So, I have an user profile synchronization service application configured for a production farm.

When I go to manage services on server (through central admin) it shows this :-
User Profile Service Application - Started
User Profile Synchronization Service - Starting

The second service is stuck on starting for more than a week now.

I checked services.msc and found that

Forefront Identity Manager Service was started
Forefront Identity Manager Synchronization Service couldnt start.

The event viewer error log showed this message
The service was unable to start because the version of the database does not match the version of the product.

I have googled my way to understand this issue and in all likelyhood I am getting this conclusion that the service account under which user profile service application is running does not have the necessary replication rights on the Active Directory. Also I did go through the holy grail of this subject mentioned on : http://www.harbar.net/articles/sp2010ups.aspx to further support my conclusions.

However, before I start buzzing the Server Team who are managing the active directory , I would like to have a second opinion over here. Please guide me out on this.

  • I followed up on your link and read the article “Stuck on Starting”: Common Issues with SharePoint Server 2010 User Profile Synchronization. Because we have a a Web Frontend Server and an Application Server, I had to start the service Forefront Identity Manager Synchronization Service on the Application Server (was disabled) this helped solve my issues. After that the internal UPS Service was running.
    – John K. N.
    Dec 4, 2012 at 12:25
  • The only thing I would caution is MS states starting the FIM service manually is not supported. The service is always disabled by default when the user profile sync service is stopped. When starting the user profile sync service, the FIM services get started. Aug 17, 2015 at 15:47

3 Answers 3


Try to delete the User Profile Service, and its proxy and recreate a new one. I had to do the same thing whenever it didn't start..

UPDATE: Also try out this microsoft technet article: http://technet.microsoft.com/library/gg750257(office.14).aspx

  • +1. And since you're already reading Spence Harbars guide, read it one more time when you recreate it so you don't slip up during the way.
    – K.W
    Mar 19, 2012 at 14:37

If anyone is interested, i created a script that cleans up and starts the Synchronization serivice for you: http://sharepointbjorn.com/2014/06/25/user-profile-synchronization-autofixer/

I use it all the time myself, saving a lot of time:-)

It stops a stuck synchronzation (Stuck on starting/stopping), clears forefront certificates, deletes the one time profilesynch timer job and clears SharePoint configuration cache. Restarts the user profile instance and starts the Synchronization service, you will need to input farm pwd when it asks for it.

You run it on the server hosting the synchronization service. It targets the local server.


Setting FIM Services to "Local System" not fix the problem. User Profile Sync Service changes "Local System" to Farm Account.

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