So here’s a little-known issue with SharePoint and Full Text Search:
On Joel Oleson’s blog (if you don’t know who this guy is and you’re in SharePoint Operations, find out quickly. Aside from Bill English [the man, his blog], he’s the other Man in SharePoint Managment/Operations – both of these guys regularly present at TechEd conventions), I found a blog entry about how, if your Full Text Search (that’s the one that works in Windows SharePoint Services, and is provided through the back-end SQL Server) isn’t working, and you migrated the database from a different server, the reason would be, possibly/probably, that you migrated the database from a different server.
Yes, I mean either with SPSBackup.exe (which should be your friend by now if you’ve been doing a lot of this and you want to keep the SharePoint Portal Search Index between migrations) or normal SQL Backup/Restore and file operations.
So anyway, there are a couple of stored procedures in the blog you should use to restore your Full Text Search. As far as I can tell, these are either SQL standard stored procedures, or, more likely, SharePoint-installed stored procedures.
Also, rather like part of my previous blog entry, the fix is essentially “turn it off, turn it on”, with some curve-balls in there if things don’t go as expected. It turned out to be thorough enough for us, so maybe it’ll be thorough enough for you.
Since I had to puzzle the blog entry out a little bit, I’ll write what I understood of how to do this here.
- Mr. Oleson recommends restarting your SQL Services, but we didn’t find this completely necessary.
- Run the following stored procedure: exec proc_DisableFullTextSearch
- If you get an error about there not being a Full Text Catalog, then run the following in SQL Query Analyzer and start Step 2 again:
Where [databasename] is the name of the _SITE database you’re having the issue with. [But don’t actually type the  brackets in there or your geek compatriots will laugh at you.]
- Run the following stored procedure: exec proc_EnableFullTextSearch
So that should be it. The procedure, as I said, is mostly just turn off, turn on again.