In a newly created search center site, searching for anything opens the result page with

Unexpected response from server. The status code of response is '404'. The status text of response is 'Not Found'.

Which I assume to mean that it can't find the corresponding WCF service, but it doesn't give me a whole lot to go on. No correlation ID or anything. In watching ULS while performing a search, it simply has:

Entering monitored scope (Request (POST:https://***:443/_vti_bin/client.svc/ProcessQuery)). Parent No
Name=Request (POST:https://***:443/_vti_bin/client.svc/ProcessQuery)
Non-OAuth request. IsAuthenticated=True, UserIdentityName=0#.w|***\***, ClaimsCount=57
Leaving Monitored Scope (Request (POST:https://***:443/_vti_bin/client.svc/ProcessQuery)). Execution Time=2.69566383437001

Unsure if either of these are related. Simply providing as much context as possible:

Furthermore in ULS, I've come across this item marked critical:

mssearch.exe - Content Plugin can not be initialized - list of CSS addresses is not set.

And also this event log entry:

Faulting application name: hostcontrollerservice.exe, version: 15.0.4420.1017, time stamp: 0x50672c2d
Faulting module name: KERNELBASE.dll, version: 6.2.9200.16384, time stamp: 0x5010ab2d
Exception code: 0xe0434352
Fault offset: 0x00000000000189cc
Faulting process id: 0x1dd8
Faulting application start time: 0x01cdc41c9069200d
Faulting application path: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Servers\15.0\Search\HostController\hostcontrollerservice.exe
Faulting module path: C:\Windows\system32\KERNELBASE.dll
Report Id: ceca96b2-300f-11e2-93ff-005056b91db4
Faulting package full name: 
Faulting package-relative application ID: 
  • P.S. Having come from StackOverflow, if I'm not following proper etiquette or not providing enough info and am unknowingly discouraging answers, please let me know. Thanks. – lukiffer Nov 16 '12 at 17:27
  • No offense taken - I'm a developer completely new to SharePoint. The initial configuration wizard was used to create the site collection using the Enterprise Search Center template. Managing Web Application Features, I see that SharePoint Server Enterprise Search is activated. Is there additional configuration needed? – lukiffer Nov 16 '12 at 19:03
  • I have performed the steps in this tutorial: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg502597.aspx Could you link to information with additional steps? Thanks! – lukiffer Nov 16 '12 at 19:11

Once you have created the Search Service Application, a ribbon on the "Search Service Application: Search Administration" page asks you "Where should users searches go?"

Clicking on this link allows you to specify the URL of your search center.

For additional configuration of the SSA (include content sources and crawl rules) in 2013, see:

SharePoint 2013: How to configure Search Services Application (en-US)

  • Thanks for the response. I had already completed the steps in Search Administration, up to the part of that article where the author tests the search and it returns nothing. However in my case, instead of returning nothing, it is throwing the error above. – lukiffer Nov 16 '12 at 19:27
  • Sorry then, not sure what to tell you. If you Google the error this is the only post that comes up. You may want to blast the SSA away and try to recreate it. Worked to fix a lot of issues with 2010 service apps. Worth a shot anyhow. – RJ Cuthbertson Nov 16 '12 at 20:16

So after an extensive amount of digging, it turns out that the SharePoint installer doesn't correctly configure .NET 4 WCF components correctly.

The installer installed and configured IIS, and the "SharePoint Web Services" site, but fails to install and configure WCF Process Activation completely. After installing and configuring these components (Server Manager > Add Features > .NET Framework 4 > WCF Process Activation), a new error sprung up, which can be addressed by installing update KB2567680.

Reference: http://autospinstaller.codeplex.com/workitem/18755

After installing both the missing components and the Windows Update, search topology loads and everything appears to be working properly.

  • On Windows Server 2012, it is not necessary to install this hotfix, but apparently its possible when using AutoSPInstaller for the Web Activation feature to not be enabled. Solely enabling this resolved the issue in our case. – Ashley Nov 6 '13 at 14:07

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