It’s generally pretty easy to create a Search Center or FAST Search Center site. However, on a new installation, there are a few features you need to activate (especially if you are using blank site) that are easy to forget. I’ve talked about not being able to find the Enterprise Search Center site template before. That is caused by not having the SharePoint Enterprise Site Collection feature activated. Another error you might encounter is the following.
An unexpected error has occurred.
This occurs when you have not activated the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure site collection feature and you try to create an Enterprise Search Center or FAST Search Center. I’ve seen inconsistent results here though. Sometimes, you will actually get a useful error message like the one below.
This tells you what you’re clearly supposed to do. I really haven’t determined why you get one error message over the other, but if you get an error creating your Search Center, you know the first thing to check. This post from the SDK also reminds you of which features to turn on. As I said before it’s easy to forget to turn on these features, so I hope this helps if you run into this error.