Office 365 Dirsync–Error message “stopped-server-down”

If you’re using Office 365 in an enterprise scenario you’re probably running Dirsync, which is actually a special version of FIM (Forefront Identity Manager).

When you install Dirsync it is by default set to synchronize your on premise Active Directory with Office 365 (Windows Azure Active Directory) every 3 hours.

If Windows Azure Active Directory detects that a synchronization hasn’t been made in over 24 hours you will receive an email telling you to look in to what’s happening.

If you start the Synchronization Service Manager on the server where Dirsync is installed you can see what’s going on in FIM. You won’t find any shortcut to the Synchronization Service Manager but by default it is installed in "C:Program FilesMicrosoft Online Directory SyncSYNCBUSSynchronization ServiceUIShellmiisclient.exe".

Once started you will se the following interface, if not selected, click the Operations tab.


The Management Agent connecting to Office 365 is called “TargetWebService” and as you can see the latest runs have a status of “stopped-server-down”.

This error message doesn’t really tell you much, but if you look in the Event Viewer you’ll also find a couple of interesting messages.


An unknown error occurred with the Microsoft Online Services Sign-in Assistant. Contact Technical Support. GetAuthState() failed with -2147186688 state. HResult:0. Contact Technical Support.  (0x80048831)

What I found that this error message actually means is that the service account that you use to connect to Office 365 has an expired password.

To fix this, log on to and set a new password for the service account, then go in to the Management Agents tab in Synchronization Service Manager, right-click on TargetWebService and click on Properties.


Under “Configure Connection Information” you can enter the new password and save it.

All done, the next sync should work as intended.


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1 Comment

  1. Daniel Villavicencio says:

    thanks for the info, I was kind of lost with this error

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