"The serialized data is invalid." SharePoint Search results

Hello all,

SharePoint Search service is running, and indexing has been done, however, when I try to execute a search I am always getting the following error:

The serialized data is invalid.   at System.Web.UI.ObjectStateFormatter.Deserialize(Stream inputStream)
   at System.Web.UI.ObjectStateFormatter.Deserialize(String inputString)
   at System.Web.UI.ObjectStateFormatter.System.Web.UI.IStateFormatter.Deserialize(String serializedState)
   at System.Web.UI.Util.DeserializeWithAssert(IStateFormatter formatter, String serializedState)
   at System.Web.UI.HiddenFieldPageStatePersister.Load()

Any ideas?  I have seen this error all over the Internet and have tried some web.config changes but to no avail.

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GeoffHarperConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
It turned out that the machine had been configured to use the Windows security setting "System cryptography: Use FIPS compliant algorithms for encryption, hashing, and signing."
By default Windows 2008 uses AES but with that setting enabled it uses 3DES.
Apparently, regardless of that setting, SharePoint 3.0 uses AES.
Do you have search customizations?

Checkout this EE question

This link suggested that you remove and re add the webpart as it may be correupt.

GeoffHarperAuthor Commented:
Thanks, but I did see those links previously.  I am a programmer and have been tasked with getting this thing working.  The Web Part is the "canned" search box which I am told gets created with the "template" page being used.
This is probably of no help, but, originally no one here could get the Search service running and I changed "Windows Authentication" to use "SA" user and password and SharePoint started up the Search service.
Besides the above, the Search box on the page is "out-of-the-box."
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One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Have you tried dumping the current index and doing a fresh crawl?
GeoffHarperAuthor Commented:
Well, I don't know how to do exactly that in SharePoint, but I stopped the service and went through the "Configure Windows SharePoint Services Search Service Settings on server..." configuration with a new database name.  I still get the same error when I try the search box after all this,
I can set up the indexing schedule, but nowhere can I find anything which says the site has been indexed, or it's currently indexing the site, etc.
1. Open central administration

2. Select your SSP from the menu on the left under "Shared Services Administration"

3. Under the search header, select "Search Settings"

4. Within the page that loads (Configure Search Settings) you can do 1 of 2 things. Either select "Reset all crawled content" or skip this and head directly into "Content sources and crawl schedules". This is where you can fire off a new full or incremental crawl.

Did the SSP get rebuilt after you utilized a new db? Have you run the preupgrade check to make sure that it's not still associated with the old db, sometimes things can get orpahned if you don't prepare the environment for a change like that.
GeoffHarperAuthor Commented:
I see nothing like "Shared Services Administration" in Central Administration.  Therefore I don't see "Search Settings."
Maybe I should have said up front it's "Windows SharePoint Services 3.0" ?  I don't know if that makes a difference as to the menu (?).
I certainly appreciate your willingness to help.
That definitely makes a difference.

To reset the index, go to Central Administration -> Operations -> Services on Server. For "Windows SharePoint Services Search" click on the Stop link, wait for it to stop then click on the Start link.

GeoffHarperAuthor Commented:
Ok, so then that's what I did before (see earlier comment).  I've just done it again (and several times today) and I still get the same results.
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