First off, let me say that User Profile Service is provisioned and generally runs normally. We're running on February 2012 CU.

We're in the middle of a domain merge, combining five AD domains into one. During the run-up to this, we would periodically have issues where some users in the destination domain would have their profiles overwritten such that the Preferred Name field just shows their account name. Example - Company User, logging in as MY_WEIRD_DOMAIN\user, will come to work and log onto SharePoint to suddenly find documents created by MY_WEIRD_DOMAIN\user instead of Company User.

It's not happening to everyone in the domain at once, only a few people every so often. The ones it does happen to, however, always show the NETBIOS domain name (MY_WEIRD_DOMAIN) instead of its DNS equivalent, notasweird.com.

It doesn't appear to be a temporally-sensitive anomaly either. Of the six accounts currently showing NETBIOS instead of DNS, one is less than six months old, while another is about four or five years old. Three of them are accounts that were created for users migrated to the domain (me being one of them), and none from the same originating domain.

The destination AD forest has a 2003 and two 2008 servers, and then we have a local R2 in our office that the forest replicates to so that we don't need to go over WAN. Could the non-homogeneous environment be the cause for this? If so, is there any way I can work around it short of decommissioning the old DCs? I'd love to do that but it's not my turf.

2 Answers 2


Two issues come to mind. First, if you are in an environment with mixed Forest Names and NetBIOS names you need to set the NetBIOSDomainNamesEnabled flag to true before performing any synchronization. Second, on the UPA you need to determine the correct My Site Name Format setting to prevent name collision. In your case you need either "User Name" or "Domain and User Name".

  • I actually had thought that NetBIOSDomainNamesEnabled was set, but I discovered yesterday afternoon that it wasn't. I'll try a full sync now and see what happens. Mar 13, 2013 at 14:46
  • Well, that didn't change anything unfortunately. Mar 13, 2013 at 14:51

Domain Controller Issue

If one of the domain controllers is returning correct information, but others are not, you might try Restricting the User Profile Synchronization to the domain controller that returns the correct information.

Active Users Issue

The timer job “User Profile Service Application – User Profile to SharePoint Full Synchronization" sets the name of Active users in a Site Collection from Active Directory. The definition of Active is tricky to explain, at best, but let's just say it doesn't meet most peoples standard for the set of users they'd like to see the name set for.

If the user names are non-active users, you might try updating the names manually for first setup. Gary Lapointe has a good example of how to do it in his blog post Updating SharePoint 2010 User Information.

  • This is affecting both active and non-active users. The NETBIOS thing is what really puzzles me though. Right now if I query the profiles list, I have five users out of maybe 100 that have the NETBIOS domain (my account happens to be among them). The number of users that have the NETBIOS domain in the Account Name column instead of the DNS domain fluctuates frequently. Mar 12, 2013 at 14:38
  • I've updated with another possible solution for the case you specify in the comment.
    – Tom Resing
    Mar 12, 2013 at 14:50
  • Is that PS cmdlet functionally identical to specifying a specific domain controller for a synchronization connection (as opposed to the "Auto discover domain controller" option in Connection Settings)? Mar 12, 2013 at 14:57
  • I'm not sure. There isn't much info available on UseOnlyPreferredDomainControllers.
    – Tom Resing
    Mar 12, 2013 at 15:07

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