Exchange 2007 Search Troubleshooting Checklist


 
This blog is written to assist our Exchange 2007 customers are experiencing Exchange search or content indexing issues. We are seeing some trends and and publish this blog which gives a checklist  you can use to resolve the most common Exchange 2007 search issues.

Remember that Outlook users in online mode and OWA users search the Exchange 2007 server content index – this is called Exchange Search.

Outlook users in cached mode search the .OST file using Windows Desktop search.

This blog helps resolve issues in Exchange Search.  If you are having search issues in Outlook cached mode, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services and open a case with the Outlook support team.

1. First, if you haven’t already, update to Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 3.  Exchange 2007 SP3 includes major Search related fixes. It is highly recommended that you update to the latest available Rollup Update. There are some very significant search fixes in the Rollup Updates for Exchange 2007 SP3. Some of these fixes are absolutely essential to install. For example, Exchange 2007 SP3 Rollup Update 2 includes a fix that allows Exchange server to index emails even when the attachment cannot be parsed – this is the number one call generator for Exchange 2007 search support cases. To restate, upgrade to the very latest available Exchange 2007 SP3 rollup update, as there are many more search fixes available in the latest rollup updates.

2. Second, Install IFilters and register them – follow all the steps below.

Install Filter Pack 1.0, which allows Exchange 2007 to index Office 2007 documents:

2007 Office System Converter: Microsoft Filter Pack
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=20109

3. Third, install the hotfix which addresses a known issue when search crawls a .vsd file.

960502    Description of the 2007 Office system hotfix package (Offfiltx.msp, Visfilter.msp): December 16, 2008
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;960502

Additional Information on the hotfix:

960166    Error message when a search process crawls a .vsd file on a Windows 64-bit operating system that is running the 2007 Office Filter Pack: "The filtering process has been terminated"
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;960166

4. Fourth, register the Filter Pack 1.0 IFilters. This is a manual process with Exchange 2007 but we have created a script to automate the process.:

944516    How to register Filter Pack IFilters with Exchange Server 2007
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;944516

The good news, when you upgrade to Exchange 2010 SP1, this is done automatically for you.

5. Fifth, install Filter Pack 2.0 which allows Exchange to index Office 2010 attachments:

Download details: Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Packs
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=5CD4DCD7-D3E6-4970-875E-ABA93459FBEE&displaylang=en

6. Sixth, register IFilters 2.0 with Exchange 2007:

How to Register IFilters 2.0 with Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff354976(EXCHG.80).aspx

7. Seventh, disable signature verification for the Exchange 2007 search services by putting 127.0.0.1 crl.microsoft.com in the HOSTS file.

When the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 loads a managed assembly, the managed assembly calls the CryptoAPI function to verify the Authenticode signature on the assembly files. The CryptoAPI function checks a Certificate Revocation List (CRL) that is available at http://crl.microsoft.com . This action requires an Internet connection.

The Micrsoft Search Indexer service (Microsoft.Exchange.Search.ExSearch.exe) is a managed assembly that is loaded by Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0. After installing Exchange 2007 SP3, if the Exchange server or DNS cannot resolve http://crl.microsoft.com for any reason the outgoing HTTP requests may be dropped and an error message is not returned.  This delay causes the CRL to time out and cached CRLs will expire.  This affects the Microsoft Search Indexer service in such a way that any new email fails to be indexed.

Modify HOSTS file on the Exchange 2007 server. Add the following: 127.0.0.1 crl.microsoft.com – here are the instructions:

a. Go Start – Programs and choose Command Prompt and choose Run as Administrator.

b. Change to this directory (the drive will be the one where you installed Exchange 2007):

C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts

c. Add the following entry to the HOSTS file:

127.0.0.1                 crl.microsoft.com

d. Save the HOSTS file.

e. Restart the Microsoft Search Indexer Service and Microsoft Search (Exchange) service (this will also restart the Microsoft Search (Exchange) Service.

8. Eighth, Rebuild Indexes using ResetSearchIndexes.ps1

How to Rebuild the Full-Text Index Catalog
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa995966(EXCHG.80).aspx

a. Go Start – Programs and choose Command Prompt and choose Run as Administrator.

b. Change to this directory (the drive will be the one where you installed Exchange 2007):

C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Scripts

c. It is suggested that you rebuild indexes for one or a few databases at a time – use the following command to rebuild the indexes for 1 databases called dbname1 and dbname2:

.\ResetSearchIndex.ps1 –force dbname1 dbname2

d. It is suggested not to run the following command unless you have 1 Exchange 2007 server only  in your environment because it will cause all databases on all Exchange 2007 (and all Exchange 2010 servers, if there are any) to be reindexed at that same time:

.\ResetSearchIndex.ps1 –force all

9. Ninth, monitor the Application Event Log for Event ID 110 for a particular database.  This will indicate the new index is complete for that database. After waiting for 3 days and the Event ID 110 never completes, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services and open a case with the Exchange Admin team for troubleshooting.

10. Tenth, after receiving Event ID 110 for a database, check to see if the size of the CatalogData folder for that database is the expected 5% to 10% of the database size.  If the size of the CatalogData folder is significantly smaller than that or if the size is a few kb or a few mb, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services and open a case with the Exchange Admin team for troubleshooting.

11. Eleventh, after you have received Event ID 110 and the size of the CatalogData folder is normal, test searching in Outlook online mode and OWA to make sure search is working.

12. Twelfth, if you have received Event ID 110 and the size is normal, but you are still having a significant search issue or content indexing issue, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services and open a case with the Exchange Admin team for troubleshooting.

Tammy Anthony, Senior Support Escalation Engineer, Enterprise Communications Services, Microsoft

Bob Want, Senior Support Escalation Engineer, Enterprise Communications Services, Microsoft


Comments (4)

  1. Nacho Stein says:

    Thank you Very Much Guys!!!

    Regards from Argentina ! !

    Nacho

  2. Karthik Muthukumar says:

    if i dont have office 2007 filter pack, will exchange 2007 index office 2003 documents and provide search results on 2003 documents ?

  3. abrandano says:

    Enabeling the proxy did the trick for us. Thanks.

  4. Qayoum S says:

    Good article

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