Index - Windows Search Service

ByLine
How to Fix the Start Error For Windows Search Service to Enable the Index in Vista
Synopsis
If the Indexing Options are grayed out and you cannot get the Windows Search service to start, then this will show you how fix the problem to get the search Index running again.
How to Fix the Start Error for Windows Search Service to Enable the Index in Vista

information   Information
The Indexing Options are grayed out and you cannot get the Windows Search service to start. Follow the steps one by one, and at the end the index should be running again.
Note   Note
If the steps below do not help you, then you will need to do either a System Restore to a restore point date before this problem, a Repair install, or Clean install to fix this problem. See the related links below for how to do these.

EXAMPLE: Error Message
Service_Error.jpg
EXAMPLE: Index Options grayed out
Index_Greyed_Out.jpg




STEP ONE
Set Windows Search Service

1. Leave Windows Search service set to only Automatic. (See screenshot below step 3)​
2. Close Services.​
3. Proceed to STEP TWO below.​
Service.jpg






STEP TWO
Reset the Index in the Registry




Option One
Using a REG File Download
1. Click on the download button below to download the file below.​
Reset_Index.reg
download

2. Click on Save, and save the .reg file to the Desktop.​
3. Right click on the downloaded .reg file and click on Merge.​
4. Click on the Run, Continue (UAC), Yes, and OK when prompted.​
5. When done, you can delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.​
7. Proceed to STEP THREE below.​




Option Two
Manually in Registry Editor
1. Open the Start Menu, type regedit in the search box and press Enter.​
2. If prompted by UAC, then click on Continue.​
3. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below step 5)​

Code:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search
4. In the right pane, right click on SetupCompletedSuccessfully and click on Modify.​
NOTE: If SetupCompletedSuccessfully is not there, then in the right pane, right click on a empty area and click on New and DWORD (32 bit) Value. Type SetupCompletedSuccessfully and press Enter.​
Regedit.jpg

5. Type 0 and click on OK. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: This is the number zero.
Modify.jpg

6. Close Regedit​
7. Proceed to STEP THREE below.​





STEP THREE
Repair the Config Folder

1. Open Folder Options.​
A) Click on the View tab.​
B) Check Show hidden files and folders.​
C) Click on OK to apply and close folder options.​

2. Go to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data (See screenshots below)​
NOTE: You may notice that one or more of these folders (Applications, Config, Temp) may be missing from your window.
Data_Folder.jpg
Config_Folder.jpg

3. If the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications folder is missing, then right click on a empty area and click New and click Folder. (See screenshot above)​
NOTE: If the Applications folder is not missing, then continue to step 3F after deleting only it's contents except for the Windows folder in it.
A) Click Continue for Access Denied prompt.​
B) Click Continue for UAC prompt.​
C) Type Applications and press Enter.​
D) Click Continue for Access Denied prompt.​
E) Click Continue for UAC prompt.​
F) Open the Applications folder. If the Windows folder is missing, then click on New and Folder.​
NOTE: If the Windows folder is not missing, then continue to step 4 after deleting only it's contents.​
G) Click Continue for Access Denied prompt.​
H) Click Continue for UAC prompt.​
I) Type Windows and press Enter.​
J) Click Continue for Access Denied prompt.​
K) Click Continue for UAC prompt.​

4. If the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Config folder is missing, then right click on a empty area and click New and click Folder. (See screenshot below step 2)​
NOTE: If the Config folder is not missing, then continue to step 5 after deleting only it's contents.
A) Click Continue for Access Denied prompt.​
B) Click Continue for UAC prompt.​
C) Type Config and press Enter.​
D) Click Continue for Access Denied prompt.​
E) Click Continue for UAC prompt.​

5. If the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Temp folder is missing, then right click on a empty area and click New and click Folder. (See screenshot below step 2)​
NOTE: If the Temp folder is not missing, then continue to step 6 after deleting only it's contents.
A) Click Continue for Access Denied prompt.​
B) Click Continue for UAC prompt.​
C) Type Temp and press Enter.​
D) Click Continue for Access Denied prompt.​
E) Click Continue for UAC prompt.​

6. Close all windows.​
7. Restart the computer.​
8. If this still will not work for you afterwards, then you can try a repair install instead.​
That's it,
Shawn


 
Last edited:
Shawn Brink

Comments

I am having a similar problem as discribed here with Windows Indexing not working.
In the tutorial I note:

2. Go to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data (See screenshot below)
NOTE: You may notice that one or more of these folders may be missing from your window.
WARNING: If you installed the Windows Search 4.0 update, then you need to go to:
C:\Users\User_Name\AppData\Local\Search\Data instead.

In my machine, under the path: C:\users\robert\appdata\local There is not file "search." I therefore added it along with Data and all the other files as recommended. Nothing different. Any suggestions. I need to get this to work quickly as I need the indexing feature for an upcoming trial.

I should note that Windows Search 4.0 is installed. I tried reinstalling and got a message that "the update does not apply to your system."

I have 32 bit Vista Ultimate
 
Hello Speet, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Other than reinstalling Vista, you might see if doing a System Restore using a restore point dated before this problem may help.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Thanks for the quick reply!
Unfortunately I cannot risk the time and issues that can come with a reinstall right now. Can you consider two other things:

1). The Data Directory entry in regedit indicates: %programdata%\Microsoft\Search\Data\

I did go there and there are the files that were NOT in the C:\users\robert\appdata\local directory. However, the gathrprm.exe and schema.exe files in %programdata%\Microsoft\Search\Data\ appear to be the zero bit files I created yesterday.

Should I change the datadirectory entry in regedit? I note that my Vista 64 bit machine also shows the data directory as: %programdata%\Microsoft\Search\Data\ and everything works fine.

