Sunday, July 24, 2011

SharePoint Search Exception: The server did not provide a meaningful reply

Recently I had to configure search sometime after the initial build, which was done using AutoSPInstaller. To ensure consistency of approach, I created a slightly modified version of AutoSPInstallerMain.ps1 and also XML AutoSPInstallerInput files. The only real difference in the XML file was that I was instructing AutoSPInstaller to provision search, and also that I was instructing it to not provision Central Admin (as this was already provisioned and I have experienced the script failing when CA had already been created). The main difference in the AutoSPInstallerMain.ps1 was that I commented out a lot of the entries in the Setup-Services function (i.e. to only run StartSearchQueryAndSiteSettingsService and CreateEnterpriseSearchServiceApp).

Shortly after the installation/configuration of Search, users were experiencing a correlation exception when performing searches. The ULS log returned the error 'Internal server error exception: System.ServiceModel.CommunicationException: The server did not provide a meaningful reply; this might be caused by a contract mismatch, a premature session shutdown or an internal server error.'. Subsequent messages also included 'A runtime exception was detected. Details follow. Message: Thread was being aborted'.

To fix this issue I had to do the following:
1) On each SharePoint Server, modify the permissions to the C:\Windows\Temp directory to ensure that the WSS_WPG group had both read and write access (by default after the Search installation, this group only had read access)
2) Restart the 'SharePoint Server Search 14' search on each server.

Once this was done, search began to work. Hope this helps someone.

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