I have a SharePoint site that was running without any problem. Few days ago the search stopped working with an error in the crawl log

The crawler could not communicate with the server. Check that the server is available and that the firewall access is configured correctly

From the ULS log I was able to see that the crawler is trying to call a web service _vti_bin/sitedata.asmx, but it is failing with error HTTP 500 Internal Server Error. I believe because of this failure the crawl is not working in the farm. When I tried to call other built-in webservices in SP2013 (such as lists.asmx?WSDL), I noticed that all the ASMX services have the same problem.

Can anybody please help me to figure out what is going wrong in SharePoint? I tried to see the ULS and event viewer; nothing logged there.

Is there any way I can "reinstall" the ASMX web services in SharePoint?


The web services are not working on the site collection root site. For any subsite the web services works properly. I am still confused.

Thank you

  • You probably could get more info from logs: either from the Windows Event Viewer (eventvwr.exe, "Application" section) or from the SharePoint ULS logs. "500" means 'internal server error', so you should get something from the logs.
    – Evariste
    Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 13:35
  • Check if all SharePoint related app pools are still running as expected under the IIS management panel. Commented Mar 27, 2016 at 9:28
  • Surprising to me, there is nothing I can see in ULS or Event Viewer. The ULS got just this entry "Leaving Monitored Scope (Request (GET:server:80/_vti_bin/Lists.asmx)). Execution Time=8.09907404432686 0d3f6d9d-1299-b02e-5367-a9b7a8b4e056"
    – Arun
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 9:49
  • @SPArchaeologist the App pools are running
    – Arun
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 9:51
  • Do you actually have a root site collection (i.e. can you browse http://SharePointServer/)?
    – Evariste
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 7:13

2 Answers 2


I have found the issue. It was a mistake in the web.config located at C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\15\ISAPI. After fixing the issue the web services started working for the site collection root site.

  • But how did the web.config mistake occur? Is it human mistake?
    – Mark L
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 1:28
  • 1
    Yes, a developer created a custom utility to update the web configs by using "SPWebConfigModification" but ended up some duplicate values there (developer error of course).
    – Arun
    Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 14:37

I added this in the web.config in the ISAPI folder(C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\ISAPI) and my search crawl stopped crawling.

        <Allow users= "*" />
           <Deny users= "?" />

I added this to stop anonymous access to my external facing site. Now I removed this from web.config and search is working fine.

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