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Old 29th July 2006   #1
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Windows Search Freezes


I am running Windows XP Home Edition on an AMD based system. The problem. Lately, Seach gets part of the way through a search of my primary drive C: drive and it just freezes. Is this a job for System Restore? Or would that be like killing a gnat with an A-Bomb?

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Old 29th July 2006   #2
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Try turning off the Indexing service: Control Panel>Administrative Tools, scroll down to "Indexing Service" and double click it. Click the Stop button to turn the service off. Leave that window open and try a search.

If that works, go back to the Indexing Services Properties window and select "Disabled" from the drop-down list for Startup Type, click OK. Close the Services window.

I disable the Indexing Service on all the XP systems I work on. All it's supposed to do is inventory everything on the drive when the computer is idle. It doesn't always wait until the computer is idle, slowing things down while it examines the drive. It doesn't seem to be of much benefit and it does seem to cause some problems on some systems.

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Old 30th July 2006   #3
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Thanks, Mitz. I tried disabling/turning off Indexing. It helped a little with general searches (not involving hidden or system folders). But when I do a search including hidden files and system folders it always chokes at: C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows. Clicking Stop does nothing. Yet in Task Manager Search is shown as Running and not "Xyz is not responding." Task Manager shows: CPU Usage 100%, Processes 53, Commit Change 404M/2311M. I don't understand the last bit. I hazard a guess that something happening during search is overwhelming the CPU.

So what's next?

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Old 30th July 2006   #4
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System Restore is always an option here, but it your problem may be caused by a corrupted file in the location you specified and System Restore may not help - it only restores system files.

If you ask Search to find a file in, say C:\Windows does it still freeze?

You could consider reinstalling Search .....

Login to Windows as Administrator - as you have Windows XP Home, this has to be done in the Safe Mode....

Quote:
To use the F8 key to start Windows XP in Safe mode
Restart the computer.
Some computers have a progress bar that refers to the word BIOS. Others may not let you know what is happening.
As soon as the BIOS loads, begin tapping the F8 key on your keyboard. Do so until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears.
If you begin tapping the F8 key too soon, some computers display a "keyboard error" message. If this happens, restart the computer and try again.
Using the arrow keys on the keyboard, select Safe mode and then press Enter.
Highlight > right-click the following line and select Copy:

%systemroot%\inf

Go Start > Run and paste in the line above > Enter.

Find Srchasst.inf > right-click on it and select Install.

You may need your XP CD, but I think not.

If all the above fail download AgentRansack - this is a freeware search engine - I use the Pro Version and both are vastly superior to the Windows Search. See if that works OK for you.

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Old 31st July 2006   #5
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I have no trouble searching C:\Windows. The freeze only happens when I opt to search all of C: including hidden files, and system files and folders. Then when search reaches C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows it freezes. I will try a reinstall of search. But if there's a corrupt file in C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows wouldn't it be a good idea to run Check Disk or Norton Disk Doctor?

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Old 31st July 2006   #6
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It would do no harm to run chkdsk /r which may have an impact on the problem.

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