We are having an issue with what would seem like an easy process: moving/copying vanilla (no customization outside of SPD) SharePoint sites in Content & Structure mode. The user copying/moving is a site collection administrator.

  1. Content and Structure Mode
  2. Copy Site
  3. After a while, receive error page and no site:

User cannot be found.Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException: User cannot be found. ---> Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException: User cannot be found. at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPUserCollection.GetByID(Int32 id) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.WebSerializer.SetObjectData(Object obj, SerializationInfo info, StreamingContext context, ISurrogateSelector selector) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.XmlFormatter.ParseObject(Type objectType, Boolean isChildObject) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.XmlFormatter.DeserializeObject(Type objectType, Boolean isChildObject, DeploymentObject envelope) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.XmlFormatter.Deserialize(Stream serializationStream) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.ObjectSerializer.Deserialize(Stream serializationStream) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.ImportObjectManager.ProcessObject(XmlReader xmlReader) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.SPImport.DeserializeObjects() at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.SPImport.Run() at Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.Internal.DeploymentWrapper.Copy(String[] sourceSmtObjectIds, String destSmtObjectId) --- End of inner exception stack trace --- at Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.Internal.DeploymentWrapper.Copy(String[] sourceSmtObjectIds, String destSmtObjectId) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.Internal.WebControls.CopyObjects.Copy()Operation to Copy '[URL]' to '[New URL]' Failed

I read this as "we can't copy/move some of your items because the Created By/Modified By user is not longer in Active Directory" but that seems like a problem that others would have had in the past.

2 Answers 2


What is likely happening is that the UserInfo table does not contain a reference to a user that, as you pointed out, no longer exists in Active Directory.

The general way to solve this is to re-save any items that have been modified/created by the missing user.

  • 1
    Microsoft: that's a very silly way of going about this. As it turns out, people leave organizations.
    – Cory M
    Commented Dec 22, 2011 at 15:40

This weirdly involved a Records Management Center-related permission level. It was unused in this collection and, after we removed it, we encountered no problems.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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