If I'm not asking this in the correct forum, please point me in the right direction.

I am using System.DirectoryServices.AccountManagement.GroupPrincipal FindByIdentity in C# to create an object containing the group members (user IDs and names) for the target group. My goal is to iterate through the resulting list of UserPrincipals and print the SamAccountName and DisplayName for each. For some target groups, this is working fine; for others it fails on a user (or perhaps more than one) that throws the following error:

System.DirectoryServices.AccountManagement.PrincipalOperationException HResult=0x80131501 Message=The specified directory service attribute or value does not exist.

When I use PowerShell’s Get-ADGroup to get the group object for one of the failing targets and iterate through it, there is no problem.

I’ve looked into the AD Group memberships and I believe the problem is that in some groups (those failing), some members may have been disabled, or may be part of a cross-domain trust. However, their status is of no consequence to me; I just want to list everything so the group owner can decide which members get migrated to new groups.

The method I am using is:

private static ArrayList EnumerateGroupMembers()
    ArrayList gmObjects = new ArrayList();
    string ldapVal = "DC=dc1,DC=dc2,DC=dcMain,DC=dcSecondary";
    string ldapDom = "dc1.dc2.dcMain.dcSecondary:389";

    PrincipalContext ctx = new PrincipalContext(ContextType.Domain, ldapDom, ldapVal);

    GroupPrincipal group = GroupPrincipal.FindByIdentity(ctx, "AD-GROUPNAME");

    if (group != null)
        var users = group.GetMembers(true);

        //*** PrincipalOperationException occurs here ***
        foreach (UserPrincipal p in users)
            Console.WriteLine(p.SamAccountName + ", " + p.DisplayName);
    //*** Please note: I know I am returning an empty list here. I'm writing to Console during development
    return gmObjects;

Can anyone suggest how I can iterate through the list of UserPrincipals without throwing a PrincipalOperationException? Or, at least a way to bypass the UserPrincipal occurrences that are causing these errors? Even if I cannot list the failing users I will survive.

I am in no way an expert on this but there was a time this was buggy in .NET 4.0. Also it would be somewhat useful to know what code the call threw at you. My bet is it was some "denied" code like 80005000 or such. You can find the bug in the old .NET with a google on just the word PrincipalOperationException.

As far as an (ugly?) workaround, this may be the time to use try and catch.

The second idea to try is run the app and command line with an elevated permission.

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