How do I? – Solve the “No indexers” problem in SharePoint Central Admin

Written by Cornelius J. van Dyk on . Posted in How Do I...

If you’re in SharePoint Central Admin and you’re either trying to commence a gradual upgrade or create a new Shared Service Provider, you may encounter a situation where you have to assign an indexing server to settings, but none are available. In the case of the gradual upgrade upgrade, the screen will look something like this:

The problem is that indexing was not assigned to a server properly. If you have a single server, it probably was never configured and if you have a server farm, the index server might not be configured correctly. Follow these steps to remedy your situation:

1.  Begin by clicking the “Operations” tab in the top horizontal menu bar.

2.  Now, in the “Topology and Services” section, click the “Services on server” link.

3.  By default the current server will be listed with all its services. If you have a single server environment, you can skip step 4.

4.  If you have a server farm, click the server name to change to the indexing server.

5.  Ensure that the “Office SharePoint Server Search” service is running. If it is not running, start the service by clicking the “Start” link under the “Actions” column.

6.  Once the service is running, click the “Office SharePoint Server Search” link itself.

7.  In a single server environment, you want to be sure that in the “Query and Indexing” section, both the “Use this server for indexing content” as well as the “Use this server for serving search queries” check boxes are selected.

8.  In a server farm, in the “Query and Indexing” section, ensure that only the “Use this server for indexing content” check box is selected for the Indexing server. On the web front end server, ensure that only the “Use this server for serving search queries” check box is selected.

9.  Enter your contact email address.

10.  Enter the user ID of the services account that will be used to process search for the entire farm in DOMAIN\USER format. This is normally the same account as the content access account.

11.  Enter the password of the services account.

12.  Scroll further down to reveal the remaining options on the screen.

13.  For the “Indexer Performance” setting, the default should be “Partly Reduced”. This is a good setting to use initially and it can be changed later as you experiment with performance settings.

14.  If you have a single server environment, ensure that the “Web Fron End Crawling” section has the “Use all web front end computers for crawling” option selected.

15.  For a server farm, change the “Web Front End Crawling” setting from “Use all web front end computers for crawling” to “Use a dedicated web front end computer for crawling”. The Indexing server should be showing up in this drop down. If it is not, select it from the drop down.

16.  Click the “OK” button to continue.

17.  If you have a web farm, repeat these steps for the web front end server but set it instead to “Use this server for serving search queries”. Once completed, the Indexing server should show up in your assignment screens as expected.



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Cornelius J. van Dyk

Born and raised in South Africa during the 70's I got my start in computers when a game on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum crashed, revealing it's BASIC source code. The ZX had a whopping 48K of memory which was considered to be a lot in the Commodore Vic20 era, but more importantly, it had BASIC built into the soft touch keyboard. Teaching myself to program, I coded my first commercial program at age 15.

After graduating high school at 17, I joined the South African Air Force, graduating the Academy and becoming a Pilot with the rank of First Lieutenant by age 20. After serving my country for six years, I made my way back into computer software.

Continuing my education, I graduated Suma Cum Laude from the Computer Training Institute before joining First National Bank where my work won the Smithsonian Award for Technological Innovation in the field of Banking and Insurance. Soon I met Will Coleman from Amdahl SA, who introduced me to a little known programming language named Huron/ObjectStar. As fate would have it, this unknown language and Y2K brought me to the USA in 1998.

I got involved with SharePoint after playing around with the Beta for SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Leaving my career at Rexnord to become a consultant in 2004, I was first awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for SharePoint in 2005, becoming only the 9th MVP for WSS at the time. I fulfilled a life long dream by pledging allegiance to the Flag as a US citizen in 2006. I met the love of my life and became a private consultant in 2008. I was honored to receive my ninth MVP award for SharePoint Server in 2013.

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