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I have faced an intriguing issue in SharePoint 2013 environment. After some user complaints we have found that some users in User Information List don't have any properties set anymore, except their login name. We don't use custom properties, but the most basic properties were missing - Email and Display Name. All affected users were from other AD forest/domain, which we have two-way trust to. Not every user from this domain was affected. The modification date of user item is the day when we started to get complaints. But 'Modified By' property is System Account, so it's not very useful for investigation.

We do use User Profile Service Application, but we don't have connection to that domain and never had. However, there are user profiles from that domain inside of UPSA database - they are empty as well, no properties except the login name. I checked FIM Metaverse storage with MIISclient tool, and there is no records for user identities from that domain.

This particular SharePoint farm doesn't have much customizations and no customization is related to user profiles. We don't use any external user identity sources, except AD domains.

We are able to fix missing user properties running Set-SPUser -SyncFromAD cmdlet, but I want to understand why it happened and can it happen again.

My assumption is that for some reason user profiles were imported to UPSA database with no properties filled in, and than it was synchronized down to the site collections. But I'm stuck trying to prove it.

Can anyone answer to the following questions: 1. How is it possible to push user profiles to UPSA database without involving FIM service? 2. If UPSA is not involved, what other process/service in SharePoint can rewrite site collection User Information List?

Any ideas will be much appreciated!

  • So user profiles may be manually created by the system just by having a user log into a SharePoint site. That profile won't have any properties and the blank properties will be pushed down to the Site Collections. Best recommendation would be to either remove the UPSA Proxy connection from that Web App or to set up a sync with the particular domain the users are a part of. – Trevor Seward Apr 3 '17 at 15:52
  • Shot in the dark...Do you have profile name conflict resolution set to "resolve conflicts" or "Do not conflict"? – Matthew McDermott Apr 4 '17 at 12:07
  • @TrevorSeward What do you mean by "manually created by the system"? The user profiles in UPSA can be created by having a user simply log on into a SharePoint site? Disabling UPSA proxy is not a desirable option since we have sync with other domains in place, but we are considering setting up sync with that particular domain. – arax28 Apr 4 '17 at 14:16
  • @MatthewMcDermott I'm not sure about that. How can I check? – arax28 Apr 4 '17 at 14:28
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    @arax28 I would just set up a sync and be done with it. At this point, you're fighting the normal behavior of SharePoint. Yes, just by logging into a SharePoint site (or crawl, etc.) you can create a user profile. – Trevor Seward Apr 4 '17 at 14:58

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