So the search service that comes with SBS 2008 is not installed by default. Desktop Search is, but not Server Search, which lets you index shared files and the like. Out of the box, WSS Search SHOULD work. In all three of my SBS set-ups, it has not worked, and this has plagued me for ages, so I finally set about fixing it today. I can’t tell you the exact reason that it is broken for me, but it is most likely caused by an update, service pack, hardware change, or just plain old incorrect permissions or WSS set-up.

First thing I did was install Windows Search Service.
Open up Server Manager, and select File System. Click Add Services on the right.
Click to check Windows Search Service.

Windows Search Service

Windows Search Service

This took about 15 minutes, and at the end an error was displayed. Closing the windows, I noticed that Windows Search Service was installed and running, and the service was also running under the Services Console.

Hrmmph. At this point I go into Sharepoint Central Administration, and Search still will not work. So now I set about making two new accounts to run the search.

I created WSS_Search, set a password, and added it to the group Administrators.

I then created WSS_Content, and added it to two groups:

SQL Accounts

SQL Accounts

These two accounts might differ from what you have. What we need is an account that has READ access to the Sharepoint Content Database. It can not be an administrator account, or a system account, though I believe it can be Local Service.

Now I tried my search and it still would not work. As a matter of fact, I could not start the search service at all now. So I go to Services Console, scrolls down to Windows Search Service. Right click it and select Properties. Make sure Local System is selected under the Log On tab. Exit out, and go to Windows Sharepoint Services Search. For this Log On, select This Account: and enter the information you used for the WSS_Search account. Change type to automatic, and click apply and start.

Log On Properties

Log On Properties

You will receive a message about the account being granted run as a service privileges.

So far all is well, though Sharepoint still wont Search. Open up Sharepoint Central Administration 3.0 under Administrative Tools.

Click Operations Tab, and then Services on Server.

Services on Server

Services on Server

Click on Windows Sharepoint Services Search.

Now fill in the fields.

  • Service account is WSS_Search, and password.
  • Content Access Account is WSS_Content and password.
  • Database server is grayed out, but should me by default np:\\.\pipe\MSSQL$Microsoft##SSEE\sql\query
  • Database name is grayed out, but it will be your Search database, such as WSS_Search_WIN-EUGSO7LO7PY
  • Authentication is whatever method you use. Default, it is Windows Authentication. This must be left alone for Microsoft##SSEE. If your database is different, configure the login that would be used to access the database.
  • You can change the time if you wish, I set mine to default every 5 minutes, as we do not have a ton of content on the server.
Search

Search

Click ok. Close all browsers.

Open a command prompt and type iisreset.

Restart both Windows Search and Sharepoint Search Services. Good to go- your site should now be searchable.

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