things (or not?).

Our development team is sharing Site Collection Admin account. When two of us are connected everything works as expected (browsing, simultaneously activating/deactivating features, editing pages etc.). Then third member joins in (just browsing with same account) and hell breaks loose. Randomly one of us cannot access anything on site and only error available is 'Page not found' (not even SharePoint access denied). Since there is nothing logged and since we don't receive any SharePoint error pages I suspect this is more IIS or NLB thing (we are running 2xFES with NLB). Or is it something else?

We were able to reproduce this behavior.

Does anyone have any good advice on this? I will accept even 'Don't share accounts' since we already stopped with this practice.

Farm info: MOSS 2010, 2 x Front-end servers in NLB, 1 x SQL 2008 r2, 1 x Search, Claims based authentication (Windows + FBA)

  • 2
    Why are you sharing admin accounts? Why can't you create individual accounts for each admin? Jul 27, 2011 at 14:48
  • Taking shortcuts. We needed 5 people with site collection admin rights for very short period of time (just for few hours). This looked like simplest solution. Jul 27, 2011 at 14:56
  • 1
    Just add them to site collection admins if needed. Using same account is not a best practice and it's going to raise a "red flag" if you are ever audited by an external auditor. Jul 27, 2011 at 18:58
  • I know this isn't best practice but what am I really after is: Is this behavior product of SharePoint design or maybe some other setting(s) that I am unaware of. Jul 27, 2011 at 19:27
  • Unfortunately I do not know the answer to your question, but have never seen or heard anything similar. It's a web app it should not behave like this. From your configuration it might have to do something with NLB, try turning off a node and test when running on single node. Jul 27, 2011 at 19:30

1 Answer 1


I would change the password of the site collection admin account and give the developers full control access to the site collection and/or list them as site collection administrators. That will nip the sharing in the bud and more than likely resolve this issue.

As to why it's happening, I'm not entirely sure. Do any network tools give you any insight like Fiddler, NetMon, or WireShark? When you're reproducing this, have you tried ramping up the logging detail of the ULS logs?

  • 1
    We really didn't have time to preform some serious testing. We just verified that 3 same users are the problem and abandoned this practice. Since I am still on tight time schedule I don't have time to setup exactly same farm for testing. That is why I am looking for some community input since it still bugs me. We also experienced some serious malfunctioning at same time - some freshly added sites were lost - I am considering writing another follow up question but I cannot explain it under 2 pages of text :) Jul 27, 2011 at 13:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.