Why doesnt MOSS 2007 SP1 site help and how-to return results? RRS feed

  • Question

  • We have a small farm - one sharepoint server, one shared sql server.

    When we click on the blue and white question mark at the top of sharepoint pages, we get a "pop-up" that says that it is SharePoint Servere 2007 Help and How-to.

    Within this screen are a couple of arrows, a house icon, a printer icon, a magnifying glass, a text box and a button labeled Go.

    Underneat this bar, there is a box labeled Contents, which has within it hyperlinks to Introduction, Business intelligence, and 7 other links.

    I can click on the links and see pages of content.

    However, if I type a word in the text box - say, troubleshooting, or "document library", or "business", and click Go, I get the following:

    Searched for: "business"

    No results were found matching "business".

    • Try a different phrase
    • Check your spelling


    Now the peculiar thing is that on 2 other, independant SP farms that we have in-house, the searches return results just as someone would expect.

    But on this one server, the built in help isn't helpful.

    I have checked the Central Admin for this machine and confirmed that the search crawling is occuring. I can use the site searching text box and find documents on the farm.

    But for some reason, this machine's help and how-to search text box do not work.

    I am looking for some help resolving this situation.

    Wednesday, June 6, 2012 4:03 PM

All replies

  • Hi lvirden

    Thank you for your question.
    I am trying to involve someone familiar with this topic to further look at this issue.

    Lhan Han

    Friday, June 8, 2012 8:05 AM
  • Hi Ivirden,

    Within your farm, do you have Windows SharePoint Services Search Service running on one of the servers in the farm? WSS Search is used to enable searching of the Help system that is built into MOSS 2007. I have seen a few occurences of this where people disable WSS Search and only using Office SharePoint Search not realizing that WSS Search handles the Help system results.


    Let me know if this helps!

    Adam Rudell | Technical Support Lead | SharePoint Technologies | Microsoft Corporation

    Friday, June 8, 2012 4:56 PM

    On this farm, there is one sharepoint server and a shared sql server.

    On the front page of central admin for this farm, it lists as running services central admin, document conversions launcher, document conversions load balancer, excel calculation, office sharepoint server search, windows sharepoint services help search, windows sharepoint services incoming e-mail, windows sharepoint services web application.

    when I go to application management, and select manage search service, I see it say for search service Office SharePoint Server Search Indexing and Query.

    When I look at the crawl log for the SSP, it shows that it has been crawling.

    When I log into the machine, and check the services panel, it shows the Office SharePoint Server Search and Windows SharePoint Services Search started. I don't see anything about "help search" as is mentioned on the front page of Central Admin.

    Does this answer your question? I have always found terminology about all of this a bit confusing. I do not see a Central Admin link to the WSS help search configuration.

    Friday, June 8, 2012 5:09 PM
  • Hi Ivirden,

    So when you have just WSS installed, its called WSS Search within central admin, however if you have MOSS installed the WSS Search is actually changed to WSS Help Search like you are seeing. The WSS Search Service in the services console would correlate to the WSS Help Search.

    If your not returning results for Help Search and the service is running then there might be another issue. We have limited controls over WSS Help Search and it is completely stand alone from Office SharePoint Search and the SSP.

    I would check to ensure the WSS Search Database is operating properly and the service account has access to it. If anything else, you can stop and start the WSS Help Search Service which would provision a new WSS Search database and a crawl will begin immediately of the Help files.

    If this does not resolve the issue, I would suggest possibly opening up a support case so that we can dig into the environment to determine why search results are not being returned for Help Search.

    Adam Rudell | Technical Support Lead | SharePoint Technologies | Microsoft Corporation

    Friday, June 8, 2012 7:15 PM
  • Thank you for your suggestion. Other than stopping and starting the WSS Search service, what else can I do to "ensure the WSS search database is operating properly"? I restarted the service. Most of the day's log files are empty (there is very little activity on this farm). The logging is turned on with the default levels, and I restarted the tracing service this morning and only got a few entries .
    Friday, June 8, 2012 7:29 PM
  • You could try a couple things.

    1. Run the following SQL queries against the WSS Search Database and note the results

    select * from msscrawlhostlist

    2. If you are encountering any error counts, run the following query

    select * from MSSCrawlErrorList where ErrorID in (select ErrorID from MSSCrawlURL where displayURL like 'sts%')

    The above queries should return some results to indicate if we crawling help files for SharePoint Help Files. Otherwise I would suggest reviewing application / system logs of the sharepoint server and SQL server to ensure nothing standing out that might be causing issues.

    Adam Rudell | Technical Support Lead | SharePoint Technologies | Microsoft Corporation

    Friday, June 8, 2012 8:02 PM
  • 1. How do I determine the name of the WSS Search Database? When I look in SQL Server Management Studio, there are 2 databases with the word search in them - SharePoint_SSP_Search and SharePoint_WWW_Search. I looked through Central Admin for the farm and didnt see the names of the databases used in any of the links I checked. I did your search on the first one, and I see 3 rows:

    hostid hostname successcount errorcount warningcount

    1 myfarmname 192433 212 18519 2

    anchor 0 0 0 3 char_num 0 0 0

    where char_num is a long string of numbers and lower case characters and dashes On the second database, I see

    hostid hostname successcount errorcount warningcount

    1 myfarmname:35031 0 0 0 2

    myfarmalias:35032 2 0 0 2

    . When I execute the second statement, above, against the first database, I get the following info

    ErrorID hrResult ErrorLevel MarkDelete ErrorMsg

    0 0 0 0 Crawled

    • Edited by lvirden Monday, June 11, 2012 1:43 PM
    Monday, June 11, 2012 12:05 PM
  • To determine the database name associated for WSS Search, navigate to Central Admin > Operations > Services on Server and click on Windows SharePoint Help Search. It should bring up the settings it was configured with and show the WSS Search Database.

