TFS & Visual Studio ALM – by Neno Loje

(formerly Team System, VSTS)

Validation error when saving Work Items after a user is removed from Active Directory

June 16th, 2007 · No Comments · Project Management with TFS, Team Foundation Server, TFS Extensibility, TFS Tips and Tricks, TFS Work Item Tracking

Problem: If you remove a user from Active Directory or the local machine (depending where you store your user accounts for TFS), all work items that were assigned to that user cannot be modified anymore, at least if you use the default MSF process templates.

The following validation error appears that requires the value in the “Assigned To” field to be a valid user:


Workaround 1 (easiest): Just reassign the bug to yourself or someone else. Caveat: You probably don’t want to do that because the information is then not correct anymore since it was not you working on the work item.

Workaround 2 (recommended): You can modify the Work Item Type definitions so that the “Assigned to” field does not re-validate values that have been successfully validated in the past. In this case there would be not error, however if you put in a new name into the “Assigned to” field it would be validated.

  1. Export the WIT (Work Item Type) of which you want to change the behavior as described using the Microsoft Process Editor.
  2. Add the ALLOWEXISTINGVALUE rule to the field definition of the “Assigned to” field.


  3. Save and import the WIT into your team projects and you’re ready to go.

Note: Be aware that you need to change all Work Item Types and for all team project separately where you want the new behavior to be used.



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