Ok, had a right old hassle here, another blog will follow detailing how to resolve the dreaded ‘cannot access sts3’ etc.

Anyway, to business. What now follows is a step by step account of how to resolve getting a 403 Forbidden. I’ve tried this against various farms and it seems to work fine for me!

1. stsadm -o osearch -action stop –f
2. stsadm -o osearch -action start -role indexquery
3. stsadm -o execadmsvcjobs

So now I tried to access the search site and it told me that I had to assign an index server, of which I did, then I again from the index server had to run stsadm -o execadmsvcjobs.

At this point, I had to provide access to c:\windows\tasks, from the command line, on our index server for the local group WSS_WPG as follows
1. By running attrib c:\windows\tasks -s on the index server so as to be able to change the tasks system folder attributes.
2. Then I added the local group WSS_WPG with read and write access
3. And now take back the attributes of the tasks system folder to the way they were by running attrib c:\windows\tasks +s

Now to reset the SSP prior to running a full crawl on the index server
1: Set the Indexer in for the SSP to the servername of the sharepoint box
2: Go back into Search Settings on the SSP
3: Reset all Crawled Content
4: Go back into Content Sources
5: Start Full Crawls on Content Sources