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Vista search loses files

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  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    Occasionally, I'll be looking for some file that I know exists, but Vista's indexed search refuses to find it. After locating the file by other means, I can even try to search for the exact filename and it still doesn't find it. On some occasions, I've even seen this happen with files that I knew were in the index before. For some reason, they appear to have been removed from the index.

    With e-mails in Outlook 2007, this happens even more often. If I can find an e-mail with search, great. If search can't find an e-mail, I've learned that this doesn't necessarily mean that the e-mail doesn't exist.

    So what's the official repair step for this? I recall Paolo once said that you're not supposed to rebuild the index, and I'd rather not since it'd take very long, but what else can I do? Is there a way to just force a rescan of indexed locations to look for missing items?

    More importantly, why does this happen in the first place, and how can I prevent it?

  • User profile image
    Lloyd_Humph

    I experience the same problem [bug?].

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  • User profile image
    axelriet

    Same here [bug!].

  • User profile image
    Surfer

    This may not be a popular suggestion but here goes.  I use Google Desktop search because of this same issues I was have with Outlook and Live Search.  It just works!
     

  • User profile image
    numedia

    Same problem here, too. Mainly in Outlook, loosing emails in there. I have had to rebuild my index 3 times within the last year. You would think with all the disk thrashing Vista does that it would be putting that to good use and actually maintaining something like the index. Very frustrating.

  • User profile image
    BHpaddock

    Difficult to say what the problem could be.  If it happens again, could you try moving the file to a different directory and then back again?  Then see if it gets indexed properly?

    Some normal reasons things won't get indexed:

    1)  Not in an indexed location
    2)  A filetype that is excluded from the index (see control panel)
    3)  A file marked "hidden" - or marked with the "don't index content" attribute.  Both of these are found in the file properties, or in the containing folder's properties.

    There are rare cases where an IFilter has a bug and will fail to index a specific file, but there aren't any known causes for "losing" files once they've been indexed.  Of course, the more detail you can find out about how the problem was reproduced, the better.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    I recorded a screencast that shows this problem.

    I noticed this file was missing a few days ago, which prompted me to make the original post. A few days later, the file is still not indexed, so it's not just a matter of waiting for the index to catch up. Besides, as I indicate in the screencast, the file was created in may, more than enough time for the indexer to recognize it.

    Why can't Vista's search find this file? What can I do to prevent this from happening?

    In any case, when the Vista SP1 beta starts, I will submit a bug report on this. Since the problem is so random, rather sporadic and I don't have any steps to reproduce it (it just happens) I fully expect this to be closed as not reproducible, but never shot is always a miss.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    I renamed the file shown in the video and it instantaniously shows up in the index. I rename it back to its original name and now all the search queries shown in the video work fine.

    This does not however answer the question of why the hell this happens in the first place, and that's the question I'd really like an answer to. Since this isn't the first time it's happened to me, and it's happened on multiple machines, and apparently other people have seen it too, I believe it should be worth looking in to by MS.

  • User profile image
    LaBomba

    Didn't Paulo work on WDS --- which is what is built in to Vista?

    Maybe he can shed some light on this? Or is he too busy trying to squirt his tunz from his Zune? Wink

  • User profile image
    DigitalDud

    Wow that's an embarassing bug.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    LaBomba wrote:
    Didn't Paulo work on WDS --- which is what is built in to Vista?

    Yeah, I know he doesn't work on WDS anymore, but I was rather hoping he could share some insight.

    Any kind of response from anyone at MS on this issue would be nice.

  • User profile image
    cheong

    Sven Groot wrote:
    

    I renamed the file shown in the video and it instantaniously shows up in the index. I rename it back to its original name and now all the search queries shown in the video work fine.

    This does not however answer the question of why the hell this happens in the first place, and that's the question I'd really like an answer to. Since this isn't the first time it's happened to me, and it's happened on multiple machines, and apparently other people have seen it too, I believe it should be worth looking in to by MS.


    I just made some guess...

    Would it be using the same mechnism as FileSystemMonitor(FSM) to trigger indexing events? I've made a service attempting to automatically copy files to another location if the files in source is created / modified / renamed. Then I found out the FSM can miss some event if the events firing to rapidly. (For example, on a FTP server that saves to a temp. filename then rename it in the same folder, FSM will just get you the "create" event plus the temp. filename, but miss the "rename" event and the new filename.)

    Is there any trend that files saved with "save -> rename" saving technique is more prone to be missing?

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  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    Sven, do you still have other files that show that behaviour?

    I don't know what's going on, but we can do some tests here... If I understand correctly, your problem doesn't show up anymore, was that related to the same file on multiple machines or different files?

    Sorry for the delay, I tried to get Brandon and others to look at the issue before exposing my ignorance Smiley

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    While we're at it, I still get duplicated attachments in outlook when pulling down over IMAP with WDS running. It doesn't happen without, and the mail messages themselves do *not* have duplicated mime attachments.

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    blowdart wrote:
    While we're at it, I still get duplicated attachments in outlook when pulling down over IMAP with WDS running. It doesn't happen without, and the mail messages themselves do *not* have duplicated mime attachments.

    This I really have no idea (surprised, eh? Smiley). Pointing it to real devs with real answers...

  • User profile image
    gbronzer

    I have the same issue, but I thought it was related to the fact that when I view the FileTypes tab under the Advanced indexing options, it only shows 8 types. Almost all my types are gone. Wierder still, it says its indexed 100,000 files but I know I don't have 100,000 of those 8 types.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    PaoloM wrote:
    Sven, do you still have other files that show that behaviour?

    I don't know what's going on, but we can do some tests here... If I understand correctly, your problem doesn't show up anymore, was that related to the same file on multiple machines or different files?

    Sorry for the delay, I tried to get Brandon and others to look at the issue before exposing my ignorance

    It has happened several times, with different files across different machines. I don't know the circumstances, I'll just search for a file that I know exists but it fails to find it. Renaming or things like that cause it to be re-indexed.

    The same thing happens with e-mails in Outlook 2007, especially on IMAP accounts.

    There was nothing special about the file in the video. It just happened to be the last file on which I noticed the problem.

    The big problem is that I can't post any reproduction steps. There's nothing I do that causes the files to go missing, I just notice they are at some point. The only steps I have is, use Vista normally for a couple of months, you'll notice it at some point. But I have enough experience as a beta tester to know that this pretty much guarantees a "no repro" answer.

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