Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Restoring a Shared Service Provider Admin Site


Note, this blog entry demonstrates how to restore a shared service provider administration site. Before you get your hands dirty it would be a good idea to backup up your SharePoint databases, and to ensure you still have all the necessary databases for the SSP that is throwing the error below.


The other day I found a pretty strange error in the event log on one of our shared development machines. It sang a little to the tune of:

Event Type: Error
Event Source: Office SharePoint Server
Event Category: Office Server Shared Services
Event ID: 5290
Date: 3/18/2008
Time: 9:02:01 PM
User: N/A
Computer: [ComputerName]
There is no administration site associated with the Shared Services Provider SharedServices1.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at

This is a pretty unfortunate error. I usually happens when someone accidentally deletes a Shared Service Provider administration site. People usually do it because they think it's a rogue site that no ones using and often the content database (for the admin site, not the SSP) gets deleted too.

What's a Shared Service Provider?

When you install a MOSS as a stand alone farm (all on one machine) a couple of web applications are created for you.

  • A default site stubbed out with dummy content.
  • The Central Administration Site (to administrate the farm).
  • A Shared Service Provider which is hosted in a web application.
  • An administration site to administer the default Shared Service Provider.

If you did an advanced install you probably ended up creating these items individually at some point during your more lengthy install process. But then again if you're savvy enough to set up a WSS/MOSS farm you're probably not the kind of character to accidentally delete an administration site.

Shared Service Providers (SSP) provide a lot of the extended functionality that is WSS/MOSS. SSP's are responsible for things like Search/indexing, My Site hosting, Profiles, Audiences (for content targeting), Portal Usage Reporting (enhanced Usage reports), Excel Services, and the Business Data Catalog. Most of that list is implemented only in MOSS.

Any ways you normally administer all these Shared Services with a series of SSP Administration Sites...but someone's gone and deleted one! Now before you go fire someone understand that it's kind of an understandable mistake, plus you can create a new one and hopefully not loose any data from your SSP. The SSP Admin Site looks like a random SharePoint site, something like http://ServerName:#####. The numbers are pseudo random, the one I went and deleted for these screen shots was at http://w2k3-tyler-virt:44778. It's of note that this may be more complicated for a farm scenario since services are usually spread over multiple SSPs which will have many content databases spread over (potentially) many machines. I would not recommend following the steps below to repair trouble in a farm. Stand alone installs only.

Recreating a Shared Service Provider and Admin Site

The easiest way out of this is to create a new admin Site. I'm going to naively assume that this is on a stand alone install, if it's in an enterprise farm you probably need a little more instruction than a blog entry given that you could have a lot more complexity in play.

  1. Open up the database instance for your WSS/MOSS instance. If you don't know what I'm talking about instructions can be found here. Ensure that you still have databases for the SSP that you deleted. If your Shared Service Provider was called SharedServices1 then you're looking for a database of the form (default names at least) SharedServices1_DB_[GUID] and SharedServices1_Search_DB_[GUID]. For example my databases were called: SharedServices1_DB_6c907a40-1cea-4599-bf83-13c3157f08d0 and SharedServices1_Search_DB_3de60ba5-022e-494b-8042-d6df471167b3. Rolls off the tongue huh?
  2. Open up the Central Administration Site and click on "Shared Services Administration". If you really have deleted the site the name of the Shared Services Provider (ie. SharedServices1) is probably a dead link.
  3. Click on New SSP to create a new one. We're going to do this so that we can set the new SSP to be the default and delete the old SSP (without deleting it's databases). Then we're going to restore the old SSP from it's content databases, make it the default SSP and finally assign the web applications back to it.Adding a new Shared Service Provider.
  4. Fill out all the fields (I named mine SharedServices2 in honor of it's fallen brother). Create a new Web Application to house this site, put it in it's own Application Pool. For some of the more background information on configuring an SSP and what the fields do there's this technet article. For a stand alone install I ended up using NT AUTHORITY\LOCAL SERVICE as a credential which I'm still not sure if it's the appropriate credential. I was a little scared that Network Service might not have enough mustard to get at all the content it needed. A lot of this won't matter until you need to do the restore and you'll have to put in values that you really care about. When creating the SSP at this step ignore the warnings and just familiarize yourself with the options.
  5. If this worked out we should see something like the picture below, two Shared Service Providers. Our now make SharedServices2 (or whatever you called it) the default SSP and delete SharedServices1 so we can restore it as a new SSP (that has an Administration site).New Shared Service Provider created.
  6. Click on Shared Services Administration->Change Default SSP (from the Shared Services Administration) and choose your new SSP (SharedServices2).
  7. Delete the original SSP (SharedServices1) by choosing delete from it's context menu. DO NOT DELETE IT'S ASSOCIATED DATABASES! This might take a second to complete.Deleting a Shared Service Provider.
  8. Now there's just one SSP (SharedServices2), notice how SharePoint automatically assigns the web applications in the farm to use this SSP. Now we're going to click on Restore SSP and restore the original SSP with a brand new Administration site. Name it SharedServices1 and fill out fields similar to what you did in step 4. Create a new web application and when it comes time to fill out the fields for Search Database and but this time fill out the two databases for the SSP. This will include the databases that we identified in step 1. IE. SharedServices1_DB_6c907a40-1cea-4599-bf83-13c3157f08d0 and SharedServices1_Search_DB_3de60ba5-022e-494b-8042-d6df471167b3. This will ensure that you don't lose all your data from the SSP like Search Content Sources, Excel Services Settings, Audiences, BDC etc...
  9. No we should have two working SSPs, SharedServices1 and SharedServices2. Click Change Default SSP and change it back to SharedServices1. After that delete SharedServices2 (this might take a while). Don't feel guilty about deleting associated content databases either, there's no real important data in them anyways. SharePoint should make all your web applications use your newly restored SSP (SharedServices1). You should almost be good to go.Two shared service providers
  10. When you're all done it should look like below. If you wait long enough everything should propagate but if you want immediate results I'd suggest rebooting the machine and making sure that the error is no longer in the event log AND all your settings are still kosher in the SSP (ShareServices1) admin site. I know there were quite a few steps but this was hard to break down and still provide any measure of detail.Working Shared Service Provider and administration site.

That's it, hopefully that made a little bit of sense. I get the feeling that for anything more than 5 steps a screen cast is probably in order. I may start to get into that I heard that MS offers free Silverlight hosting for videos.

Good luck,


Anonymous said...

Tyler Holmes, you're my hero.

Anonymous said...

Great BLOG, this help me very much!!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Thanx! Youre a hero

Anonymous said...

thanks dude,u save my day!!..great job n great checklist..thanks again.

K.D.Kadyan said...


Great post but i am still helpless...i don't have SQL management studio to see the name of SSP databases only had client which is installed on the time of MOSS installation...

But i need to up my SSP site. Please help me out.

Tyler Holmes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tyler Holmes said...

Hey Deepu,

If you need the Management Studio Express, you can download and install it for free (just do a google search) and you should be able to continue with the troubleshoot.


K.D.Kadyan said...


Now I had licenced version of i don't have issue with that...i am asking that If i will install it now will i able to restore my SSP site or not??? or i have to reconfugure my Farm???

Tyler Holmes said...


You should be able to restore your SSP Administration Site. We simply use the management studio to identify the databases associated with the SSP so that we can use them to restore the site.

I've only performed this restore for basic installs (not yet on a farm) but I believe it should work.

That being said proceed with caution, you're attempting to do something that this blog post doesn't exactly apply to.

Good Luck,

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tyler!

This worked great in that it got rid of the error. I was hoping that it might fix the larger issue I'm having -- I'm unable to run backup through CA or cmd.

An update conflict has occurred, and you must re-try this action. The object SPBackupRestoreConfigurationSettings Parent=SPFarm Name=SharePoint_Config is being updated by aaa\bbbb, in the OWSTIMER process, on machine SERVERNAME.

Unknown said...

Dear Tyler,

Many thanks for your article on restoring the ssp admin - very handy!

Anonymous said...


Great guide and blog but even after following your steps I still get a error 403.4 when clicking on the SharedService1. I'm guessing something is curropt in the db that is causing this but I'm not sure where to start. Any suggestions?

Tyler Holmes said...

It depends on when you're getting the 403. If it's after you've restored the SSP I'd wonder if it was created correctly (check event log) and if you're on a credential set that you would expect to have access to it with.

Without a more detailed error it's hard to troubleshoot. See if you can isolate a relevant error in the Event Log under Application. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Awesome post! Very helpful

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much, great help!

Anonymous said...

Dear Tyler,

I am facing problem in accessing my Shared services1 as i was editing its properties by mistake i have pointed the SSP Database section and Search Database section to same database. Now i am note able to access SSP admin site so as to point to correct database respectively....Need you help to do it.....Please help me out


Unknown said...

Dear Tyler
Great Job, but I didn't get to create the new Service Provider. I receive the following error:
Access Exception HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED)Event ID = 7888
Now, I have 2 dummy Service Provider: SharedServices1 and SharedServices2.
Please, I would like to help me

Tyler Holmes said...

Hey Antonio,
This sounds like a separate troubleshoot. I would ensure that your credentials have the required permissions to create a new Shared Service Provider.

A good account to use for this task is the same account you used to install SharePoint in the first place.


Unknown said...

Hi Tyler
Thanks for your answer!
First, I used a count with administrative rights in the server. This count belong to a administrative farm too.
Second, I used the same count that I had installed the Sharepoint. I receive the same error.
My sites is working fine, but my Event Viewer has a lot of events with ID 5290… When I tried to create the new shared Service provider, I received ID 7888.
If I try to access the administrative site of the actual Shared Service provider, I didn’t get. I received “site does not exist”.
I wait your help
Best regards

Anonymous said...

Hi Tyler,

Somehow my site doesnt show the Shared Services tab. I was able to find it on my own and add it to the top bar and quick launch - how do you fully restore it?


Anonymous said...

I got this error when trying to create a new web application The specified SPContentDatabase Name=SharedServices1_DB_2194d5bc-dcf4-4c48-80ee-83a36370be46 Parent=SPDatabaseServiceInstance Name=OfficeServers has been upgraded to a newer version of SharePoint. Please upgrade this SharePoint application server before attempting to access this object. " Please help?

DaveLev said...

Your solution helped me solve a problem created by Symantec Veritas Backup Exec for SharePoint. When I restored a production content database, it decided to delete the SSP web application from IIS at the same time. Great tool, eh? :-(

DaveLev said...

I had a unique situation. A 3rd party tool deleted my SSP admin web app. The databases appeared to be okay.

To get the site up and running again, I created a new SSP, and migrated content over to it, then configured the SSP.

Next phase was to restore the prior SSP.

I created a new SSP: new name, new app pool, new web application. When I pointed it to the old SSP databases, it failed to complete, throwing 7888 errors into the event viewer.

Turns out the 3rd party backup/restore tool also restored SSP databases from 3 months ago, prior to MOSS SP2 upgrade. As such, I'm hosed...can't use the old SSP databases (MOSS SP1) with the new SSP (MOSS SP2).

Lessons learned!

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