Common causes of 32 bit Index failures when using Enterprise Vault

Problem

Enterprise Vault (EV) uses Alta Vista indexing technology for 32 bit indexes which allows users to search archived data. All indexed data created before EV 10 was created in these 32 bit indexes. All data indexed in EV 10 and above is automatically indexed into 64 bit indexes, which uses a different indexing technology. 64 bit indexes use the Vivisimo Velocity indexing engine and not AltaVista. Therefore, this article is relevant to the 32 bit Alta Vista Indexes only.

In certain circumstances, an index may be marked as failed. This typically means the index cannot be searched and errors will be reported in the event log when EV attempts to open the index for searching or updating.
 

Error Message

The following are examples of events that could be reported in the EV Event Log:

Event ID 7247
Could not get the IndexServer sequence number: 
The Alta Vista index is not open [0xc0041c64] 
Internal reference: GetSequenceNumber 
 
V-437-7247
 
Event ID 7235
A low level indexing operation has failed 
Error: an internal error [AV:57] 

V-437-7235

 
Event 7264
Abnormal error occurred 
Error: A low level indexing operation has failed
Reference: CAVUpdator/OAVI/o(h) 

V-437-7264

Solution

Common index issues:

1. Corruption of dataset file

Within each index there is a file called dataset (it has no file extension). The dataset contains configuration information about the index and so it is the most critical file within the index. If it becomes corrupt then the index cannot be opened.  Sometimes the dataset file becomes blank and if opened may contain just one line of text rather than all the configuration data it should (perhaps 30 lines or more). The most common cause of this corruption is if the EV server has the /3gb switch set in the boot.ini file. It is strongly recommended that the /3gb switch is never set on EV servers. If the /3gb switch is set, then that setting should be removed from the EV servers.


2. One of the files within the index has been deleted

Each Alta Vista index contains many files. If one of these files gets deleted, the index is marked as failed. Within each index is a file called avtrace.log and if Alta Vista has problems opening an index, errors are written to this avtrace.log file. To check for this particular issue, open the avtrace.log file and see if it reports file or directory not found type errors.
The most common reason for this is if Anti Virus software is configured to scan the index locations.  Anti Virus software can sometimes falsely think an index contains a virus and so delete/quarantine the file. To avoid such issues in the future, do not have Anti Virus software scanning the locations where these indexes are stored.

3. Opportunistic Locking

Issues have been known to occur on NetApp and other storage devices where opportunistic locking was enabled.  Disabling opportunistic locking on the NetApp/other device will stop any further indexes from being marked as failed.
 
a. Disable "opportunistic locking" on the EV server by following this Microsoft Knowledge Base article  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/296264/en-us
b. Disable "opportunistic locking" on the NetApp device.

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