With a large customer going live on a fully multi-tenanted claims authenticated platform in the last month I’ve had the chance to really see the limits of these two new features in SharePoint 2010. This issue was one of the big impact problems that I’m hoping that I’ve now found the solution to, so with that in mind it’s definitely worth sharing.

Problem:

After a few days of working normally claims authentication stops working unexpectedly on any given server in the farm, the below errors are logged.

Event Logs

Log Name: Application

Source: Microsoft-SharePoint Products-SharePoint Foundation

Event ID: 8306

Task Category: Claims Authentication

Level: Error

Description:

An exception occurred when trying to issue security token: The server was unable to process the request due to an internal error. For more information about the error, either turn on IncludeExceptionDetailInFaults (either from ServiceBehaviorAttribute or from the <serviceDebug> configuration behavior) on the server in order to send the exception information back to the client, or turn on tracing as per the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 SDK documentation and inspect the server trace logs..

Log Name: Application

Source: Microsoft-SharePoint Products-SharePoint Foundation

Event ID: 8306

Task Category: Claims Authentication

Level: Error

Description:

An exception occurred when trying to issue security token: The security token username and password could not be validated..

Log Name: Application

Source: Microsoft-Windows-User Profiles Service

Event ID: 1511

Task Category: None

Level: Error

Description:

Windows cannot find the local profile and is logging you on with a temporary profile. Changes you make to this profile will be lost when you log off.

ULS Logs:

01/04/2011 13:38:52.17        w3wp.exe (0x037C)        0x0660        SharePoint Server        Shared Services        olgq        Exception       System.Runtime.InteropServices
.COMException (0x800703FA): Illegal operation attempted on a registry key that has been marked for deletion. at System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry.Bind(…      

01/04/2011 13:38:52.17        w3wp.exe (0x0554)        0x0F30        SharePoint Foundation        Claims Authentication        8306        Critical        An exception occurred when trying to issue security token: The security token username and password could not be validated..       

 

Cause:

The third the Event log error above I included as although it is one that you often see, it was the message that eventually led me to the what looks like the source of this issue, with that combined with the “registry key that has been marked for” message in the ULS I was lead to the following DCOM blog:

A COM+ application may stop working on Windows Server 2008 when the identity user logs off

Resolution:

It seems that the Claims provider breaks when for some reason or other the App Pool account logs off unexpectedly, the solution (at least after 2 weeks with no reoccurrence) is as suggested in the above blog;

As a workaround it may be necessary to disable this feature which is the default behavior. The policy setting ‘Do not forcefully unload the user registry at user logoff’ counters the default behavior of Windows 2008. When enabled, Windows 2008 does not forcefully unload the registry and waits until no other processes are using the user registry before it unloads it.

The policy can be found in the group policy editor (gpedit.msc)
Computer Configuration->Administrative Templates->System-> UserProfiles
Do not forcefully unload the user registry at user logoff

Change the setting from “Not Configured” to “Enabled”, which disables the new User Profile Service feature.

‘DisableForceUnload’ is the value added to the registry

 

I’ll update this blog entry if the problem comes back.

Share and Enjoy !

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