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Corey Roth [MVP]

A SharePoint MVP bringing you the latest time saving tips for SharePoint 2013, Office 365 / SharePoint Online and Visual Studio 2013.

The search service is currently offline. Visit the Services on Server page in SharePoint Central Administration to verify whether the service is enabled. This might also be because an indexer move is in progress.

There seems to be a huge plague of the following error sweeping through the SharePoint community right now.  This occurs when you go to the Search Settings page on your SSP.  You will probably notice it before this by a user trying to search and getting an error.  Here is the text.

The search service is currently offline. Visit the Services on Server page in SharePoint Central Administration to verify whether the service is enabled. This might also be because an indexer move is in progress.

It’s also been sweeping through the forums.  Here are two posts about it just in the last couple of days.

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sharepointsearch/thread/da8d8bdc-5788-4992-8245-b98d5341acf8

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sharepointsearch/thread/17a12447-7c77-492c-a7b9-2269b81cfafa/?ffpr=0

First, let’s start by saying that when this happens to most people that a) the search service is most certainly online and b) an indexer move is not in progress.  Google as much as you want, I have yet to see a concrete solution that didn’t result in some poor soul having to rebuild a search index.  I have had two clients experience this issue since the beginning of the year, plus I have had other SharePoint consultants tell me of similar horror stories.  I think the ultimate cause of the issue may be security related, as there have been some mixed results saying giving your crawl account administrator privileges fixes it (however, you never want to run like this).

So how do you fix it?  Well as I implied, I do not know of a way to fix it which allows you to keep your search index.  This part is mainly hearsay, but one of my clients was instructed by Microsoft support to rebuild their SSP.  This did in fact fix it, but it also meant I had to reconfigure everything in the BDC as well as the Search content sources, scopes, managed properties, etc.

Another slighlty less painful method is to stop the Office Search Service in Central Administration.  When I say this, I mean clicking stop in Central Administration which deconfigures the service, not by stopping the service in the Services control panel.  Then, you reconfigure the Office Search Service with a new database.  Again you have to reconfigure all of your search settings, but you don’t lose any BDC, Excel Services, and other items.

UPDATE: I was talking about this issue with a client and he was told by Microsoft support that this can occur when you have a farm and some of the servers aren't all on the same patch level in the farm.  In this case Infrastructure Update was applied on some servers, but not all of them.  I haven't confirmed this myself, but this does make a lot of sense and I have seen other posts out there that seem to imply this.  I would certainly check this first before rebuilding your search service.

I am just trying to bring visibility to this issue, because honestly I am tired of reconfiguring SSPs.  This issue is way out of hand right now and I really think it needs to be addressed by Microsoft. 

Comments

 

KyleKelin said:

Amen brother. I can't tell you how many SSPs I have rebuilt in the past two months.

March 1, 2009 8:59 AM
 

maxmorgan said:

Yeah!

Magic words “psconfig -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b -wait”

November 28, 2009 6:03 AM
 

UncleJohnsBand said:

Thanks maxmorgan.....fixed me right up!

February 27, 2010 6:50 PM
 

Stephanie said:

I had this problem with I reset the password for the service account used to run the services.  You have to go to central admin, operations, services on server, click on Off Sharepoint Server Search and enter the new password.  Everything seemed to fix itself.

March 1, 2010 9:09 AM
 

sctray said:

maxmorgan's magic words worked for me

March 24, 2010 9:43 AM
 

H said:

Restart the Office Service in services control panel after specifying the new password in the LogOn section of the service properties.

April 7, 2010 12:40 AM
 

Error in SSP accessing any search settings page « A Berkut's Blog said:

Pingback from  Error in SSP accessing any search settings page « A Berkut's Blog

April 29, 2010 7:50 AM
 

Raphael said:

thank you for this, but can you pls explain what each parameter means?

Like

psconfig means re-provision

-cmd upgrade obviously upgrade (but what?), etc...

I'm not familiar with the end "-inplace b2b -wait"

thank you very much

Raphael

June 21, 2010 9:10 AM
 

asma said:

I had the same error.

