Last week I was working on a customer’s Dev system and when we tried to set up search we received the error:

“The search service is not able to connect to the machine that hosts the administration component”

Interesting. And annoying. I tried removing and recreating the search application service – and we got the same error. Weirdly, it had been working previously.

This seems to be a fairly common error message, but the solution I found was contained in Dave McMahon’s blog – the .NET 4.0 Client Profile and Extended Profile components. We’d just done an installation of Visual Studio on box, and a full set of Windows Updates, so that might have been what caused these to be installed. When I uninstalled them, rebooted the server, and recreated the search service application, it all worked. Weird.

But in future, I’ll try to follow Dave’s advice:

make sure that IIS 7.5 Express, .NET 4.0 Client Profile and Extended Profile are NOT present on your SharePoint Server when you install

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