User cannot be found

An annoying error today when I tried to run New-SPSite. It had worked all day and then suddenly I got this:

New-SPSite : User cannot be found.

I wasn’t sure what PowerShell was complaining about as it had worked all the time. Something must be wrong with the account supplied in the -Owner option of the New-SPSite ,,,, No that wasn’t it.

As always the solution was simple.

I had restarted my PowerShell ISE and hadn’t started it to run as administrator and therefore the user causing the problem was my own account. Once I ran the ISE as administrator (RMB -> Run as administrator) and all worked fine again. phew!

By Pieter Veenstra

Business Applications and Office Apps & Services Microsoft MVP working as a Microsoft Productivity Principal Consultant at HybrIT Services. You can contact me using

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