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SharePoint 2013 Accidental Active Directory Account Creation Mode (AADACM)

Have you ever had a case of AADACM?  Well I have.  It all started a few weeks ago when I began an installation of SharePoint 2013 utilizing PowerShell.  I decided to use PowerShell to install SharePoint to help me to customize the database names on the SQL servers, and go through the installation process quickly and efficiently. When SharePoint is installed through the application, it creates databases that contain a long GUID at the end of them.

Using PowerShell, I am able to input whatever name I would like for the databases on my SharePoint farm. It also allows me to install SharePoint quickly with about 7 to 8 lines of code.  With PowerShell, SharePoint installation can be easily accomplished with no errors. However, it does require attention to detail which I found out the hard way. All it took was an extra dash to mess up the entire farm. 

After installing the pre-requisites, I ran my PowerShell commands.

[alert type="notice"]Tip: Be sure to open PowerShell as an administrator.[/alert]


For reference, here are the commands that I ran (the dash that caused the error is in red, do NOT include it in your code!):

  • New-SPConfigurationDatabase -–DatabaseName SP2013_Config –AdministrationContentDatabaseName
    SP2013_AdminContent –DatabaseServer SPDB1 –FarmCredentials (get-credential)
    • (The above is all one line of code)
    • After entering this line I was prompted to enter my SharePoint Farm Account credentials


  • The Management Shell then prompted me for a passphrase.  The passphrase I entered will be used to add other servers to the farm.
  • I entered the remaining commands in the Management Shell:
    • Install-SPHelpCollection –All
    • Initialize-SPResourceSecurity
    • Install-SPService
    • New-SPCentralAdministration –Port <i>5555 </i>–WindowsAuthProvider “ntlm”
    • Install-SPApplicationContent

After I ran all of these commands I went to the remaining servers to be added to the farm, ran the configuration wizard, and verified that all the servers were added properly.

I’m done, it worked perfectly, end of story, and there is nothing to worry about right?  Well it is SharePoint, so usually it isn’t that easy.  Once I had completed the installation, I started to work on my farm.  I added the managed accounts, created the service applications, started the services, and then it happened.  I went to create my first site collection only to have Central Admin throw me an error.  It read as follows: “This page cannot be displayed because your server’s current configuration does not support it.  To perform this task, use the command line operations stsadm.exe.

"I've made a huge mistake."  Panic mode came over me.  What does that mean, how do I resolve this?  After my brief moment of panic, I began to look more into the issue.  Let me tell you though, there was not much out there to explain what was causing this issue.  After some time I came across another article that helped to explain the error.  This was the article:  In short, it was all my fault.  When running the PowerShell script from above, I accidently added an extra dash in the first line of code.  What that dash did was set something called Active Directory Account Creation Mode for the farm.  This is what continued to bring up the error.


Now comes the fix.

At this point the best thing I could have done was redo the creation of the SharePoint farm.  There was no way (at least to my knowledge or research) to disable this feature.  So I detached all of the servers from the farm, deleted the databases, and re-ran the code, this time verifying that I did not place an extra dash anywhere.  Once the code was re-ran, I reattached the remaining servers to the farm again.

The moral of my story is, you can’t trust the system.  So be sure after running this code above to check your Central Administration links right away.  Verify that you are not seeing any of these errors.  If you do see the error, just redo the installation.  Otherwise the further you get the worse it will feel once you have to rebuild the SharePoint farm.

About Michael Pigott