Tag Archives: IIS

Forgot SharePoint Farm User Account Password

I had recently patched an inherited SharePoint 2010 Farm up to the December 2014 CU.  I’m currently prepping to migrate the farm to SharePoint 2013, but I needed to get it patched in the interim.

I successfully applied SP2, and the the December 2014 CU (14.0.7140.5000 – Much thanks to Todd Klindt’s SharePoint Admin Blog for the easy build number lookup), and all seemed well.

That is, until I had to change an extranet user’s email address.  These users don’t have mail accounts in our Exchange environment, but we do populate the mail attribute in AD with their corporate email address.  I made the change to the attribute in AD, and attempted to run the User Profile Synchronization (Central Administration | Manage Service Applications | User Profile Service Application | Start Profile Synchronization).

This action failed because the User Profile Synchronization Service was not running on the server! (Central Administration | Manage Services on Server).

I attempted to start the service but was prompted for the DOMAIN\SPFarm account! I searched all archives and documents, but found no reference to this password!  UH OH!!!!!

I finally found this post: http://joelblogs.co.uk/2012/09/22/recovering-passwords-for-sharepoint-2010-farm-web-application-and-service-application-accounts/

I had full administrative access to the server on which Central Administration was installed, so all I had to do was run a “one liner” in PowerShell.  Could it really be that easy?!

Here’s how easy it is:

&$env:windir\\system32\\inetsrv\\appcmd.exe list apppool 
 "SharePoint Central Administration v4" /text:ProcessModel.Password

I ran the command in my dev environment first (we always test foreign code outside of production, right?), and got this!

No Way.  That’s my Farm account password….in PLAIN TEXT! WHOA SCARY!

So, If you ever find yourself forgetting any of your IIS Application Pool Account Passwords, you now have the tool to recover it!

HOO-RAH!