SharePoint 2013 Search – Fixing the Search Service After the Index Drive Fills

In SharePoint 2013 farms when the index drive gets full the search app gets into an unhealthy state and can be difficult to get it to recover. The following steps can be used in order to recover the search application. The most common indicators that the search application has gotten into this unhealthy state (Besides search not working) is the Search Index Partition (in search topology) on the Search Admin Page shows a warning icon. However the following steps can be used to resolve the issue:

First Try to Restart the Search Service (Windows Service):

Banner for the blog by Kiefer called "SharePoint 2013 Search - Fixing the Search Service After the Index Drive Fills"

If restarting the Search Service does not resolve the issue, try the standard options before moving onto anything more drastic:

  • Restart the SharePoint Timer Service
  • Reset IIS (Or restart the Application Pool for the Search App)
  • Reboot the Server

If none of those options work the best bet is to use the following steps:

Reset the Content Index (To free up space on the Index Drive):

Using PowerShell use the following command (Note this will require a re-crawl of all content sources)

$ssa = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication

  • This assumes you have only one search application.
    $ssa.Reset($false, $false)

Note the two parameters, these are optional but they tell SharePoint:

  • Not to send search alerts during the reset
  • And not to ignore servers that have non-responsive search applications

If resetting the Content Index does not work, you can also do the following:

  • Clear the Configuration Cache (must be done on each server in the farm to avoid further conflicts)
  • Try to Pause/Resume the Search Service (Restarting the Query Component no longer seems to be an option in  SharePoint 2013)
  • If the Search Service Pauses but will not resume use the following PowerShell to force it
    • $ssa = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication
    • $ssa.ForceResume($ssa.IsPaused())
    • This step could take a while (I have seen it take a few hours)
    • Once the above finishes, Reset the Index via PowerShell as documented above in Step 4.
  • This step could take a while (depends on the size of the index).
  • If the Index does not finish resetting within 24hours, restart the SharePoint Server Search 15 service in the services.msc
  • Check your search application. All should be showing green now for the search topology and the search admin status should be running.
  • Begin Re-crawling content sources in the order of importance

Follow Us

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *