I somehow mucked up the provisioning of a default SSP in a clean dev environment and figured this would be a good opportunity to figure out how to delete a default SSP using stsadm; the Delete option on the context menu in Central Administration was greyed out (most likely because this was the default SSP but conceivably because provisioning failed) and simply editing the SSP properties was not an option as SharePoint was complaining about empty strings or some such stupidity associated with the underlying problem (a database login issue). Of course the “normal” way to do this would be create a new SSP and pull across any sites before marking it as the new default SSP.
As usual, where the Central Admin UI is somewhat limited and incomplete, stsadm saves the day with the deletessp operation. Simply provide the SSP title (enclosed in double-quotes if it contains spaces). In my case I also wanted to cleanup the databases so I supplied the –deletedatabases parameter.
stsadm -o deletessp -title "Default SSP" -deletedatabases
The operation failed with an error message about dependent objects.
An object in the SharePoint administrative framework, "SharedResourceProvider Name=Default SSP parent=SPFarm Name=SharePoint_Config_dev-moss-mh6", could not be deleted because other objects depend on it. Update all of these dependants to point to null or different objects and retry this operation. The dependant objects are as follows:
SPWebApplication Name=x Parent=SPWebService SPWebApplication Name=y Parent=SPWebService
Not surprisingly there are posts out there detailing the use of the stsadm deleteconfigurationobject operation to force disconnection but this involves retrieving GUIDs from the configuration database and others have suggested additional mess will need to be cleaned up in the same way. Instead, just use the –force parameter on the deletessp command.
Once complete, you should see an Operation completed successfully message.