Errors upgrading SharePoint 2003 to MOSS 2007

I recently took a backup of a production SharePoint 2003 server and restored it to another test SPS 2003 server running in Virtual Server, with a goal of doing an in-place upgrade to MOSS 2007.  After successfully installing MOSS and choosing the in-place upgrade method, I twice experienced the same upgrade failure before finally succeeding..  It’s a good thing I have Undo disks enabled, because it was easy to revert back and try again.  Anyway, this is the error the Configuration Wizard displayed:

Configuration of SharePoint Products and Technologies failed.  Configuration must be performed in order for this product to operate properly.  To diagnose the problem, review the extended error information located at C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWeb Server Extensions12LOGSPSCDiagnostics_2_12_2008_16_24_55_502_849382602.log, fix the problem, and run this configuration wizard again.

 Here are the relevant sections from the aforementioned log file:

Task upgradebootstrap has failed with an unknown exception

Exception: Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPUpgradeException: Action of Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Upgrade.SearchServiceInstanceSequence failed. —> System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Task upgradebootstrap has stopped and failed.  Total failed is now 1

Task initiate the upgrade sequence failed, so stopping execution of the engine

Failed to initiate the upgrade sequence.

One or more configuration tasks has failed or some tasks were not run

One or more configuration tasks has failed to execute


And more relevant info from the Upgrade.log file:


[SearchServiceInstanceSequence] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:30:59 PM]: Microsoft.Office.Server.Search, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c

[SearchServiceInstanceSequence] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:30:59 PM]: Adding upgrade action [Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Upgrade.ProvisionSearchServiceInstance].

[SPManager] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:30:59 PM]: [SPServer Name=SPS2003TEST Parent=SPFarm Name=SPS02_Config_db] Running 1 of 1 steps

[ProvisionSearchServiceInstance] [] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:30:59 PM]: Begin Initialize()

[ProvisionSearchServiceInstance] [] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:30:59 PM]: End Initialize()

[ProvisionSearchServiceInstance] [] [INFO] [2/12/2008 4:30:59 PM]: Provision the OSS 12 SearchServiceInstance object.

[ProvisionSearchServiceInstance] [] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:30:59 PM]: Begin Upgrade()

[ProvisionSearchServiceInstance] [] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:30:59 PM]: The Search Service account is set to a built-in account. Configuring the Search Service to run as the farm admin account (otherwise, the service will break in the farm).

[ProvisionSearchServiceInstance] [] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:30:59 PM]: Provision the SearchServiceInstance.

[ProvisionSearchServiceInstance] [] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:31:04 PM]: SearchServiceInstance is the indexer, so gather v2 config

[Utility] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:31:04 PM]: Begin disable v2 crawls

[Utility] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:31:04 PM]: Finished disable v2 crawls

[Utility] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:31:04 PM]: Setting Default Catalog Location  on SearchServiceInstance C:Program FilesMicrosoft Office Servers12.0DataOffice ServerApplications

[Utility] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:31:04 PM]: proxy name ” port ‘0’

[Utility] [WARNING] [2/12/2008 4:31:04 PM]: Skipping proxy name because it is null or empty

[Utility] [WARNING] [2/12/2008 4:31:04 PM]: Did not find the portal content portal host string – this is an invalid scenario

[Utility] [WARNING] [2/12/2008 4:31:04 PM]: Did not find the portal content oob start address – this is an invalid scenario

[Utility] [WARNING] [2/12/2008 4:31:04 PM]: Did not find the portal content oob sps start address – this is an invalid scenario

[Utility] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:31:04 PM]: GetCatalog data for Non_Portal_Content

[Utility] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:31:04 PM]: Found duplicate Non_Portal_Content for CatalogNames in key

[Utility] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:31:04 PM]: GathererKey is null for SOFTWAREMicrosoftSPSSearchGatherdca93d21-4ff7-42d2-ae07-7201170894e4Non_Portal_Content

[Utility] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:31:04 PM]: GetCatalog data for Portal_Content

[Utility] [DEBUG] [2/12/2008 4:31:04 PM]: Found duplicate Portal_Content for CatalogNames in key

[SearchServiceInstanceSequence] [ERROR] [2/12/2008 4:31:04 PM]: Action of Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Upgrade.SearchServiceInstanceSequence failed.

[SearchServiceInstanceSequence] [ERROR] [2/12/2008 4:31:04 PM]: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

[SearchServiceInstanceSequence] [ERROR] [2/12/2008 4:31:04 PM]:    at Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Upgrade.SearchConfigurationRetriever.AddFileExtensions(String strCatalog, Hashtable portalBag, RegistryKey regGatherCatalogKey)

at Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Upgrade.SearchConfigurationRetriever.GetGatherCatalogData(String portalGuid, String strCatalog, Hashtable portalBag)

at Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Upgrade.SearchConfigurationRetriever.GatherData()

at Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Upgrade.ProvisionSearchServiceInstance.Upgrade()

at Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPActionSequence.Upgrade()


The section relating to the Search Service account is what I zeroed in on, but it WAS using a domain account.  That is, I assume the error refers to the “Microsoft SharePointPS Search” service, not the “Microsoft Search” service.  I gave the latter a domain account anyway.  I also noticed that several of the SharePoint related services had as the account name, not domainsharepoint as you’d expect (“sharepoint” being the name of the domain account).  So I replaced those with domainsharepoint  and redid the passwords as well just to make sure. This server was originally bound to another domain, and I went through the pain of changing all the accounts for services and application pools – successfully I might add (joining a SharePoint server to a new domain is NEVER easy).  I guess the name resolution from choosing that account in the AD picker used the e-mail instead of the display name, but I’m not sure if that’s bad or good.


What I eventually realized is that I should probably make sure search is working before I do an upgrade, as any search problems could affect a migration (especially since this upgrade was failing to upgrade the Search Service).  Search WAS NOT setup properly, and after redoing the search settings, I also noticed that on the Manage Search Settings page, the configuration database administration account was using an account from the previous domain .

So anyway, I got search working and the upgrade to succeed.  What I’m not sure is exactly what fixed it.  It’s either:

  • removing that bad domain account being used for the configuration database administration account
  • setting the Microsoft Search service account to a domain account
  • or just making sure that a full portal crawl can be made successfully

I had only found one other person with a similar problem, so hopefully if you do encounter this issue these steps will help you upgrade to MOSS successfully.

Eric Legault

Full-stack product builder & consultant for Microsoft 365 & Graph. Microsoft MVP 2003 - 2019. Outlook add-in guru. Rocker. Video/audio engineer. Collects Thors.

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