One of these servers is not like the others …

The Sitch:

One of the servers in my test farm suddenly stopped serving search results and displayed the message

‘Your licence for Office Server Search has expired’




What’s going on under the hood:

Not sure, but it seems like it might be to do with a bug in SP2 that sets the licences expiry date incorrectly. I can only assume that this bug somehow was applied to the patching of our second server but not the the first ?? Doesn’t feel quite right to me, but the issue is resolved.


1. Checked the administration site for conversion licence (URL -> http://<your server>:10000/_admin/Conversion.aspx

  • This implied that we were using a trial licence (which was weird since all our other environments were using a standard licence CAL). 
  • Looked up our licence key and reapplied it. 
  • Licence type converted from Trial Licence to Standard Client Access Licence (text on the administration page). 
  • This didn’t immediately resolve the issue (no search results and same ol’ error message. 
  • Restarted IIS on the server that reported the expired licence issue. 
  • That seemed to do the trick.


Search is working again on both servers as expected.


Research links: Tanzil Malek suggested checking the
licence status in Central Administration. – mentioned the ‘Licence Synchronizer Job’ which might be important. – Microsoft Hotfix that indicates the issue maybe something to do with a bug in the SP2 installation.


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