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Broken Sharepoint 2010 Foundation Search "Object reference not set to an instance of an object"

Posted on 2013-01-15
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Last Modified: 2013-01-20
We renamed our Sharepoint server which I followed the Technet articles on with no real issues.  However, I discovered that the search was not returning any results and in the event logs it was still referencing the old Sharepoint name.

So I followed the instructions at http://plexhosted.blogspot.ca/2011/11/how-to-fix-sharepoint-foundation-2010.html but nothing changed, search results were still completely empty.

I decided to stop the SharePoint Foundation search from within the SharePoint Central Administration which is supposed to delete the search database and recreate it which it prompted me it was going to do and I hit ok.

Now I am trying to restart the Search service within Central Administration and it throws up the "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" error, I get the same error when I click on the actual service name link itself too.  When I try and do a search in SharePoint now it comes back with, "Your search cannot be completed because this site is not assigned to an indexer".  When I go to the content database, the search server is blank but it is grey'ed out and I can't choose a server.  The Foundation Search timer job is also gone now.

I can stop and restart the service fine in the Windows services console no problem however it only works now with the Local System account and not the spSearch account I created earlier.

There's no errors in the event logs except for the service stopping and restarting so I have very little to reference.  I'd really appreciate any help as I've trawled through numerous websites to no avail.
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Question by:convergint
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by:Mohit Nair
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Dont try stopping or starting the search service from windows services console as it should automatically start once you start the service from central admin. Keep the service in stopped state and then try unprovisioning and then reprovisioning search service through stsadm command.

Try psconfig wizard if it doesnt helps.
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Figured it out, had to run the stsadm command to restart and rebuild the search database.  Syntax is:

stsadm -o spsearch -action start -farmserviceaccount [domain_account] -farmservicepassword [domain_account_password]
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by:convergint
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Did more research online and found a blog explaining the procedure.
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