When your SBS server says you are over 75 user limit when you aren’t, it’s time to clean up the AD

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Log Name:      Microsoft-Windows-Small Business Server/Operational
Source:        Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard
Event ID:      501
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard allows a maximum of 75 user accounts and computers. If you have more than this, use the Windows SBS Console to remove some computers or user accounts.

Once you start to get this error you’ll get it once a day until the issue is resolved. The problem is that SBS is detecting that your active directory contains more than 75 objects in a category. So it’s time to clean up your AD.

Here how I go about it:

1. Move all service accounts and templates into the Manage Service Account container. This container is new-ish  active directory and is designed to house all of those service accounts that have to exist but aren’t really users. This exempts them from licensing.


2. Delete those user and computer accounts that haven’t logged in, in a long time.

First you need to identify them. To find computer accounts that haven’t logged in, in 4 weeks run this command: dsquery computer –inactive 4     Then move those machines into a ToBeDeleted OU so you can verify that they truly no longer exist. Do the same for user accounts. Once you have identified the accounts to be removed, delete them. 


It’s not difficult to clean up your Active Directory. This maintenance activity should be done on a regular basis in all environments whether small or large. Regardless of the size it will help you stay within your purchased CAL limit.

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0 thoughts on “When your SBS server says you are over 75 user limit when you aren’t, it’s time to clean up the AD

  • Simon

    Quick questions reference the limits…
    We have a problem in that the new pricing structure for SQL server is per core and bloody expensive if you have a dual processor 6 core server (as we do).

    We have the DC setup and have 100 users on Svr2008R2 and are happy with the setup and config. The above second server is Currently Svr2008R2 and running sharepoint. We wish to use sharepoint in a much higher state for the intranet, therefore require the full sharepoint licensing and SQL.

    My question is; can i rebuild the 2nd (sharepoint server) to SBS2011 with Premium Addon purchase the 75 users/device calls and be happy? Microsoft said they dont like it but it will cover us and we are not breaking any licensing laws; but my technical question is i will never have more than 75 users connected even though i have 100 staff. therefore does sbs handle the connections on a connected basis or does it remember who has connected and dont let the last 25 users connect. Also even though i own the sbs2011 am i correct in that the add-on is another copy of svr2008 and SQL as it is MS recommendation that it be installed on another server anyway? if that is the case then all problems will be out the window and i have saved about £10K in licensing.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this…


  • John

    My questions is:
    1.) What account types are included in the 75 user/computer limit? Do template or disabled users count? How about the included accounts for local administrator or IWAM or IUSR?
    2.) First do you add the number of computers and users together to get to a limit of 75? Or is it 75 of each?



    • Third Tier

      John – accounts in the Managed Services container do not count toward the 75 user limit. Al of your service accounts should be stored there. Templates too. Disabled accounts do not count. I would make an OU for them and move them there so they don’t add to the clutter. SBS licensing says you can have 75 users or 75 computers if you exceed either you are out of compliance.

  • lhuff

    From SBS Licensing –

    Q: Why am I getting an SBS Console alert for “The number of user accounts and computers in the domain might exceed the maximum allowed” and an Event ID 501 stating that “Windows Small
    Business Server 2011 Standard allows a maximum of 75 user accounts and computers”?

    A: There is a nightly health check where the number of computers and users that exist in Active Directory
    is counted. When an unusually high number of either is detected, the alert is raised. This alert does not
    automatically mean you are in violation of the licensing. It is designed to call attention and help the
    administrator review the current situation in case action needs to be taken. The threshold is 80, if either is
    higher than that the alert will trigger. If this is an expected count and the proper amount of licenses have
    been purchased, then the alert can be disabled from within the console. Navigate to the Network tab,
    Computers, View Notification Settings, Event Log Errors, and uncheck “The number of user accounts and
    computers in the domain might exceed the maximum allowed.”