FullText Search fails to start on Windows 2008 Cluster

Published 07 January 2009 09:36
I’d recently built a two-node failover cluster for a customer using Windows Server 2008 and it’s working really well.  The customer wanted to extend the cluster by adding a third node and I came across a problem with the Full Text Search service following the SQL Server installation.


The new node was introduced to the failover cluster – no problem.  I’d re-run SQL Server setup.exe on the new node for each of the three instances, then run Service Pack 2, plus CU7 to synchronise the SQL binaries on the new node with the existing nodes.  I’d adjusted the Possible Owners and Preferred Owners to reflect the intended failover actions.  Next I wanted to test failover of each instance to the new node to validate SQL Server started and there were no problems. 


Everything worked fine, except FullText Search – which wouldn’t start, the following appears in the Application Log:


The SQL Server FullText Search (SQLInst2) service depends the following service: NTLMSSP. This service might not be installed.


There is a mention of this problem in the following KB article, although the resolution is to install SP2 for SQL 2005 – which had already succeeded. 


List of known issues when you install SQL Server 2005 on Windows Server 2008


After some further research and testing - I changed the following registry key:




The DependOnService showed two values RPCSS, NTMLSSP on the new node, but the same key only showed RPCSS on the existing 2 nodes (where the instances failover without problem).  Removing NTLMLSSP from this registry key for all three FullText Search instances on the new node and restarting the server resolved the problem – and the instances now failover. 




Justin Langford


Coeo - SQL Server Consultants | SQL Server Remote DBA


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