Take care when indexing external content

So, one of my colleagues set up Sharepoint to index some external blogs. Just as a bit of an experiment, and maybe a way of capturing people’s (possibly, though not normally) temporary blog postings.

Well, the server dutifully set off to index the Internet. Yeah, not a few blogs but the whole enchillada. Unsurprisingly, when I went to the machine, it was reporting ‘Low Disk Space’. A brief search showed up some ma-hooo-sive (i.e. large) index files.

“Right”, I thought as I looked at a report saying ‘0 bytes free’, “I’ll clear the indexes”

Wrong. I went to the search administration pages, and tried to reset the indexes. I got no response – no error, nothing. My browser just showed the ‘page loading’ bar. No page ever loaded.

So I set the blogs path to be excluded, and tried to run a full index – again, no result.

In the end, the only answer I found was (get this), deleting the index file by hand. Then you can do exciting things like, I dunno, reset the indexes or run a full reindex. It appears that having the disc full prevented Sharepoint from being able to do anything with the indexes. Which was fun, as they were filling the disc.

Take care when indexing external content

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