The first thing I tried was to recreate the column with the web interface. Even if you name the column "Department", there is something different and you are still left with a broken site. After weeks of digging through Google and analyzing the SharePoint database, I was finally able to discover a method to create the original Department column and fix my errors. What made my fix possible were the export, import and update field tools created by Gary Lapointe.
Here are the steps I followed:
- Create new site collection with a new top level site. This creates a new User Information List with the Department column.
- Run gl-exportlistfield on the new site to get the XML for the department column. The command I used was:
stsadm -o gl-exportlistfield -url "http://sharepoint:1234/_catalogs/users/detail.aspx" -fielddisplayname "Department" -outputfile "c:\backups\usersList"
- Run gl-importlistfield on the broken site to recreate the department column. The command I used was:
stsadm -o gl-importlistfield -url "http://sharepoint/_catalogs/users/detail.aspx" -inputfile "c:\backups\usersList"