Sunday, January 13, 2013

Searching in Exchange Server 2010 OWA returns: “The action couldn’t be completed. Please try again.”


You attempt to search the inbox of a mailbox on Exchange Server 2010 with SP2 Outlook Web App (OWA) but receive the following message:

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


Logging onto the Exchange server and reviewing the Task Manager shows that the Microsoft.Exchange.Search.ExSearch.exe process is consuming high amounts of the CPU:


Reviewing the Application logs show the following event ID 9842 logged:


Function CISearch::EcGetRowsetAndAccessor detected that content indexing was disabled for database ‘MailboxStoreName’ because of error '0x80041820' from MSSearch.


You’ve tried executing the Repair-ExchangeSearchSymlinks.ps1 script from and then running Test-ExchangeSearch but still receive errors:


You’ve also tried using the ResetSearchIndex.ps1 ( script but still receive errors:




After trying the common solutions suggested by forum posts without any luck, what ended up fixing this issue for me was rerunning the prepareAD and prepareSchema from the Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 2 setup.exe:

setup /preparead


setup /prepareSchema


Then restarting the Microsoft Exchange Search Indexer service:


… and the Microsoft Exchange Information Store:



Email archiving solution said...

Thanks for explanation, solution is not so hard at all! When there is someone who will explain it :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome! worked like a charm!

Unknown said...

Anybody knows the reason? I get it repaired, but fails again after a while (usually an update, a reboot...). Happened to me with Exchange 2010 SP1, SP2 AND SP3! (in SBS2011)

Unknown said...

This ideas and information do helps me a lot..

Exchange email retention

Anonymous said...

I'd been battling with this for a while and your fix did the trick on 2010 SP3 thanks.

Anonymous said...

Will this work if I'm running SBS2011?

Unknown said...

Pretty interesting post! Thanks it was interesting. FSD

Anonymous said...

I just ran it on SBS 2011 with SP3 and all the roll ups. Worked for me. Thanks...

Anonymous said...

I have SP3 as well and this was the only fix that worked for me. It appears the symlinks have to be downloaded but I didnt try that. Just prepareAD and Schema. THANKS!

fsdfsdf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thomas said...

I have had this issue since applying Exchange 2010 SP3. I really hope this can fix my issue.

Gert van de Peppel said...

Works with Exchange 2010 SP3 as well!
Great solution, thanks.

maria said...

Can you tell me what are the implication of running again setup /prepareschema and setup /preparead. Tnx.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you have your db in a nas or in storage low quality. Disk spsce, ram, neteork problem

Anonymous said...

Because ad and exchange are stricly correlated. Sometimes exchange not read correctly ad and viceversa. Ad preparare ad schema preparare adjust the correct data inside ad and exchange.

David said...

Thank you very much. It works!

Nik said...

Worked like a charm with SP3. Thanks a lot!

Bryan said...

Thank you, worked like a charm!

Anonymous said...

Did a stop start of the service on exchange information store and exchange search indexer and it worked.

Thanks and keep it up.

Anonymous said...

doesn't work... got "Content Indexing function 'CISearch::EcGetRowsetAndAccessor' received an unusual and unexpected error code from MSSearch.

Mats said...

great article, however I can't run the setup /preparead or setup /prepareschema without getting the following error:
Organization Checks FAILED
Setup encountered a problem while validating the state of Active Directory:
The Active Directory schema version (14734) is higher than Setup's version (147
32). Therefore, PrepareSchema can't be executed.

Anonymous said...

I do not have the c:\exchange server 2010 sp2 folder.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! problem solved with setup /preparead and schema. Event Viewer

6 of 7 said...

WOW. THANK YOU. This is awesome. I have Exchange 2010 SP3. I have the install files in a folder on the server, so this was an easy, quick fix.

Anders said...

Thanks! Microsoft has left some room for improvement here. :-D

Anonymous said...

Worked for me as well, thanks! If you're on Exchange 2010 Sp3, be sure to run /prepareAD and /prepareSchema from the SP3 setup files (not Sp2, which will throw the schema version error).

Anonymous said...

Exchange 2010 SP3

run /prepareAD
and /prepareSchema

stop MS EXC Information STORE
stop MS EXC Search Indexer

start MS EXC Information STORE
MS EXC Search Indexer


Thank You

Shaner (from Barrie)

Unknown said...

This Microsoft article, "After Installing Exchange 2010 Service Pack 1, Searching via OWA or Outlook Online Mode Fails" didn't work (

But thank you Terence for your easy to follow and perfectly functional contribution to resolving my issue!

CodeTron said...


Is it ok to run the commands on a working Exchange 2010 SP3 RU11 server?
Does it delete the rollups? and It is obvious that I need to run the commands from the SP3 directory, correct?

Thank you

CodeTron said...

I just reset the search databases and all working fine

Resetsearchindex.ps1 -force -all


Tobias said...

Thank you so much! I've had the Problems with SP3 RU12. setup /prepareSchema runs into an error, but today the search works just fine.

Ruby said...

Thank you. THis fixed my issue and i had tried everything.

Unknown said...

This worked for me as well, thanks! I was ready to call M$ for this issue and tried your steps as a last resort before making the call.

Paul Shell said...

Yes the SP3 commands work, already tried the 2 scripts. Works on EX2010 with SBS 2011. Cheers

Anonymous said...

Hi Terence,

I came across your post seaching for a solution and your stuff just worked.

Many thanks,


Anonymous said...

This worked for me. Exchange 2010 SP3. It was driving me crazy. THANKS!!
Chris E.

chaozz said...

This work perfectly for us. I downloaded Exchange 2010 SP3, extracted the EXE and ran the two setup commands. After restarting the two services the search was working again. Thank you!