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I have a SharePoint 2010 farm (consisting of web, app and database servers) with multiple site collections. On only one of these site collections, there's a strange problem where any search performed at the start of the day fails with an exception error. The logs include the following:

CoreResultsWebPart::OnInit: Exception initializing: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object. at Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.CoreResultsWebPart.SetPropertiesOnQueryReader() at Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.CoreResultsWebPart.OnInit(EventArgs e) Internal server error exception: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object. at Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.CoreResultsWebPart.SetPropertiesOnQueryReader() at Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.CoreResultsWebPart.OnInit(EventArgs e) System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object. at Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.CoreResultsWebPart.SetPropertiesOnQueryReader() at Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.CoreResultsWebPart.OnInit(EventArgs e) Watson bucket parameters: SharePoint Server 2010, ULSException14, 06175311 "sharepoint server search", 0e00178d "14.0.6029.0", 17853a8f "microsoft.office.server.search", 0e0017f5 "14.0.6133.0", 50cfec32 "tue dec 18 15:08:18 2012", 000032a2 "000032a2", 0000002d "0000002d", 4a6d3421 "nullreferenceexception", 67316a39 "g1j9"

Strangely enough, if we persist at searching it will eventually come online and return search results (perhaps after a minute or two). After a little while, the search may start to fail again.

What might be causing this? The search seems to work fine on the other site collections in the farm...

EDIT: When I navigate to the http://server:port#//SearchService.svc page on the application server, it displays "The Farm is unavailable" error message. This same page loads correctly on the WFE. Could this be the problem?

Thanks in advance :)

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You can try several things - it can have multiple sources:

  1. Try an IISRESET
  2. Verify that the SharePoint Web Services site exists in IIS, and that SecurityTokenServiceApplication existed as a virtual directory. Verify that the application pool that powers it is not stopped and has valid credentatials.
  3. Sometimes a reboot fixes that problem.
  4. Check that all SharePoint server share the same patch level.
  5. Check if disableloopback is set on the server that fails.
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    You're right - sometimes just restarting things fixes the problem. In this case, I simply restarted the Search Service on the affected application server and it started working again. – DRVR Apr 28 '15 at 3:27

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