Working in an environment where I maintain dedicated SharePoint environments ranging in size from one server to a hundred servers you can run into some odd issues. My latest happened when a customer noted that their search on a brand new SharePoint farm stopped working. After some investigation I found that they had migrated databases into their SharePoint farm. At the onset it seemed only content databases were migrated. This should not have prevented search service from working. At worst we could expect that search would not to be able to access the DBs. In this case the search just was not working and getting the following familiar message.
The search service is currently offline. Visit the Services on Server page in SharePoint Central Administration to verify whether the service is enabled. This might also be because an indexer move is in progress.
I tried all of the normal methods I have to fix this problem. Stopping and starting the office search service, stop and starting the SharePoint admin service, check permissions, check the index account to make sure it had been locked out, and I even went as far as recreating the SSP. I was starting to run out of ideas.
I did note some key indicators. Among my myriad of windows log messages I saw one that caught my attention.
Event Type: Error
Event Source: Office Server Search
Event Category: Gatherer
Event ID: 10029
Description: Error backing up registry hive to the configuration database.
Details: Registry backup failed because of a version mismatch. (0x8004122b)
Not something I expect to see since this was brand new farm where search had been working before the imports. Another clue was that index applications folder ‘C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Servers\12.0\Data\Office Server\Applications’ remained empty.
After some more investigation I located the problem to the SharePoint SSP database. Specifically RegistryBlob entry seems to have suffered a corruption. I ran the following command in SQL server.
DELETE FROM dbo.MSSConfiguration WHERE Name = N’RegistryBlob’
I then recycled the time and office search services. At that point it will recreate the appropriate entry. From there I was able to provision the search service in SharePoint as normal.
As you can expect when directly editing your SharePoint SQL database you are taking matters into your own hands. Please back everything up and know how to restore. Do this at your own risk.