we have a strange problem. We are running a WSS3 installation for about 2000 users and 10000 docs in a site collection.

When trying to search for some string, the query does not return the expected matches and it does not work with * symbols (lets say I search sym* and should get "symbol" and "sympathetic"). Is it supposed to work this way? If so, is there any option to make WSS find ANY SUBSTRING in the site content?

Besides, NOT ALL OCCURENCES of the requested string are returned in search results, even if I try to index the content using administrative account (this is not recommended anyway, but I wanted to check whether it could be a permissions issue).

I am quite familiar with Sharepoint administration, but have not worked with search so far. Help would be very appreciated.

Regards, ravie

1 Answer 1


WSS 3.0 Search and SharePoint Server 2007 search does not support wildcard (*) searches. This feature was first introduced in SharePoint Server 2010 search.

If I understand you right then search does also not return the expected results when searching for a regular keyword without wildcard. The WSS 3.0 search engine is a black box with few dials and my best advice is to forget about it and start using SharePoint Search Server Express 2007 instead. It will get you strong Enterprise Search for free. You can install it on a separate server or you can simply upgrade your existing WSS 3.0 server as the Search Server is basically a WSS 3.0 + Enterprise Search.

  • Thank you, Lars, I will install it. I have already contacted Microsoft and they suggest the same, with a small difference only - Search server express 2008. Thank you very much for your advice. Ravie
    – user1667
    Feb 4, 2011 at 14:32
  • Great! Yes, it is of course Search Server Express 2008 - there is no 2007 version. My silly mistake - must be because the weekend is closing in. Feb 4, 2011 at 14:38

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