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Recently I faced one of the critical issues with WSS 3.0 (Windows SharePoint Service) which I have installed in one of our servers, for past few months we have been using it for keeping important information and documents. It has been configured with WSS Search so that it could search and give results quickly for any search word.

All of a sudden two days back I realized that WSS Search doesn’t return any results, so what could be the issue? I first checked Services on the farm server, using Central Administration page of WSS 3.0, nothing seems wrong, search service is started and running.

Central Administration panel

Central Administration panel

But to be safe side I stopped it and restarted, then the true issue came up.  It started giving  following error.

WSS_Search_ on containsuser-defined-schema. Databases must be empty before they can be used.Delete all of the tables, stored preoceduters and other objects or use adifferent datbase.

Now what is meant by this, at that time couldn’t realize what the issue was and I tried searching the net for this, but unfortunately I didn’t get a single result.

Then I opened SQL Server Enterprise and check for databases created for WSS, and found a database called WSS_Search_ and this is the database generated and used to crawl the Sharepoint site and keep indexes for data.

So the only option I had was to delete this database and recreate it using either start the Search service again or using the stsadm.exe tool. So I did it… and fortunately this time SharePoint search service started without any error and I scheduled it to do the indexing every 30 minutes since I had to rebuild back as soon as possible.

After two three hours I did try WSS Search, oh it didn’t work, as before not a single result… now what the issue is… but misteriously this search is working for WSS Admin site, how could that happen.. it means not a problem with WSS Search service.

Then I started playing with stsadm.exe with its spsearch operation… there’s a option to see what databases attached with the service for indexing using following command;

Hm… then I found the problem, only the SharePoint_AdminContent is attached with the search service, my sharepoint site data is in the WSS_Content database but it is not attached for indexing with the search service… yes now I know what to do I attached the database with the service. We can use stsadm

To make sure, I checked the attached list again, this time my content database is there

WSS_Content Database

WSS_Content Database

And after few minutes I found searching is working without any trouble… Satisfaction is unlimited!

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