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

GM,

The difference in the folder names would be from SP1 and SP2 versions it seems. I have updated the tutorial for this.

I look more into this tonight though to see if I can find anything else on this that may be able to help you.
 
Thank you for the update, Brink. I gave up on indexing since it has been showing WAITING TO RECEIVE INDEXING STATUS... for the past 2 days, and I unchecked the Index this drive for faster searching option for all drives. Search is starting and working fine now, even though it still shows ERROR 15100 in WINDOWS SERVICES. The behavior of the WINDOWS file disappearing from the SEARCH DATA file only occurs when the registry entry for SetupCompletedSuccessfully is changed to 0, and SEARCH will only work if it's set to 1. C-r-a-a-azy!!! I have one other question, though. Is there any way to set SEARCH to open with the Advanced Search Options screen as the default behavior? No biggie, just curious :huh:.
Thanks again for all your help. It's been a very enlightening process!
Greg
 
Hi Brink, I see this is an old thread but am also having problems with the indexing service. Well not really, you see I purposely turned it off so I could delete all the .crwl and .gthr files from my system and actually deleted the entire folder(s) these were contained in (I know). Unfortunately for me, since I'm a control freak, I can't turn it back on for the life of me. I followed all three of your fixes at the beginning of this thread to no avail. I still get the message: "Error 3: The system cannot find the path specified". My registry entries for Window Search are the same as the ones you have posted, so I'm thinking more along the lines that it is a simple matter of just having deleted the wrong folder. I would try to recover the necessary folder(s) with EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard but I do a 7-pass delete so I'm at a bit of a loss. If there is any help you could provide regarding this besides uninstalling/reinstalling my OS I would be ever grateful. I don't really like the indexing service but just want to have the ability to choose whether it runs or not.

-Regards
 
Hellos Windowspanes, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Since these are system files, you may be able to fix this by doing a system restore using a restore point dated before you deleted them by mistake to undo it.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Yeah, I don't have any restore points configured. I'm still working on it. Turns out I deleted the entire Data folder so I'm working on it right now. The only folder I had left in the Search repository was Config along with the "msscolmn.txt" file remaining. I found the "gathrprm.txt" and "schema.txt" files thanks to this thread and another thread in these forums, so I'm now recreating the original folder structure. It appears that Config needs to be in the Data folder, when I'm done I'll let you know how it turns out.

Thank you for your quick reply.


;)
 
That was it! Very simple! I just had to move the "Applications" and "Config" folders under their proper directory under "ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data". I had three seperate folder under "Search". After I copied the proper .txt files I mentioned in my post above and put those all the folders in their proper place the Windows Search service started right up.

Thank you for posting these tips for us every day common folk who would be lost without them.

Worked like a charm!

Thanks Brink.
 


Hi Shawn,

Thanks so much for your instructions. They worked perfectly.... no more APPCRASH doing my head in.

Thanks again, most appreciated
 
Very interesting, the Windows folder does not exist under the application folder. When I create the new Windows folder, it lets me create it, then after about 5 seconds it disappears! I am thinking there is another service or something that is cleaning out this folder, possibly causing my search service not to start in the first place.

Any ideas on this?

I have found the path, but when I create the new folder it disappears. Has anyone seen this before?
 
Hello Genith, and welcome to Vista Forums.

If this has just started recently, then you might consider doing a system restore using a restore point dated before this started to also hopefully fix it.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
1. I tried everything, and nothing worked. Here is how i fixed my problem though. I deleted the folder Data in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search

As soon as i deleted the folder, the folder reappeared with files inside. It's like it automatically rebuild a new one as soon as i deleted. Mind you, this was on Windows 10.

2. Another thing that worked was the suggestion by a user in another forum:

Well I can;t believe it was this simple, all you have to do is in REGEDIT go
to KLM\software\microsoft\windows search and change the Data directory, all I
did was change it from %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Search\Data\ to
%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Search\Data2\. And now my indexing has started, you
might then be able to revert back to original directory, but don;t trouble
yourself.
This worked for me as well, i created another Data folder and named it Data2, changed the regedit like the quote above mentioned, and restarted. When i went to check the Data2 folder it was populated with files, like it should. i tried switching back to point to Data in regedit like before and the same problem happened again, which makes me think the folder got corrupted.

This worked for me, however, i did not want to add a Data2 folder of the fear of causing conflicts later, i can't confirm if it will cause conflicts. So please try my first suggestion which actually did work for me (on windows 10).
 
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