SharePoint: Worst SharePoint Error Message?

(MOSS 2007)

“WSS_Search_servername on servername contains user-defined schema. Databases must be empty before they can be used. Delete all of the tables, stored procedures and other objects or use a different database.”


Just got this on one of my virtual machines:



I just love this part: “Delete all of the tables, stored procedures and other objects or use a different database.” That’s kind of like responding to “I can’t connect to the internet” with “format drive C: and start over”.

Either the developer was having a bad day or has a real attitude!


Is this important?   Not really!   WSS Search is only used in MOSS to index the SharePoint help files, and this only needs to be done once (at least until the next service pack potentially updates the search content).  And, have you ever found this help content to be very helpful?

So for now… help works, but is just not searchable. You can still navigation the table of contents. (But I do have a fix at the end of this article…)


No results: But should look like this:
image image



How I got the error:

This message was displayed in Central Administration when I tried to start the search services. I’m not sure why they were stopped. I may have stopped them to improve performance on the VPC or they may have just stopped.




A similar error was logged in the Windows Event log:





The fix?

Go to Central Administration to the services on server list and click start for the WSS Search. Enter a new database name!  I just appended a “B” to the end of the existing name.  (You can now go to your SQL admin tools and delete the old database if you like.)  I also had to do an IISRESET, but could have probably waited and it would have reindexed.

And… after you get it working and the content has been index, stop it!  Or at least set the schedule so it only indexes once a night. The Help content NEVER CHANGES!


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