While in a remote session on a SharePoint farm server, connecting to Central Administration returned Server Error in '/' Application. Farm service accounts were managed in SharePoint, and password management was enabled.  For this posting, the farm service account will be referred to as spFarm.


01) Checked IIS sites and application pools on both WFEs

All application pools and sites showed status Started.

02) Checked SPTimerV4 service on both WFEs

Both showed status of [blank].  Restarting the services returned logon error.

03) Checked service account passwords stored in SharePoint against those in AD

  1. Loaded script file (reference 1)
  2. Executed Get-SPManagedAccount | Select Username,@{Name="Password";Expression={ConvertTo-UnsecureString (GetFieldValue $_ "m_Password").SecureStringValue}} | Out-GridView
  3. Compared password with AD

    Found that the password for spFarm stored in SharePoint was different from what was found in AD

04) Reset password for spFarm

First in AD and then used this password to update logon for each SPTimerV4 service instance among the farm servers.

05) Test Access to CA

Still returned Server Error

06) Checked IIS application pools and sites on WFEs

All still showed status Running.

07) Restarted Central Administration site through IIS

This time, connecting to CA returned 503 Service Unavailable.

08) Checked IIS application pools and sites on WFEs

All showed status Running except for application pool SharePoint Central Administration V4.

09) Updated password for SharePoint Central Administration V4

This time, connecting to CA was successful.  Central Administration rendered successfully. Access restored.

10) Update password for spFarm in SharePoint Managed Accounts

Connecting to this page returned SharePoint error page: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

11) In an elevated SharePoint management shell, executed the following:

$acct=Get-SPManagedAccount -Identity "DOMAIN\spFarm"

After this completed, was able to connect to SharePoint Managed Accounts page.

12) Update password for spFarm in SharePoint Managed Accounts

Completed successfully


  • When analyzing this problem, among other things, also check the farm service account password by attempting to restart the farm service and the Central Administration site application pool.


  1. How to Get Managed Account Password in SharePoint?


  • What made things confusing initially is that the application pool showed status Running, which suggested that the logon was valid.  It was only by attempting to restart the application pool that the invalid logon was revealed.