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.

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Take care when indexing external content

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