FAST Search Error – Unable to resolve Contentdistributor

We’ve recently upgraded a server farm from SharePoint 2010 Server Search to SharePoint 2010 FAST Search and ran into a couple of issues with getting the content sources crawled correctly.

Scenario: We have a 2 server farm: a single application server, and a WFE. There is a separate SQL Server installation where we host our databases. FAST was installed on the application server, which it’s worth mentioning, was already running SharePoint 2010 Server Search successfully.

After going through the steps for installation, what we’ve got configured are two NEW service applications and one old one:

  1. FAST Search Connector
  2. FAST Query SSA
  3. Search Service Application 1 – to be deleted once FAST was configured correctly

FAST Search Connector is where we configure our content sources. In the case of the SharePoint content source that we had configured, a full crawl was generating several warnings and errors, but not a single success message. Something was not right.

Checking into the event logs, I found Event ID 2567.

Failed to connect to VCVANKMSSEARCH1.vci.local:13391 Failed to initialize session with document engine: Unable to resolve Contentdistributor

The issue for us was an error in the port listed for the Contentdistributor. Note: for those of you who did not install FAST personally, and need to know what settings were inputted during installation, you’ll find them in the root of the installation folder where FAST was installed.


Open the above file up, and locate the following configuration section:

FAST Search Content Search Service Application configuration
Content Distributors (for PowerShell SSA creation):   servername:13391
Content Distributors (for GUI SSA creation):          servername:13391
Default Content Collection Name:                      sp

Notice the port number. Now navigate to:


When viewing the contentdistributor.cfg file, I was able to see that the port number was different from what was specified during installation. It was in fact set to 13390. So by looking at this setting, we know that the FAST Search Connector is going to be configured incorrectly as well.

Open Central Administration, Manage service applications. Click on the FAST Search Connector and select Properties in the Ribbon. Scroll down to the Content Distributors section and change the port number from 13391 to 13390.

In our case, I deleted and recreated the content source, and now the success messages are pouring in and search results are coming back. As always, I would love to know why the port for the Content Distributors was configured differently from what was specified during installation, but unfortunately I do not have the answer to that. If anyone does, ping me and I’ll update this post.

It’s also worth noting that now that my search results are being returned, I am still seeing Event ID 2567 pop up in the logs, and am currently investigating this. Also on my radar are several Timer errors: Event ID 6398 – Failed to communicate with the WCF service.

5 Responses to “FAST Search Error – Unable to resolve Contentdistributor”

  1. Bas Lijten August 3, 2011 at 1:52 am #


    that message will probably appear due to the fact your admin service is not configured properly. Try to do the following:

    * check if you manage your managed metadata properties by: managing your Fast Query App, select Fast Search Administration and select managed properties. An error can/should appear.
    * Open up your a site collection that has a Fast Search center included, navigate to the site settings and open one of the Fast search settings pages. An error could appear.
    * Open up the Fast powershell admin console. Get-FastSearchContentCollection should return results, Get-FastSearchSearchsettingsgroup can return an error, about the keywords administration service.

    This indicates that one of your accounts: the account that is running the Fast Admin Service, the Fast Admin account or the account that is used to authenticate against the Fast Admin service from within SharePoint, doesn’t have the right privileges. I will be releasing a blogpost around this specific issue shortly

  2. shereen August 10, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Thanks Bas! I’ll log in shortly and check this out. Would be interested in reading your blog post on this. I’ve got another article coming on contextual search not working and what needs to be in place for that to work correctly.

  3. kipper June 8, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    thanks for posting! I had the exact same issue.


  1. Things To Know When Configuring FAST Search | SharePoint Fun - August 29, 2011

    […] My Content Distributor port as recorded in the Install_Info.txt was not accurate. Read more here: […]

  2. Connection To Content Distributor Could Not Be Validated | SharePoint Fun - November 18, 2011

    […] read my previous posts on FAST Search in SharePoint 2010, you’ll be familiar with my article where I describe the issues I had with the Content Distributor ports for […]

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