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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Search Host Controller Stuck on Starting

This can occur during the setting of the new topology for search. In most cases, this can be corrected though it may require deleting the service and starting over. When the Search Host Controller service gets stuck (indicated by 'Starting' under Central Administration > Services on server), it indicates that there's a permissions problem.

Unfortunately, the events in the Event Log are not very telling. As it turns out, it can be a simple fix
First, make sure that the WSS_WPG and WSS_ADMIN_WPG have FULL CONTROL to the drive/folder where the Search indexes will be stored (this means all search servers) and see if that allows it to complete.

If that doesn't work, forcing the provisioning process will work (sometimes) :

$shc = Get-SPServiceInstance | Where {$_.Status -like "Provisioning"}

Note that the above may indicate that the command needs to be run on a different server; simply run the commands on the server indicated by the message.

If neither of the above work, double check permissions (including database permissions) to make sure that the WSS_WPG and WSS_ADMIN_WPG groups have the proper drive/folder access, delete the service that failed (including the DBs!) and try again.

Service Pack 1 update: This can be due to permissions and if the above does not correct it, it may be necessary to delete the service application, stop all search services and start over. First, add the Search Service account to the Local Administrators group on all farm servers and try again. If that does not work, believe it or not, granting the Search Service account "sysadmin" rights in SQL Server may be needed. In both cases, the account permssions can be reduced AFTER search installs properly.

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