I'm getting the above error message in the ULS logs and I can't seem to figure out where it comes from (obviously it has something to do with search, but I don't know what):

enter image description here

Could not find HostController Service in server <servername>. Skipping the server. Exception : System.ArgumentException: Could not find the ServiceInstance in server <servername>    
 at Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Administration.SearchAdminUtils.GetServiceInstancesOnServers[T](IEnumerable`1 servers, String notFoundMessage)    
 at Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Administration.SearchAdminUtils.GetServiceInstanceOnServer[T](String serverName)    
 at Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Administration.Topology.SearchTopologyUtils.<>c__DisplayClassb.<CleanupOrphanNodesInSystem>b__4(SPServer farmServer)

I can't seem to find the HostController Service and I don't know where I can start it/set it. The search is working as it should.

It actually has to do with the "Servers in Farm". I had wrongly configured an additional server, so the Search is iterating through all servers to find the HostController Service. But: The SQLServer you can see in the Screenshot above - that is actually the Alias of the SQL Server. It also is running the "Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Database", hence I can't just remove the server.

Will I just have to live with the exception? It really should be a warning, and not an exception.

  • Probably you can run cliconfg.exe to fix your aliases and reconfigure the search topology once again for creating fresh crawling components
    – ArkoD
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 8:34
  • Alias is working properly, also search topology is single server (dev server) and working properly. It's only that the HostController Service seems to iterate over all servers configured for the SharePoint farm, when it can't find the HostController Service on one, it throws the error. The SQL Server is also part of the farm but doesn't have the HostController Service, hence the error. I get this error on my dev machine and all other SharePoint environments I set up.
    – Dennis G
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 6:44

1 Answer 1


Did you check the account associated with the SharePoint Search Host Controller?

I recommend to verify the things below:

  1. Use the PowerShell command to check the diagnostics information about all search components of the default Search Service Application: Get-SPEnterpriseSearchStatus. If the Index Component and the Partition is degraded, then reset the index and do a full crawl of all the content sources.

  2. Check the URLs in the Content Source to see if the URLs are right.

  3. Check the Crawl log and ULS log to see if there is any unexpected error occurred.

  4. You can also re-create the Search Service Application to see if the issue still occurs.

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