Tuesday, March 4, 2014

OWA Search - The action couldn't be completed. Please try again.

I came across a weird problem today when searching for emails in Outlook Web App, the following error was returned:

The action couldn't be completed.  Please try again.

In the server event logs, the MSExchangeIS Mailbox Store service generated Event ID 9842

Log Name:      Application
Source:        MSExchangeIS Mailbox Store
Date:          4/03/2014 6:14:39 PM
Event ID:      9842
Task Category: Content Indexing
Level:         Error
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Computer:      Server01.at.local
Function CISearch::EcGetRowsetAndAccessor detected that content indexing was disabled for database 'Mailbox Database 0742665828' because of error '0x80041820' from MSSearch.

I looked into this issue online, and saw two blog posts which both indicate to run setup /PrepareAD again on the Exchange server:
I do not understand what the point of this.  Once an Active Directory class object or attribute has been created, it is impossible to delete it.  As of 2003 Forest Functional Level (FFL), Microsoft put the ability in place to disable attributes/class objects.  However you cannot delete objects.  As setup /PrepareAD is run when installing Exchange or applying a service pack, it never needs to be run again.

In my environment I restarted the following services in this order:
  1. Microsoft Exchange Search Indexer
  2. Microsoft Search (Exchange)
  3. Microsoft Exchange Information Store
After restarting the services in this order, testing Outlook Web App I was able to search for content again.  No need to run the setup /PrepareAD command!


  1. So cool!! Worked perfectly - SBS 2011/Exchange 2010 SP3

    Thank you...

  2. Thank you for the tip!

    Good thing I had a look at your post before I did that PrepAD thing...

  3. Thanks that worked perfectly!

  4. Well, you said it yourself: "Once an Active Directory class object or attribute has been created"... Apparently there was a problem with SP1, in which those objects were NOT created properly.
    Subsequent installation of SP2 and/or SP3 did not fix this in the regular install. Re-running the setup for any SP (either 1, 2, or 3, whichever is the latest installed on the server) with the /prepareAD and /prepareSchema switches makes sure that ALL the AD additions/changes are performed again (not just the ones for the latest SP, but all of them including those for earlier SPs), so that the entire AD is made to correspond to what's needed for Exchange 2010 SPx.
    I've had one customer in which your solution did not fix anything, however, running the setup with the switches did.

  5. Perfect. Restarting the services did the trick

  6. lovely piece!!! worked like juju.... Thanks a tonne

  7. I;m not sure where to access any of this stuff. Do you have to be an administrator. I can't get any work done

    1. If you don't know where, then you shouldn't be the one doing it. But yes, you need to be the administrator, at a domain level.

  8. Thanks for this, worked a treat :)

  9. It worked just fine for me. Only when restarting '2 Microsoft Search (Exchange)' the service '1.Microsoft Exchange Search Indexer' was also restarted. But it did the trick.
    Thank you! RJ

  10. BINGO. You rock! :)

  11. Cool, worked for me as well (Exchange 2013): first restart MS Exchange Search, then MS Exchange Information Store