An internal SharePoint Administrator of my customer has configured Alternate Access Mapping for an intranet portal. However, when creating a new web application, he entered the URL including SSL in the Host Header setting: https://sharepoint.contoso.com/. He then configured DNS and IIS binding to the IP Address of SharePoint server. In other words, there is no internal site so from a corporate network, I cannot access to SharePoint with an URL like http://sharepoint/.

The SharePoint Heath Analyzer tool alerts: "A default zone URL is pointing to the machine name of web front end. Since this installation has more than one web front ed, this can result in a variety or errors including incorrect links and failed operations"

Such an AAM configuration, I have found many error messages in Search service application.

  1. The server is unavailable and could not be accessed. The server probably disconnected from the network.
  2. The crawler could not communicate with the server. Check that the server is available and that the firewall access is configured correctly.
  3. The item could not be crawled because the repository did not respond within the specified timeout period.
  4. The item could not be accessed on the remote server because its address has an invalid syntax.
  5. The secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate sent by the server was invalid and this item will not be crawled.

I do think the misconfiguration of Alternate Access Mapping causes the Search errors, because Search cannot access to SharePoint site due to lacking of internal site.

What I would do is re-create a new web application and then move content databases to the new web application. After that, I will extend the web application to Extranet zone with specific Host Header (http://sharepoint.contoso.com). Finally, I should configure DNS and IIS binding.

Are there other ways to amend AAM without re-creating new web application? Your recommendations are appreciated.


  • 2
    Can't you just edit the default AAM and correct it? Also, I've started to avoid using shortname URLs where possible. Just use SSL + FQDN. The reason for this is Alerts and Report Subscriptions are based on the URL they were created on. If you have a single URL for all levels of access, then there is no need to worry about items that are URL-specific.
    – user6024
    Nov 23, 2012 at 18:41

1 Answer 1


Can you change the host file of the machine(s) from where SharePoint crawls? Then open a browser on that machine and open the site, this should complete without certificate errors or authentication errors. If you see a certificate error, the crawler needs a valid https connection as otherwise the site will not be crawled. Also if authentication fails check that there are no local loopback errors present.

I hope this will help.

Kind regards

Roel Hans

  • The certificate error is just one of many errors caused by AAM misconfiguration. What I want is to handle AAM. Thanks for your suggestion.
    – EagleDev
    Aug 30, 2012 at 15:16

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