SharePoint 2012 Search Top Level Error

We have a production SharePoint 2010 server with the out-of-the-box search feature enabled. After adding more web applications to our server and changing the port on some of the existing ones, the search stopped working. All searches would come back with ‘We did not find any results for…’

After some troubleshooting the one place you want to go look is Central Administration : Search Service Application: Crawl Log – Content Source for clues.

There I found the log summary with some Top Level Errors.

Access is denied. Verify that either the Default Content Access Account has access to this repository, or add a crawl rule to crawl this repository. If the repository being crawled is a SharePoint repository, verify that the account you are using has "Full Read" permissions on the SharePoint Web Application being crawled. ( HttpStatusCode Unauthorized The request failed with HTTP status 401: Unauthorized. )

After making sure the service account had the proper permission, I was not sure what else to do, so I turned my eyes to Google and found many blog posts suggesting to disable the Loopback Check in the server by tweaking the registry. Changes to the registry are always risky, so I instead researched why the Loopback check was there to begin with, and I found this Knowledge base article by MS http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896861

We have a single SP server with multiple web applications; all in port 80 (except central administration).

When the Content Sources are pointing to http://machine-name you will not have this issue, but a source in the form of http://MysiteName will fail to be crawled if that site resides in the same server machine doing the search crawling.

Your possible solutions are these:

  • Disable the Loopback check (less-recommended method).
  • Specify host names in the registry (BackConnectionHostNames).
  • Change the port of your web application.
  • Extend you web application in SharePoint to a different port and use it for the crawling content source, and create the proper entries in the Server Name Mappings in your Search Administration settings.

Do not compromise the security of you server just to make the search feature to work.

About Qucho

Once we were young and stupid; now we are not so young anymore.
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