Security Patch 956716 -- SSP broken and Search scope missing
I have come across an issue issue this week, where if you have has installed the Security Patch 956716 along with windows update.
You will find that the search setting’s page of the SSP gives "unknown error" and the search scope for the SharePoint sites goes missing.
All you need is to do is to run the SharePoint Products and Technologies configuration wizard on the Central Admin server and ensure that it is successfully completed.
Hurray the issue is resolved.