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Error during Search Crawl (Post SP2)

Posted by Steve Pietrek on May 27, 2009

Last week I ran into an interesting issue while preparing for my presentation at COSPUG Show & Tell. The application I demo uses Search results for displaying documents. Typically, I turn off full and incremental crawls in my VM to save a few cycles. Since my demo relies I search, I set the search schedules and waited; unfortunately after the incremental crawl ran a few times, none of my search results were returning anything. I then manually kicked off a full crawl – again no results. Dang, maybe my search index is hosed? Reset the index and full crawl – no results. 

I checked out the Event Viewer and had tons of these messages (every time a full or incremental crawl ran):

Event Type: Warning
Event Source: Windows SharePoint Services 3 Search
Event Category: Gatherer
Event ID: 2436
Date:  05/20/2009
Time:  12:30:41 pm
User:  N/A
Computer: SERVERNAME
Description:
The start address <http://servername:20000/sites/sitename> cannot be crawled.

Context: Application ‘SharedServices1’, Catalog ‘Portal_Content’

Details: The object was not found.   (0x80041201)

OK, not a helpful error message. Searched Google and lots of resolutions related to AAM and other things which didn’t seem to fit my scenario. I then checked out the Search Logs in the SSP and found the following errors:

The object was not found. (The item was deleted because it was either not found or the crawler was denied access to it.)

The object in my case was http://servername:20000/. Which is interesting because I don’t have a site at the root. Hmm. Let’s add a blank team site at the root and try again. Yeah! Success! Search works!

Summary:

  1. SP2 (or a update between SP1 and SP2) made having a site at the root to search a requirement. I have talked to a few SharePoint administrators and they all said I should have had a site at the root anyway (Sean McDonough had a blog post from 2007 on the subject); however, search was working fine prior to installing SP2 without the root site.
  2. Lesson learned. If you have a separate VM for demoing, leave well enough alone and avoid rocking the boat by upgrading (or at least ensure you have enough time to dry-run your demo) unless you absolutely need to. Would have looked like a real sap if I didn’t find the search issue prior to delivering my presentation.
  3. SharePoint has many locations to find errors. Just a matter of looking in the right location.
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