Windows SharePoint Services Search – Gatherer Error

I got a report from one of our power users that SharePoint search was not returning any results.  The default search service under WSS 3.0 is not very easy to troubleshoot.  Things will get better with Search Server 2008 (I hope).  Anyway, I did find the following in my Application Event Logs:

Event ID: 2436
Category:  Gatherer
The start address <sts3s://{GUID}> cannot be crawled.

Context: Application ‘Search index file on the search server’, Catalog ‘Search’


Access is denied. Check that the Default Content Access Account has access to this content, or add a crawl rule to crawl this content. (0x80041205)

Well, the service used to work, so I don’t think access rights are the real problem.  Some digging in the cloud turned up this:
which sounded promising, but the proposed fix is to run a site that does not use SSL to do the gathering… I don’t think this should be necessary as again, Search used to work, and we have always had SSL.  Still, it got me thinking.

I also found this thread:
Which also suggests that the problem is caused by some disagreement between host names, alternative access mappings, and the “Default” security zone in SharePoint.  So I had a look at my alternative access mapping (AAMs).  Lo and behold, I had a few extra internal URLs for the default zone.  They were not supposed to be there, and were added by accident while building our new SharePoint farm.  Removing the extra internal URLs fixed the problem.

By the way, the gatherer actually can crawl SSL sites… this ability was introduced with a hotfix some time back.


2 thoughts on “Windows SharePoint Services Search – Gatherer Error”

  1. It was rather unfair of me to drop this problem on Geoff just because I wanted a day off. The Central Admin site on “SharePoint1” is a mess… it contains links and references to a “Shared Services Provider” (SSP) which does not exist, and also a link to a “Search Administration” panel which is totally invalid. The admin panel and SSP are parts of Search Server 2008, which I attempted to install on the server several months ago, but could not make functional. I was able to restore the original “Windows SharePoint Services Search” service, but the links generated by the Search Server 2008 install never went away.


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