2). I think the problem may have been created by installing Nuance Software's professional PDF converter. Things ran slow after that. I uninstalled it some time ago. There are many error messages in the event log. I should also note that Windows Search 4 failed on the first install and then installed "correctly". Does that give any direction?

Unfortunately I do not have a system restore point far enough back.
 
Sorry Speet, but it looks like it is beyond a simple repair. I would recommend to just disable the index to have non-indexed searched instead. They may be a little bit slower, but they will always be accurate and up to date without your hard drive running as much to.

Sorry,
Shawn
 
Hi,

when I go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search
there are no entries, or subfolders, aside from a preferences folder that contains five cryptic entries such as this :- {0077B49E-E474-CE11-8C5E-00AA004254E2} , all with values of 1.

When I try to update to windows search 4.0 I receive an error 'the update does not apply to your system' - this is using update filename Windows6.0-KB940157-x86.msu

My system is Vista Home premium SP1.

There is no control panel icon for any index options.

When I open 'computer', then type in a search (to force the appearance of the search tools menu option across the top), then click on search tools, then click on indexing options - nothing happens. (IE no indexing options appear)

When I search for indexing options at start, no icons appear.

So, I removed windows search 4 update, reinstalled. Still no resolution, I still can't get to any indexing options.


UPDATE - problem resolved

As per this website, I ran the srchadmin.dll from an administrator cmd prompt. Once this sucessfully ran, I can now access the indexing options. Hope this helps someone.

Indexing Options missing from Control Panel in Windows Vista « Tom Doyle

Also, here is another way to get into indexing options - that would have probably resolved my issue as well.

Indexing Options is missing from the Control Panel - iTechtalk

As a side note, making changes to the indexing options (such as index location) is now creating entries in the empty preferences registry key mentioned at the start of this note. Cheers, Xenek
 
Yeah, funny - I tried that earlier. There were a bunch of other icons hidden but not the indexing icon. Beats me!
 
I'm running Vista Ultimate 32 bit with INTEGRATED SP2 and my Search folder is located in the Programdata file, not in the User file as described for SP2 UPDATED Vista. When I try to add Windows file to Applications it disappears after a few seconds. Also there is no Config file. Any suggestions? Thanks very much for your help.
 
Hello BinaryBozo, and welcome to Vista Forums.

You can try both locations to see which one works best for you. It depends on if you have the Windows Search 4.0 update installed instead though.
 
Thanks for your quick reply! I assume I have Search 4.0 installed since SP2 was integrated on the Vista install disc although it is not listed in Control Panel/Programs and Features/view Installed Updates. Also, I tried to install Search 4.0 for Vista SP1, downloaded from the MS website, and it told me that it wasn't for my version of Vista. There is no freestanding version for SP2 that I can try to perform a repair with and I don't want to reformat, so I'm kind of at a loss. When I create the Windows file inside the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications file and open it, it has the Config file with the 2 text files and other files, but all quickly disappear. After rebooting they are still missing. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
 
Have you already tried it with the C:\Users\User_Name\AppData\Local\Search\Data location instead?
 
I just tried it with the C:\Users\User_Name\AppData\Local\Search\Data location and still no luck. Indexing is not running and all buttons are grayed out except ADVANCED. In ADMINISTRATIVE TOOLS\SERVICES\WINDOWS SEARCH it is set to AUTOMATIC but is not running and there is an error message <Failed to Read Description. Error Code: 15100>. When I try to start it manually I receive this message:



This has been an ongoing problem since I freshly installed Vista in Nov., 2009, so I guess I will have to live with it :-( I do appreciate your efforts in trying to help me and glad that some folks have been able to fix the problem on their machines, but it must be a bug within Vista that has SP2 integrated on the installation disc. I'll keep tinkering and searching the web and will repost if I have any success. Thanks again!
 
Last edited:
I just wish we could have gotten it fixed for you. Did you do a clean (formatted) install of Vista? If so, perhaps it may have been a bad install and will need to be reinstalled.
 
Hello again Brink. To answer your question, yes, I did do a clean install on a reformatted hard drive and had no errors, all went very smooth. This is the only hiccup I've had from Vista and its been running since Nov. '09, so I really don't want to go through the whole reformat/reinstall procedure again, just for search/index. I can still use search even though I have no indexing and the service reports it cannot start, which seems a little weird :sarc:, but I've had every version of Windows from 3.1 to Vista, through the years, so I've grown accustomed to MS hiccups, LOL! I was one of the RC1 testers for Windows 7 and really grew to like it so when I'm ready to put myself through another reformat, and can afford to buy it, I will probably upgrade once again... wouldn't want Mr. Gates to run out of cash! :D Thanks for your help and suggestions. Best regards! GM
 
Brink, One other thing I noticed is that I don't have the exact file named:
C:\Windows\winsxs\x86_windowssearchengine_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6000.16386_none_47e1b1bb326f0fb4

\gathrprm.txt. (and schema.txt)

The one that I have is:
C:\Windows\winsxs\x86_windowssearchengine_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6001.18000_none_4a1873b72f5a2088\gathrprm.txt. (and schema.txt)

Also, after I changed the files C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search with subfiles: Applications, Config {gathrprm.txt and schema.txt}, and Temp

to C:\Users\User_Name\AppData\Local\Search\Data\Applications\Windows\Config {EMPTY},

the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search with subfiles: Applications, Config {gathrprm.txt and schema.txt}, and Temp rebuilt itself but still did not include the Windows file inside the Applications file and a manually generated Windows file still disappears after a few seconds.

I don't know if this will help you figure out what's going on, but I thought it might be relevant.

Thanks again, GM
 
Top