    Adam Rudell | Technical Support Lead | SharePoint Technologies | Microsoft Corporation

    Monday, June 11, 2012 1:18 PM
  • Thank you - given that help, I determined that the second database, mentioned above, is the database for WSS Help search. It looks like no successes or errors show up in the columns. Only 2 warnings. The second sql query you mentioned against this database produces the same output as the first - all 0's and Crawled.
    Monday, June 11, 2012 1:50 PM
  • In order to find out what might be causing issue, I would enable Verbose logging for the WSS Search categories and then run 'Stsadm -o spsearch -action fullcrawlstart' from command line to execute a full crawl. Using the logs, parse through and determine if you can find any issues that stand out on why they content may not be getting crawled. Also confirm your AAMs are configured properly as this can be the cause of the issue on many occasions.

    If you need further assistance digging into the logs or reviewing your farm configuration, you will need to open a support incident so that way a support professional can review your farm settings and dig into the issue further.

    Adam Rudell | Technical Support Lead | SharePoint Technologies | Microsoft Corporation

    Monday, June 11, 2012 2:21 PM
  • thank you for your help. I don't see a "WSS Search" category in Central Admin > Operations > Diagnostic Logging; there is a MS Search Indexing. Right now, it is set to Error and Unexpected. I see how to set that one to verbose - but wanted to be certain it was the right category before I reset it.

    The AAMs defined are one for Central Admin, then simple machine name and alias for the box, as well as a FQDN. Now, when I tried one of the FQDN, I was challenged for a login and password the first time. I wonder if that could be a problem for the indexer...

    Anyways, thank you again for all your help.

    Monday, June 11, 2012 5:28 PM
  • WSS Search will always crawl the default URL defined in your AAMs. If your default is configured for the FQDN and if unable to access the site using the crawl account from the server, that may indicate an issue. If you are using a host header URL, which I assume you are, ensure you have disabled your loopback check on your server. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896861

    Adam Rudell | Technical Support Lead | SharePoint Technologies | Microsoft Corporation

    Monday, June 11, 2012 6:48 PM
  • Thank you for the tip. I read the support article, checked the event logs for the specific event mentioned, and we didnt have any of that error. I do appreciate the tip though.
    Tuesday, June 12, 2012 5:20 PM
  • Hi Ivirden,

    Few more questions for you which might point us to the right direction but may require support case if nothing standing out and we need to dig further.

    1. From the SharePoint server as the account running WSS Help Search, can you browse the default AAM of the web application without issue?

    2. If default AAM is configured for host header or FQDN, adjust mappings to use netbiosservername:port and allow some time to pass for crawl to happen. Does it start to return search results?

    Adam Rudell | Technical Support Lead | SharePoint Technologies | Microsoft Corporation

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012 3:08 PM
  • I appreciate your willingness to help. I don't know that I understand exactly what you are asking, but I am going to try to answer.

    1.I still am not certain if I am looking at the information about the WSS Help Search process. For the account info, I log into the server, go to Admin Services > Services > Windows SharePoint Services Search, click right, select Properties. This shows me an sa account name. There are 4 AAMs. I paste each of them into an IE while logged into the account I found for WSS Search.

    For the FQDN, I am prompted for credentials when I try to point IE to the URL. When I try to type in the account and password, I am prompted with FQDN\sa_spsdev and a need for a password. When I try to use that name, or I try to change the name, it reprompts. I try using our doman\sa_spsdev and I try local\sa_spsdev and the same thing occurs.

    2. I don't know what the phrase "if default aam is configured for host header or FQDN" and I don't know what netbiosservername:port means.

    One more note - I took a look at the same AAM info from point 1 on a machine where the search is working. The sa_sps account, used there, has the same response trying to access the FQDN of a machine where help search is working, as it behaves on the machine where help search is not working.
    • Edited by lwvirden Wednesday, June 13, 2012 5:31 PM add note about comparing working machine to non working machine
    Wednesday, June 13, 2012 5:25 PM
  • I apologize for not clarifying better. If you navigate to Central Admin > Operations > Alternate Access Mappings, what do you have listed for the Default zones?

    Adam Rudell | Technical Support Lead | SharePoint Technologies | Microsoft Corporation

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012 5:56 PM
  • I have 3 things listed as Default




    Wednesday, June 13, 2012 7:41 PM
  • the name that the users know, are these host header URLs such as http://sharepoint or http://sharepoint.domain.com ? if so, I would disable the loopback check on the server. Regardless of you not seeing the message in event viewer that KB mentioned, if you are using a host header URL for a website and attempt to browse locally from server, it will never render

    If this still does not work, I really would suggest opening a support ticket at this time then.

    Adam Rudell | Technical Support Lead | SharePoint Technologies | Microsoft Corporation

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012 7:52 PM
  • Users only use the simple name when accessing the site - http://oursharepoint/ kind of name.

    While the FQDN is specified in the AAM, it looks to me like it results in an authentication challenge that is tough to get through. However, as I mentioned, even the "working" site has the same setup.

    I do appreciate your help. Thank you so much for your ideas.

    Thursday, June 14, 2012 9:40 AM