I'm bringing up a SP 2010 standard instance and want to configure it to crawl the old WSS3 site collection until the migration is done. I understand that the proper method is to use the STS3 urls rather than http. If I configure http://oldsite.example.com as a source, it works correctly. If I configure sts3://oldsite.example.com I get the message:

The start address sts3://oldsite.example.com/ cannot be added when crawling the entire web application. Either select to crawl only the SharePoint site, or provide a hostname only start address to crawl.

which is probably the worst error description I have ever read.

What should my search urls look like?

3 Answers 3


This error message means that it doesn't recognise the URI as a web application hostname. You can change the crawl settings to "Only crawl the Site Collection of each start address" and see if that works, but I don't think it will find all your site collections and is probably not what you want. I suggest you use the http: protocol, which it obviously is correctly accepting as the hostname for your WSS web application.


If you select SharePoint Site as ContentSource, the following protocols are supported:

  • http
  • https
  • sps3
  • sps3s

Checked in the SharePointContentSource class in the Microsoft.Office.Server Assembly


I never had luck with sts3 early on, with 2010 we just use the http URL of our site for the crawls and have never had issues.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.