Discovery search on our Exchange 2010 SP3 environment seem to have stopped working. Any query (Even searching one mailbox for one sender over a very short period of time) results in Exchange throwing an error : "An error occurred when searching [XXXXXX]. The message is 'Try using fewer keywords at the same time, reducing the number of users in the From, To, Cc, and Bcc fields, and reducing the number of mailboxes that are searched at the same time. When you use wildcards, make search queries as specific as possible. For example, if the search query used short words with one or more wildcards (for example, pat*), a large number of words or phrases may be returned because all words that start with "pat" are searched. Search failed on mailbox [XXXX\XXXXXX\GUID]'.

This used to work, but hasn't been used in 6 months.

I have tried a full text Index Catalog rebuild as suggested by other solutions, but to no avail. Since our server is at SP3 level, the other recommended solution (SP2 Rollup update) does not apply either.

Have anyone encountered this issue before ?

  • 1
    Yes, but rebuilding the index catalog and restarting the search service (net stop MSExchangeFastSearch && net start MSExchangeFastSearch) on all mailbox servers did the trick. Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 20:00
  • See, I've run the ResetSearchIndex.ps1 script included in the Exchange install to no avail, but I will try the manual method next. Hopefully that helps, thanks!
    – Anth0
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 20:04
  • This article describes it manually (both for DAG and single-instance DBs)technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee633475(v=exchg.150).aspx Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 20:46
  • I've followed the manual procedure and restarted the server (once index rebuild was over (EventID 110 for reference)). Discovery search is now working normally. Thanks for the help !
    – Anth0
    Commented Jan 17, 2015 at 21:45
  • @ImmoralFlame When you can, please self-answer and accept to help future visitors with this problem. Commented Jan 18, 2015 at 1:13

1 Answer 1


Following the procedure detailed by Mahias R. Jessen, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee633475(v=exchg.150).aspx , I manually regenerated the Full Text catalog index, which was causing the "Try using fewer keyword" error on Discovery Search (Exchange 2010 SP3).

In our case, since the server was not part of a DAG, the procedure was:

  • Stop those two services:

Stop-Service MSExchangeFastSearch

Stop-Service HostControllerService

  • Delete, move, or rename the folder that contains the Exchange content index catalog. This folder is named %ExchangeInstallPath\Mailbox\_Catalog\12.1.Single. For example, you might rename the folder C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\Mailbox\Mailbox Database 0657134726_Catalog\F0627A72-9F1D-494A-839A-D7C915C279DB12.1.Single_OLD.

  • Restart the two services

  • Wait for the server to complete the rebuild, you can monitor the event logs for event 109 (rebuild start) and 110 (rebuild complete), there will be one pair of event per database affected.

  • Restart the Exchange server (do not skip this step, in my case, Discovery Search was still broken until the restart)

Thanks Mathias for the help !

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