Scaling SharePoint 2013 Search databases

A few months ago, I had the need to scale out a SharePoint 2013 Search topology.  TechNet has a very detailed collection of articles regarding search architecture, scaling, etc., which I recommend reviewing as the first step in the process of any search architecture changes.  The scaling “landing page” can be found here:  https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn727115.aspx. As…

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Notes from the Field: Upgrading SharePoint

Over the years, much has been written about upgrading SharePoint.  TechNet has some very good resources (links below) that provide process overviews, checklists, etc.  I encourage you to review this content prior to beginning an upgrade of SharePoint.  So what is the real point of this post?  While the referenced material and many other resources…

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One-time Timer Jobs fail to start

I recently ran into an issue with a SharePoint 2013 farm in which one-time timer jobs were failing to run.  This was impacting the ability to deploy solutions, run Merge-SPLogFile, etc.  When running Merge-SPLogFile from an app server, it kept failing on the web front ends (WFEs) with a message of “WARNING:  Unable to start job…

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Unable to start SharePoint Search Host Controller

I recently encountered an issue with the SharePoint Search Host Controller service being unable to start in a customer’s SharePoint 2013 farm, so am posting this blog to hopefully save you some troubleshooting headache.  The following issue is most likely to occur in a “least privilege” configuration, especially one in which the server permissions get…

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Updating the User Information List

SharePoint site collections contain a hidden list called the User Information List (UIL).  This list contains one entry for every user who has accessed the site collection or been given explicit rights within the site collection.  The list holds basic profile information.  In a farm that is not using a User Profile Application (UPA), most…

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Adventures in SharePoint 2010 Workflow Troubleshooting

I recently had a customer who was encountering issues with the SharePoint 2010 Workflow timer job.  The issue would cause the Workflow timer job to hang.  Other timer jobs would execute successfully, but the Workflow timer job would remain in either a “running” or a “pausing” state.  Recycling the timer service would temporarily resolve the…

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Removing a user’s site collection administrator privileges and security group memberships

A peer of mine, Jonathan Dimino, recently wrote a post on his TechNet blog to provide a PowerShell script for changing the Primary and Secondary site collection administrators assigned to a site collection.  Along with replacing the Primary/Secondary site collection administrators, it is sometimes necessary to remove a user from all site collection administrator privileges and…

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The Undocumented "Feature" of Mount-SPContentDatabase

Today we are going to look at an undocumented (as of 8/6/14) functionality related to the Mount-SPContentDatabase PowerShell command for SharePoint 2010/2013.  If you are unfamiliar with this command, I suggest reviewing the TechNet documentation, which can be found here.  I was doing some migration testing for a customer recently and had to mount some…

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