SharePoint hotfix 939077 partially breaks Advanced Search

Microsoft released a hotfix package for SharePoint Server 2007 and for SharePoint Server 2007 for Search. This hotfix package fixes an issue where sites that use forms-based or cookie-based authentication are not being crawled in SharePoint. It also fixes an issue where slow performance of the BLOB cache is experienced. The latter is the reason why we installed this hotfix on the production environment of a client I’m currently working at.

The hotfix addresses the issues just fine. However, on our environment it appears to be introducing a new issue: It breaks the out of the box SharePoint Advanced Search Box web part with the following dreaded error: “Object reference not set to an instance of an object.” 

This is all the information you’re getting, no stack trace, nothing in the logs. This pretty much left me clueless. At first I thought I screwed something up with my own search settings. That feeling got stronger after I created a default Search Center site: the Advanced Search web part was still working there.

After some puzzling I concluded that it had to be a difference in the web part properties, since it appeared to be working on the default Search Center site. So I exported both web parts, and examined the differences…and indeed, the only differences where property settings.

Right, back to my non-working version of the web part. In my version I was hiding the Properties section which is visible in the default web part. After making it visible on my web part again, it worked! So much for testing your hotfixes before rolling them out…

The problem is definitely the hotfix. I also installed it on my development environment and it broke the Advanced Search web part as well…

The hotfix cannot be uninstalled, so now we’re pretty much waiting for the hotfix-hotfix from Microsoft. For now, I guess I’ll just have to remove the Advanced Search web part from the search results page.

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3 thoughts on “SharePoint hotfix 939077 partially breaks Advanced Search

  1. I am having the same issue on my production site i.e. if I change properties in advanced search box, it broke. Please share, if you were able to find any resolution for this? Thanks in advance.

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