I recently tried to configure an Enterprise Search Centre on a SharePoint 2010 server environment. I selected the template, named it and clicked create. The following error popped out:
This was most troublesome and I needed to fix the error right away. As a rule of thumb, with “Unexpected errors” always go to the ULS logs first!
I use the “ULS Viewer” tool which is a free download. It presents real-time feeds and a much friendlier interface.
To use the tool, download it from Codeplex: http://ulsviewer.codeplex.com/releases/view/19835
Copy the file to the Logs folder in the 14 hive. To get there, navigate to:
C:\Program Files\Common files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\LOGS
Open the application and open the ULS logs in real-time. Replicate the error by re-creating the search centre until the error occurs. As soon as the error occurs, you will find it in the log.
As you can see on the log screen, the error is referring to the publishing feature. The issue is that the Search Center is dependent on the Publishing feature. After enabling the feature, I was able to create a Search Center.
This is also the best way to start the troubleshooting process with weird SharePoint errors. The ULS logs are there for troubleshooting purposes. Use them!