ADFS 2.0 renew Service Communications certificate

I’ve recently solved a problem with the help of Microsoft Premier Support that didn’t have any references online that I could find.

Looking at the ADFS console under Certificates, the “Service Communications” section had a message of “Certificate not found in store”.

Connecting to the certificate store showed a proper external SSL cert for our UAT ADFS DNS name. Trying the option “Set Service Communications Certificate” in ADFS produced the error:

The Certificate could not be processed.
Error message: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

This error led me to this discussion on the Microsoft forums, with the following command to attempt:

AddPsSnapin Microsoft.Adfs.PowerShell SetAdfsCertificate CertificateType “Service-Communications” Thumbprintaa bb cc dd …”

However, when I tried to run this command I repeatedly got the following error:

The type initializer for 'Microsoft.IdentityServer.Dkm.ADRepository' threw an exception. Microsoft.IdentityServer.PowerShell.Commands.SetCertificateCommand

The resolution: run PowerShell as the ADFS service account, and then use the command above to set the certificate. After this, I was able to restart the ADFS service and the console displayed the certificate properly.

I also needed to update the certificate on the ADFS proxy in IIS to get a successful result from the Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer.

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