Hello,

Recently, a customer reported problems with Search in a SharePoint 2013 farm. Instead of showing search results, the following error was being shown:

The Problem

To diagnose the problem, I opened Central Administration and the Search Service Application page indicated problems with the Index Partition component in the Search Service Application Topology.

To further diagnose the problem, I opened up a PowerShell window (used the option “Run As Administrator” to ensure proper permissions) and executed the following commands:

$ssa = Get-SPServiceApplication -Name “Search Service Application”
Get-SPEnterpriseSearchStatus -SearchApplication $ssa -Detailed -Text

After execution, the result confirmed a problem with the Index Partition, showing the Index component with the Degraded state.

The Solution

The solution was composed by two steps:

  • Reset the Search Index
  • Perform a Full Crawl on Search Content Source

Reset the Search Index

To reset the Search Index, I went to the Reset Index page in the Search Service Application in Central Administration and clicked the “Reset Now” button.

To confirm the Index Reset, I clicked “OK” in the popup message.

Perform a Full Crawl on Search Content Sources

After resetting the index, the search index data was deleted and to allow search results to be shown again, we need to perform a Full Crawl on all Content Sources in the farm. To do that, we must go to the Content Sources page in the Search Service Application in Central Administration and for each available Content Sources, select “Start Full Crawl”.

NOTE: If you have more than one Content Source, let the Full Crawl on the previous Content Source finish before starting to Full Crawl the next Content Source.

After the Full Crawl on all Content Sources finished, I returned to Central Administration and the Search Service Application page to check the Search Service Application status. The page now indicates a healthy status for all Search components.

To confirm that the problem is solved, I ran the same commands previously executed in the PowerShell window.

$ssa = Get-SPServiceApplication -Name “Search Service Application”
Get-SPEnterpriseSearchStatus -SearchApplication $ssa -Detailed -Text

After execution, the result confirms that the problem with the Index Partion is solved,
showing an Activate state in the Index component.

After the above steps, SharePoint sites started returning search results again!

Related Articles

This solution should be also valid for SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint 2019. If you want to know all about the new features available in the new SharePoint Server release, click here.

To find a solution to a search crawling issue I recently found in a SharePoint 2016 farm, click here.

If you are a SharePoint administrator or a SharePoint developer who wants to learn more about how to install a SharePoint 2019 farm in an automated way using PowerShell, I invite you to click here and here.

If SharePoint 2019 is still not an option, you can learn more about how to install a SharePoint 2016 farm in an automated way using PowerShell, here and here.

If you are new to SharePoint and Office 365 and want to learn all about it, take a look at these learning resources.

If you are work in a large organization who is using Office 365 or thinking to move to Office 365 and is considering between a single or multiple Office 365 tenants, I invite you to read this article.

UPDATE 01/11/2018:

SharePoint 2019 RTM was recently announced! To learn all about SharePoint 2019 and all its features, click here.

UPDATE 21/11/2018:

If you want to know all about the latest SharePoint and Office 365 announcements from Ignite and some more recent announcements, including Microsoft Search, What’s New to Build a Modern Intranet with SharePoint in Office 365, Deeper Integration between Microsoft Teams and SharePoint and the latest news on SharePoint development, click here.

Hope this can help someone with the same problem!

Happy SharePointing!

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