No preferred server for timer jobs


  • The timer service is running and the account it runs under has all necessary access to the SQL databases. Yet when I navigate in the admin site as follows:

    Central Administration > Manage Content Databases > Database > Preferred Server for Timer Jobs

    It just says "No selection" and no server is available for selection. As a result, Foundation Help Search is not working as the crawler does not crawl. Best I can see, no timer jobs are running.

    Any help appreciated!

    Question everything

    Friday, October 12, 2012 9:07 AM


  • Knowing a little bit about your server farm is going to be important in answering this question - but I'm also going to explain something about the "preferred server for timer jobs" setting.

    Much of this is managed by something called "Timer Job Lock Management", which basically occurs at the content database level and determines which server will have administrative locks on the databases.  There are three different types of "locks" which can occur with respect to timer jobs.

    • First is the preferred lock.  If the "preferred server for timer jobs" setting is configured, the selected server will have a "lock" on the timer jobs in the content database, and other servers will not touch it unless..
    • Next, the Secondary lock.  If the preferred server for timer jobs" setting is configured, AND the selected server has been determined to be unavailable due to the "Timer Job Lock Management" timer job (runs every 1 minute by default) determining that the selected server is not available, then another server will be elected to have a lock on the timer jobs in the content database until the selected server becomes available
    • Third is "no lock".  In this case, no specific server has been assigned to be responsible for all timer jobs in the database.  In that case, timer jobs will be allocated and executed by available servers.

    To come back to why you're unable to select any servers in the drop-down, what is your server farm configuration?  Are you using a single-server with integrated database deployment?

    For your "help search".  There is a separate dropdown control (on the same screen, up 2 controls):
    "Select Microsoft SharePoint Foundation search server"

    Providing you have the "SharePoint Foundation Search" service started on at least one server in the farm, this should be available in the dropdown, and this should provide you with help search functionality.

    I hope that helps.

    Roger Cormier

    Premier Field Engineer, SharePoint

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    Note: My posts are provided “AS IS” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose.

    Friday, October 12, 2012 12:20 PM