I cannot for the life of me get search services running on a new server.

When I open up the service administration web panel for search it shows a yellow exclamation mark on the Index.

PS> Get-SPEnterpriseSearchStatus -SearchApplication $ssa -Detailed -Text
Name      : IndexComponent1
State     : Degraded
State     : List of degraded cells: Cell:IndexComponent1-SP3cfb64578250I.0.0;
Partition : 0
Host      : osl-jz-sp01

Name      : Cell:IndexComponent1-SP3cfb64578250I.0.0
State     : Degraded
State     : (Secondary index cell)
Primary   : False
Partition : 0

Name  : Partition:0
State : Degraded
State :
Degraded cells: Cell:IndexComponent1-SP3cfb64578250I.0.0;

PS > Get-SPEnterpriseSearchStatus -SearchApplication $ssa -HealthReport -Component IndexComponent1 -Text
num_fields[SP3cfb64578250]                    : 671 [Info]
num_global_crawled_properties[SP3cfb64578250] : 1111 [Info]
num_global_mappings[SP3cfb64578250]           : 409 [Info]
num_overlays                                  : 0 [Info]
no_fastserver_health[SP3cfb64578250.I.0.0]    : No fastserver plugin [Warning]

Steps done so far (they didn't help):

After trying the steps above the search status is "Paused for:External request, Index reset". The pause was initiated when the database(s) were renamed as per the technet article. The index reset was initiated by me.

I have tried using ULSViewer to dig further, but to be frank the output is a bit overwhelming.. I'm not really sure what to look for (or more specifically what to filter for).

Event log on the server seems normal. I can see informational messages about the index being reset, but never any messages about it completing the index reset. No idea if that should happen, either.

Environment details:

  • New 2012 R2 + SP 2013 installation
  • Different logical disk for search data
  • Databases are hosted on a remote SQL 2014 server and renamed to avoid GUID's
  • Have you customized the search service (managed properties, content sources, etc)? Might save time and stress just to delete and recreate the service with the desired database names. – shufler Feb 5 '16 at 18:29

We had this exact same problem. This post is what worked for us, without having to recreate components like some will tell you to do.


Hope it works for you!

  • I'd consider index reset a "last resort" for production systems with lots of content (hundreds of GB -> TBs+). The time to delete the index and crawl will be insane. For smaller farms index reset can be a nice evening activity that goes well with some scotch. Recreating the search service is the atomic bomb response, recreating the farm is the last resort. – shufler Feb 5 '16 at 18:31
  • 1
    Sure, that makes sense, it is just what made sense for my situation. I especially agree the part about sharepoint and a fine scotch mixing well. – Steve-o-reeno Feb 5 '16 at 20:47
  • Indeed. The steps outlined in that blog are a good troubleshooting step for this type of problem. – shufler Feb 6 '16 at 1:07
  • Thanks for the suggestion, but I have already tried this step (I linked to the same article as you under the bullet point "Index Reset"). – pauska Feb 7 '16 at 12:05
  • wow, I"m an idiot. Didn't read that in your description, sorry about that. – Steve-o-reeno Feb 8 '16 at 23:12

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