If you are receiving this error:
The Web application at <URL> could not be found. Verify that you have typed the URL correctly. If the URL should be serving existing content, the system administrator may need to add a new request URL mapping to the intended application.
Take a look in Central Administration > Operations > Alternate Access Mappings.
If there is no DNS entry for the server, replace the server name with the IP address. This will get your search capabilities working in most cases.
Here is a little background in my case that might help you. I setup a TFS server and wanted to configure the underlying WSS (Windows SharePoint Services).
Hope this helps!