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Elusive Secure Store Service Error 7557

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Recently I was working with a client and ran into an issue where each time I tried to generate the new Secure Store Key, I kept getting this error:

Event ID 7557: The Secure Store Service application Secure Store Service Application is not accessible. The server was unable to process the request due to an internal error

I also received other errors similar to the one above – such as this one:

 

About 3-4 months prior to having this issue at my client, I had actually received this same error in one of my SharePoint 2010 virtual machines. In that case, I had performed several steps including, but not limited to:

  • Checked permissions in the Database
  • Deleted the Secure Store service application
  • Re-created the Secure Store service application
  • Attempted to create the Secure Store Key again, but received the same error
  • After trying some other options and a few more attempts at the steps above, I was finally so fed up I created a new Application Pool specifically for the Secure Store Service and assigned the Farm Admin account to it. I then used that to create a new Secure Store service application and was finally able to generate a new key.
    • Note: for security reasons, I didn’t want to use this “fix” for my client so I kept searching.

 I found a plethora of potential options. The table below lists some of the options that I tried either in my virtual machine and/or at the client.

Description Link
“The solution was that the ‘Claims to Windows Token Service’ wasn’t started on the Sharepoint server(s). Once I started this & restarted the Sharepoint services I was able to manage my secure store service application” http://www.petestilgoe.com/2011/02/sharepoint-2010-error-an-exception-occurred-when-trying-to-issue-security-token-event-id-8306-and-event-id-7557/
“One of the servers, the one with Central Administration and the Service Applications was also running 20 minutes ahead of the farm. Plus the Secure Store Shared Service was not responding” http://sharepointdiva.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/event-id-7557-and-event-id-6398/
“Logon to Central Administration.Click Application Management > Manage Service Applications.Click Secure Store Service and then click Permission in Ribbon. Add System Account and set Full Control.” http://sharepoint.stackexchange.com/questions/10332/secure-store-service-app-error

However, after reading this SharePoint Forums post a light bulb went off and I realized that both my Virtual environment and the clients’ Dev and Prod farms were at the same June 2011 CU patch level. As mentioned in this Microsoft Support article, the Secure Store service (as well as others) may fail at runtime or when provisioned. I wanted to get the clients’ farms patched to the most recent level, so I installed the December 2011 CU in their Dev farm first. After doing so, I was able to generate the Secure Store service key. I then created several Target Application IDs and finally, performed the same steps in Prod.

“Problem solved!”

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