Suddenly, after detached and re-attached  a WSS 3.0 content database , the WSS 3.0 search service or Search Server 2008 Express (SS2008E) cannot crawl the portal anymore.

So i began to refresh the service and repopulate the search index by performing these  steps:

  1. Redefined Alternate Address Mapping (AAM)
  2. Reset all  Search Server 2008 Express crawled content
  3. Restarting the WSS 3.0 search service and timer
  4. Restarting the IIS web service.
  5. performing a full index : STSADM.exe” -o spsearch -action “-fullcrawlstart” “

But still, nothing happen, the search action resulting an empty page.

Now, i look up at the server’s  Event Viewer > Application  Log , and i found this message:

Event Viewer > Application

Event Type:    Warning
Event Source:    Windows SharePoint Services 3 Search
Event Category:    Gatherer
Event ID:    2436
Date:        05/05/2009
Time:        0:29:03
User:        N/A
Computer:    WSSPORTAL1
The start address <sts3://WSSPORTAL1/contentdbid={33c8b862-f79b-42d1-8f8a-2ed0f2e1f984}> cannot be crawled.

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

The crawler could not communicate with the server. Check that the server is available and that the firewall access is configured correctly.   (0x80041200)

For more information, see Help and Support Center at


After hours of searching and trial attempt to fix the problem…

finally i found the cause for the problem.

If your server running WSS 3.0 portal application, the default (start) sites address is located next to the “sites” url, such as:


so there’s a big possibility that this URL :


is empty , or resulting an error page.

Resulting :

The WSS 3.0 and SS2008E Search service cannot validate  the http://WSSPORTAL1/ address,  so it’s stop from crawling the root URL (/sites/../…etc)

Solution (workaround):

  1. Modify the registry, or
  2. Create a WSS 3.0 blank site at http://WSSPORTAL1/ (recommend)

And..boom.. it work..


4 Comments WSS 3.0 content cannot be crawled by WSS 3.0 Search Service or Search Server 2008

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