After restarting the office sharepoint search service from CA.

I restarted the "Office sharepoint search service"  from Control Panel. ,

Thanks

Asma

July 8, 2010 1:52 AM
 

Joseph said:

I too changed the Service Account for the

July 16, 2010 3:00 PM
 

VentsThoughtsAndIdeas » MOSS 2007: The search service is currently offline. Visit the Services on Server page in SharePoint Central Administration to verify whether the service is enabled. This might also be because an indexer move is in progress said:

Pingback from  VentsThoughtsAndIdeas  » MOSS 2007: The search service is currently offline. Visit the Services on Server page in SharePoint Central Administration to verify whether the service is enabled. This might also be because an indexer move is in progress

July 24, 2010 5:20 AM
 

Raheel said:

According to the link "technet.microsoft.com/.../cc263093.aspx"

psconfig is for MOSS 2010 but I am facing this error on MOSS 2007 so guys is there any alternative command for MOSS 2007.

July 28, 2010 2:21 AM
 

CoreyRoth said:

@Raheel psconfig has been around a long time (including in 2007).  I would give it a try.  It seems to fix the issue for people a lot.

July 30, 2010 10:03 AM
 

Damien said:

Absolutely Right

reset the password for the service account used to run the services.  You have to go to central admin, operations, services on server, click on Off Sharepoint Server Search and enter the new password.

and then restart the "service Office SharePoint Server Search" or simply reboot

cheers Stephanie

September 7, 2010 11:25 AM
 

Tejas said:

created a new ssp and it worked for me!!

September 16, 2010 3:25 AM
 

kobz said:

I believe in majic. Thanks for the psconfig!

November 3, 2010 11:34 AM
 

Joshua Gerena said:

i am getting this error, i have done every single thing in this blog and other but i continew to get the same error when i try to go to search setting in under administration/ sharedservices1.

all services are runing but i keep getting this error and my search still does not work

(The search service is currently offline. Visit the Services on Server page in SharePoint Central Administration to verify whether the service is enabled. This might also be because an indexer move is in progress.)  

November 8, 2010 8:49 AM
 

Amit Humbir said:

I was facing the same error. My Farm consist of total 5 servers with Farm size reaching 900 + GB.

Restarting Search Services [Office sharePoint Server Search and Windows SharePoint Services Search ] from services.msc did the trick for me.

November 30, 2010 12:30 AM
 

Benjamin Athawes said:

Corey,

Cheers for this post.

I documented a similar experience I faced only this week over at www.benjaminathawes.com/.../Post.aspx.

Fortunately, in my case I did NOT have to recreate the search service - I just had to wait for a full crawl to finish :-).

Ben

March 2, 2011 4:26 PM
 

Giovanna MissD said:

Thank for this post I solved without reinstalling SSP.

I had this problem after I tried to "reset all conten crwal.

Just a note:

IMPORTANT  

if you have a multi server farm run the magic script on all server of the farm!

July 16, 2011 7:01 AM
 

Anantha Rishikesan Thamotharan said:

Great!...

maxmorgan's magic words worked for me

November 28, 2011 8:54 AM
 

Alan said:

Corey, your guidance was precisely what I needed. I inherited a WSS 3.0/MSSE 2008 single server that appeared to have some dirt swept under its rug, or perhaps was just never cleaned. I have been working with IT for several days trying to resolve an issue with our search not returning any results. There were some search configuration settings not set correctly, but once those were resolved and configured to use a designated account, all attempts to modify the Content Source gave me the error you described. Following your steps allowed me to update the content source which then got the crawler working successfully.

April 4, 2012 12:56 PM
 

CoreyRoth said:

@Alan glad I could be of help!

April 25, 2012 10:31 PM
 

Auke Bergsma said:

Restart de search service worked for me!

January 27, 2015 10:21 AM

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About CoreyRoth

Corey Roth is an independent SharePoint consultant specializing in ECM, Apps, and Search.
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