When attempting to configure SharePoint Server 2007 Search, the SSP configuration completes, but search settings may be inaccessible. In the event log you notice several entries in the Application Log with EventID 6482 and some error text related to the following:
Application Server Administration job failed for service instance Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Administration.SearchServiceInstance (cfd0d527-b277-4bef-8a5f-157f9ebf3dc2).
Reason: Access is denied. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED))
Additionally, there may be some other 6482 entries in the event log that indicate that several registry keys and database connection string(s) cannot be found.
The reason may be due to a GPO application to the server that prevents the Search Content Access account from accessing reg.exe. When the search service attempts to run it looks at the registry for a Search key and several sub keys and values. These values are populated by copying information from the ConfigDB into the registry. If these settings cannot be copied, error 6482 is logged, beginning with the Access is Denied reason. The best path is to exclude the server from group policy or to adjust the GPO to ensure that rege.exe can be written to. Additionally, use process monitor (a Sysinternals tool) to determine what account is trying to access the registry and getting denied.