spotlight woes

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ungar, May 13, 2006.

  1. ungar macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Location:
    Paris
    #1
    I've had my iMac intel for three months, and spotlight has a tendency to spontaneously rebuild its index, unprovoked by me (it's done this three times), which means I can't use it for a few hours. Even worse, after the latest rebuild yestereday, it can't find anything at all. I type in a file name, and get zero results. If I do something to the file, however (open it or move it), then spotlight picks it up. Any ideas?
     
  2. Erendiox macrumors 6502a

    Erendiox

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    #2
    Thats rather odd. I've never heard of spotlight spontaniously reindexing. Not sure of how to fix it, but it wouldn't hurt to repair permissions and run a hardware test just to be sure. As far as your current problem where spotlight doesn't find anything, do a manual re-index. The reason spotlight will find files that you've modified is because spotlight is constantly updating. Every time you mess with a file, spotlight re-indexes that file. What you probably have is a bad index database or something, so re-indexing the harddrive should fix that. I believe this can be done by dragging your HD into the privacy window in the spotlight preferences and then dragging it out. Personally, I use Onyx, which is a great piece of free software for managing and customizing OSX. You can do a direct spotlight re-index from the onyx maintenance tab.
     
  3. ungar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Location:
    Paris
    #3
    I ran a hardware test last time that happened, and repair permissions on a regular basis. I'm not so worried about spontaneous reindexing, but what's strange is that spotlight worked fine before yesterday's reindexing. Oh well, I guess I'll just try reindexing again. It's a drag. I wonder if anyone else is having this problem.
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4
    I'd start from the beginning by dragging com.apple.spotlight.plist to the Desktop, rebooting and then reindexing. :)
     
  5. ungar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Location:
    Paris
    #5
    Thanks. I'm reindexing now, but if the result is less than satisfactory, I'll try that.
     
  6. ungar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Location:
    Paris
    #6
    By the way, mj, why is spotlight.plist in my home directory, since it pertains to the entire computer? (Stupid question, maybe, but I don't know much about macs yet.)
     
  7. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #7
    The preference file holds the different settings for Spotlight that you choose as a user, it doesn't have much to do with the actual database, which is in a separate location. