ERR_config_Db while starting the UPA Synchronization service in SharePoint 2010/2013

Post configuring the User profile Service Application , You need to Start the Synchronization service if you intended to use ForeFront Identity Manager Component in Sharepoint 2010/2013 which provides abilities to Import / Export data from a variety of Directory sources & Augment profile data from Additional Sources like BCS etc. The sync service Startup has many known issues & bunch of issues which might cause the Sync Service startup failure .


This Post is to provide causes of Event ID 9i1w "ERR_Config_Db" as seen in ULS logs post trying to start the Sync Service

[Date and Time] OWSTIMER.EXE (0x1DA0) 0x1DA4 SharePoint Portal Server User Profiles 9i1w Medium ILM Configuration

ILM Configuration: Configuring database
ILM Configuration: Error 'ERR_CONFIG_DB'.
UserProfileApplication.SynchronizeMIIS: Failed to configure MIIS post database, will attempt during next rerun. Exception: System.Configuration.ConfigurationErrorsException: ERR_CONFIG_DB
at Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.Synchronization.ILMPostSetupConfiguration.ValidateConfigurationResult(UInt32 result)
at Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.Synchronization.ILMPostSetupConfiguration.ConfigureMiisStage2()
at Microsoft.Office.Server.Administration.UserProfileApplication.SetupSynchronizationService(ProfileSynchronizationServiceInstance profileSyncInstance).

Note : Keep in mind for UPA Config db means Synchronization DB as all the configuration details is stored Here .


Possible Cause 1: This is due to insufficient privileges for the SharePoint Farm Account on the Sync DB (not the Config DB!). You need to add the farm account to the Sync DB users as DBO with a default schema of DBO and then start UPS again.

Possible Cause 2: Incorrect Pre-requisites installed , i.e SQL server Native Client 2012 /2014 is installed , while the Requirement is to have a SQL 2008 /2008 Sp1 . Details here :

Possible Cause 3: If you use SQL server 2014 to host the Sync DB or Moved your Databases to SQL 2014 ( Sharepoint 2013 ) , then there is a known issues & you need to Update to April 2014 CU or above for Sharepoint 2013 ,

Possible Cause 4: Connectivity issues to SQL server , like Wrong Alias . Start -->Run-->Cliconfg to check & configure aliases

Possible cause 5: Using FDQN of SQL server while creating the SharePoint server Farm instead of NetBIOS name .

Possible Cause 6: Triggers configured on the SQL server to disable adding new databases or modifications

Possible Cause 7: Auto Update statistics is disabled in SQL server

In SQL Management Studio, right-click on the Sync database, choose Properties, and click on the Options page.  “Auto Update Statistics” is in the Automatic section, set the value to True


Comments (8)
  1. SharePoint 2013 Administrator Training says:

    Nice, looking forward to seeing these new posts especially with the scenario you’re building for SharePoint 2013 blogs!

  2. Dave Anderson says:

    Good job Rajan !! It was the lack of SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 Native client I was missing and LITERALLY, LITERALLY losing the will to live after uninstalling and using SQL Server 2012 as I though it was SQL 2014 causing the problem despite the April update last year… thanks so much!

  3. Piotr Siódmak says:

    Could you explain why using FQDN for SQL Server is bad?

  4. Allison says:

    Ditto what Dave said for my fix. Except I installed April CU, for the SQL 2014 fix, still didn't work, installed May, beat my head on the desk until bloody, then installed June CU and now probably need stitches.  Finally can wipe the blood from my eyes as it started amazingly fast after switching the SQL client.  If it's required for UPS then why in the world would the initial SP install succeed without it?

  5. Craig says:

    Spent WAY too much time trying and re-trying, always failing with ERR_config_Db. Possible Cause 2 was my problem, thanks for identifying this!

  6. Josh Hensley says:

    Thank you guys.  Our UAT and production farms run on SQL2012, production having issues.  After pounding the sand for the last week, this directed me to check what is installed for SQL on both farms and compare.  Our Production was missing SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 native client.  After installing this, UPS and FIM services started with no problem.  

    Watching ULS log viewer in realtime with "User Profile" filter helped point me to this article.

  7. Luke Bailey says:

    Exact same issue with the native client, removing the 2012 client and replacing it with the 2008 R2 client worked like a charm. Note that we only needed to make this change on the server running the UPS instead of the whole farm. No reboot required either.

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