Troubleshoot: Windows Search Indexer not working

Microsoft’s Fix It Blog has automated this WinVistaClub post dated 7th Oct 2008 on Windows Search not working, into a Fix it MSI package! It resets Windows Search settings to default. It is incidentally, the first MVP Fix It !

Here’s what the Fix It package does.

  • Stops the Windows Search Service
  • Configures the service to start= auto
  • Sets HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\SetupCompletedSuccessfully to 0
  • Starts the Windows Search Service

Go here to download the Fix it MSI package.
msfixit Troubleshoot: Windows Search Indexer not working

Windows Search not working

If on searching in Windows 7 or Windows Vista, you get a message :

Search Failed to Initialize

Here are some troubleshooting steps to try :

Rebuild Search Index

To rebuild search index, Open Control Panel > System & Maintenance > Indexing Options. In the Advanced Options, Click on Restore Defaults and also Rebuild Index. Click OK.

sindx Troubleshoot: Windows Search Indexer not working

Next, type ‘service’ in your Start Menu Search Bar, and start Services. Scroll down to the ‘Windows Search Service’, and ensure that it is set on Automatic and Running. Restart this Service. You will also have to ensure that RPC (Remote Procedure Call) is running and set on automatic.
searchserv Troubleshoot: Windows Search Indexer not working
But if you find that your Indexing is not running , or that the Advanced Button is grayed out and /or you get a message:

Waiting to receive indexing status

or

Microsoft Windows Search Indexer Stopped Working And Was Closed

graysearch Troubleshoot: Windows Search Indexer not working

The the chances are that your following Registry key may have been corrupted :

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search

regsrch Troubleshoot: Windows Search Indexer not working
Open Regedit and navigate to the above-mentioned key. In the right pane, double click on SetupCompletedSuccessfully. Ensure that the Value Data is 0 , that is, zero numeral. Click OK. Reboot.
Again, even if your Windows Search Service is set on Automatic, you are unable to Start the service; but instead you get the following error message :

Windows could not start the Windows Search on Local Computer

cdnotst Troubleshoot: Windows Search Indexer not working

I suggest then that you see the Event Viewer to check for System Logs. To do so, simply just type even in the Windows start menu search bar and hit enter. On LHS side, click on System, to view the logs.

evvivs Troubleshoot: Windows Search Indexer not working

Note the Event ID and seek Event Log Online Help.

Boot from your Windows DVD > Select System Recovery Option > Select Repair Computer > Choose your installation of Windows > Select ‘Startup Repair’ > Follow the instructions.

If you cannot find files when you search a Windows computer even though the files exist on the computer, then KB932989, may be what you are looking for !
See this if you receive error message :

Windows Search service on local computer started and then stopped

If nothing works, then you might want to consider using an alternative Search software for Windows.
These links may also interest you:
  1. Search box does not display search results correctly in Windows 7
  2. Windows Search service on local computer started and then stopped
  3. Windows Start Menu Search Box not working in Windows 7
  4. Repair broken Windows Search in Windows 7 using Windows Search Troubleshooter.
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Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com. Please create a System Restore Point before trying out any software & be careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware. Add me on Google+.
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