Unexpected error when clicking on FAST Search keywords link


You find that there are 3 non-working links in the Site Collection Administration for a SharePoint web application - "FAST Search keywords", "FAST Search site promotion and demotion" and "FAST Search user context". If any of the links are clicked, the following error is generated: 

"Unexpected error occurred while communicating with Administration Service"


There are two possible causes, depending on whether or not FAST Search is in use. If you are not using FAST Search, this links may erroneously appear when using a non-Publishing site template in an enterprise farm. If the FAST Search Query SSA is in use, and associated with the SharePoint web application in question as the default SSA, then this may occur if the web app pool user is not authorized by the FAST Search administration server.

The default search provider can be verified in SharePoint Central Administration, under "Configure Service Application Associations".


If FAST Search is being used, the Query SSA should be set as the default search provider for the web app, and the app pool user of that web app should be added to the FASTSearchKeywordAdministrators local group on the FAST Search administration server.

If FAST Search is not being used, the links feature has to be disabled manually after farm provisioning. You can remove existing FAST Search links from site collections and prevent the creation of these links for new site collections with PowerShell:

Get-SPWebApplication -IncludeCentralAdministration | % {$_.Sites} | % {$_.Url; Disable-SPFeature 5eac763d-fbf5-4d6f-a76b-eded7dd7b0a5 -url $_.Url -Confirm:$false} 
Uninstall-SPFeature 5EAC763D-FBF5-4d6f-A76B-EDED7DD7B0A5 

Note: This process has to be repeated after each hotfix installation and configuration wizard run (psconfig.exe, psconfigui.exe).

More Information

The links are statically stapled to site templates, and do not depend on the presence or absence of the FAST Search Query SSA.

If the FAST Search links disappear entirely from the site administration section, please see this article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2521577

Article ID: 2622578 - Last Review: Feb 8, 2012 - Revision: 1