I have been troubleshooting an issue with the Search Service Application in our SharePoint 2013 environment, and not having much luck with finding a solution. I'm trying to avoid rebuilding the SSA if at all possible.

these are the errors:

Search application 'a8af725e-5b01-4461-93c7-b47f45fc33ce-crawl-0' 
appears to be malfunctioning and will be reinitialized.

Gatherer\CSS connector failed to connect to CSS 

Our Server Configuration:

2 WFE's (4 CPU/16gb RAM)

1 Search/Application (Another VM is being provisioned for handling the Search Role) (4 CPU/16gb RAM)

1 SQL Server (4 CPU/16gb RAM)

  • Any luck? We are facing the same problem :(
    – user18374
    Jul 21 '13 at 10:47
  • Did you get any luck with this Gatherer\CSS connector failed to connect to CSS net.tcp:/ContentProcessingComponent1/ContentSubmissionServices/content I have facing the same problem. Please Anyone can help!!
    – Sabby Ans
    Sep 24 '14 at 12:09
  • Jason, did you found out any solution for this? I did open a bounty because i'm currently in the same situation. Dec 12 '14 at 8:11

I know this is a bit older...but, I wanted to share my knowledge about this particular issue.

This look like a failure of the User Account (Search Account) not having the appropriate permissions to run on.

Your {Search Account - i.e. sp_search} needs to have the following permissions:

  1. Replace a process level token
  2. Adjust memory quotas for a process
  3. Impersonate a client after authentication
  4. Log on as a service

In addition the {sp_search} account will need exec privileges to the SharePoint Databases.

  • This appeared to solve my issue
    – Burgi
    Nov 30 '15 at 11:28

It could be caused by various things, such as a crawl that won't end. If that's the case, try to stop the crawling (solution 1). However, if you can't stop it - try to do an index reset (solution 2). If that works, and the SSA comes back online, then you don't have to build a new SSA from scratch (solution 3). If you crawl large chunks of content, another solution (4) would be to divide the content to be crawled in smaller pieces using several crawl sources. You could divide by URL or by server/folder (if you’re crawling a file share). Also, check that you don’t run out of disk space. The pagefile.sys grows a lot on crawling, and sometimes the available disk space gets very close to nothing, which is bad. If that’s the case, add another disk and move your pagefile.sys to the new disk, and your system disk won’t stop working if pagefile.sys grows beyond limits.

Usually, when I run into this kind of trouble, I delete the current SSA and build a new one. It's usually faster than trying to solve the issue at hand. However, this is of course dependent on how much content you are currently crawling.

Ref: How to stop a stalled crawling.

  • Thanks for your answer Benny. While this does not answer the question straight away i think that trying out the steps you provided do sound fair. Rebuilding the SSA for me however is another story, mostly because the our search is heavily modified with a lots of query rules and other type of modifications. Dec 18 '14 at 11:16

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