We recently got an issue where the Windows Search service wasn’t getting started on a Windows 2012 Server, although the indexing status shows the service is running but when you actually start it, it fails. Following event is also logged in application log
Faulting application name: SearchIndexer.exe, version: 7.0.9600.16384, Faulting module name: msvcrt.dll, version: 7.0.9600.16384, Exception code: 0x40000015 Faulting application path: C:\Windows\system32\SearchIndexer.exe Faulting module path: C:\Windows\system32\msvcrt.dll
We did some research and tried following steps on the machine’s registry,
Took Ownership and full control over the following key and all the keys under it
Deleted HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search Key
Also imported the keyHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search from a working Windows 2012 server.
Performed multiple reboots of the server, however the service still fails to get started.
How we fixed it
We executed a Procmon scan to find that some estranged data in this HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\CrawlScopeManager reg key was causing the search service to crash.
We tried to rebuild the searcher index manually by editing the following registry key:
to zero and then restarting the machine.
It still didn’t fix the issue and we did get the Estranged data back in CrawlScopeManager key.
As the key got repopulated, we were confident that its something which is still there and is pushing the changes on server, obviously sounds like a group policy. To rule out group policy issues we
1) Placed the server in a test OU with blocked inheritance
2) Disabled the local GPO on the server
3) Rebooted the server couple of times and still the corrupt value managed to sneak back in under CrawlScopeManager Key
It looks like some policies are tattooed on the server and are not letting it go. We tested various windows Search related policies on the server and at last found issue with “DefaultIndexedPaths” policy.We found that Windows Search policies are getting read from the location below.
We took a backup of the CurrentPolicies Key and Deleted it, restarted the server. Windows Search Service got started with flying colors.
Hope this solution help you resolve the issue, else you can reach out to us for Paid support Here
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