Home > Uncategorized > FAST Search crawl doesnt crawl content

FAST Search crawl doesnt crawl content

If the crawl is running, but your crawls do not finish and you do not get results in the Crawl Log, look in the Windows Event Viewer to determine whether there is a problem. Open the Windows Event Viewer and view the log messages in Windows Logs > Application.

Fortunately event viewer had the following issue logged:

Failed to connect to ckollipara-lt.ba-insight.net:13391 Failed to initialize session with document engine: Unable to resolve Contentdistributor

After Bing found the following steps that worked like a charm:


FAST and SharePoint 2010 have been working perfectly on this particular development server since installation.  Recently the content sources had stopped working and the crawl is stuck, yet nothing significant had changed on the server.

  • Content sources start crawling and never stop.
  • Manually stopping the content source crawl hangs on “Stopping” for a very long time.
  • No documents are ever actually crawled
  • Numerous errors on the SharePoint server under windows application log: ‘Failed to connect to SERVER.com:XXXX Failed to initialize session with document engine: Unable to resolve Contentdistributor‘.

Potential Cause:

During installation on development servers a self-signed certificate can be created for communication between FAST and SharePoint.  It turns out that the self-signed certificate is only valid for one year and when it expires the above problems will occur.  Unfortunately there is no mechanism making it obvious to the user that the certificate has expired, hence the potential for confusion.

Steps to validate this as a cause:

  • On the FAST Server, open the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). OnRun, type mmc or mmc.exeand hit <enter>.
  • Add the Snap-in for Certificates and choose local computer. When the Certificate store opens, check the FASTSearchCert certificate under Certificates (Local Computer) -> Personal -> Certificates.
  • If the FASTSearchCert’s Expiration date is before todays date, then the certificate has expired.

You have just validated the root cause for your problem. Please try the solution below,


The fix is to generate and deploy new self-signed certificate and this can be achieved with the following steps:

  1. On the FAST Server, make sure the FAST Search for SharePoint & FAST Search for SharePoint Monitoring windows services are stopped.
  2. Open the Microsoft FAST Search Server for 2010 for SharePoint PowerShell on the FAST server as an Administrator.
  3. Navigate to the FAST directory (i.e. <FASTSearchFolder>\installer\scripts)
  4. Run the following command: .\ReplaceDefaultCertificate.ps1 -generateNewCertificate $true
  5. You may be asked to enter a password. Type a password and hit <enter>. Note – Keep this password handy, as it will be required in a later step.
  6. This will generate a new certificate, valid for one year in the following folder:<FASTSearchFolder>\data\data_security\cert\FASTSearchCert.pfx
  7. This certificate will need to be copied to the SharePoint server (if SharePoint is not hosted on the same server as FAST).
  8. Similarly copy the <FASTSearchFolder>\installer\scripts\SecureFASTSearchConnector.ps1script from the FAST server to the Sharepoint Server (if SharePoint is not hosted on the same server as FAST).
  9. Start the FAST Search for SharePoint & FAST Search for SharePoint Monitoring  windows services.
  10. Now the certificate needs to be loaded on the SharePoint server.
  11. On the SharePoint Server, Start –> All Programs –>Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products –> right click on SharePoint 2010 Management Shell and Run as administrator.
  12. Navigate to the location where the SecureFASTSearchConnector.ps1 script (this script may need to be copied from the FAST server as mentioned in step 7) exist.
  13. Run the following command (userName should reflect the details of the user running the SharePoint Server Search 14 (OSearch14) windows service):.\SecureFASTSearchConnector.ps1 –certPath “path of the certificate\FASTSearchCert.pfx” –ssaName “name of your content SSA” –username “domain\username”
  14. You may be asked to enter a password. Please enter the password from step 5 and hit <enter>. Your powershell command prompt should look likethis.

Assuming there were no errors when running the PowerShell scripts the SharePoint server certificate has been deployed and will be valid for another year. The content sources should begin working normally again and crawls should complete succeesfully.

Thought that would be end of my issues then got hit by another one:

Got hit by:

The FAST Search backend reported warnings when processing the item. Document conversion failed: ;Customer-supplied command failed:

Thought would be hard but when you have BING things are easy:

– Provide ‘Full Control’ rights on the ‘%FASTSEARCH%\bin’ and ‘%FASTSEARCH%\tmp’ folder for the user running FAST Search for Sharepoint 2010.

To set permissions for files and folders, follow these steps:
– In Windows Explorer, right-click the file or folder you want to work with.
– From the pop-up menu, select Properties, and then in the Properties dialog box click the Security tab.
– Users or groups that already have access to the file or folder are listed in the Name list box. You can change permissions for these users and groups
by doing the following:
– Select the user or group you want to change
– Use the Permissions list box to grant or deny access permissions

Finally if Query cannot connect and throws error “The search request was unable to connect to the Search Service”  do the following:

This section describes how to transfer a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 STS certificate (MOSS_STS) from SharePoint Server 2010 to all FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint query servers to provide security trimmed queries.

Security trimming, or item level security, limits user access to items in search results that the user who submitted the query is authorized to see.

On SharePoint Server 2010, export the SharePoint STS certificate:

  1. On the Start menu, click All Programs.
  2. Click Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products.
  3. Right-click SharePoint 2010 Management Shell, and select Run as administrator.
  4. At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type the following command(s):
    $stsCert = (Get-SPSecurityTokenServiceConfig).LocalLoginProvider.SigningCertificate
    $stsCert.Export("cert") | Set-Content  -encoding byte MOSS_STS.cer

    The file MOSS_STS.cer is created in the directory from which you run the commands.

  5. Copy MOSS_STS.cer to a location that is available to the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint query servers.

On each FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint query server, import the SharePoint STS certificate:

  1. On the Start menu, click All Programs.
  2. Click Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint.
  3. Right click Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint shell and select Run as administrator.
  4. At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, browse to <FASTSearchFolder>\installer\scripts\, where <FASTSearchFolder>is the path of the folder where you have installed FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint, for example C:\FASTSearch. Type the following command:
    .\InstallSTSCertificateForClaims.ps1 -certPath <“full path of MOSS STS certificate”>


    • <“full path of MOSS STS certificate”> is the path of the location where you copied the MOSS_STS.cer file.

After finishing these steps, you have completed the configuration of the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint query server. Repeat for all query servers if you have more than one.

Categories: Uncategorized
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