Search Server Story Sequel

In a recent post I detailed how on SBS 7 I needed to know the SharePoint farm passphrase to allow the completion of the SharePoint Configuration Wizard that the following dialog warns you about just prior to uninstalling Search Server Express:




A few people let me know that there is in fact a way to set the password using PowerShell. One such example is:


which says all you need to do at the powershell script console is run:


$passphrase = ConvertTo-SecureString -asPlainText -Force
Set-SPPassPhrase -PassPhrase $passphrase –Confirm


Yep, great but in this case, after Search Server Express has been removed you get:




Thus, the ability to set the SharePoint passphrase only works if SharePoint is properly configured, which after the removal of Search Server Express it isn’t!


So the advice seems to be, at least with what I’ve seen on SBS 7, is that once you have SBS 7 all running go in and use the above powershell script and set the SharePoint passphrase to something you know to avoid the situation I detailed in the previous blog where you need configure SharePoint Foundation 2010. Because unless you know the passphrase you won’t be able to re-configure the farm, all you can do is rebuild it and migrate the data and that is messy by any standards.


I have successfully confirmed that by setting the SharePoint passphrase prior to removing Search Server Express and running the SharePoint Configuration Wizard does allow you to complete the wizard and get companyweb back. You still need to do a little more configuration on SharePoint Search after that, but in my testing you can get SharePoint fully operational again, that is PROVIDED you know the passphrase ahead of time!

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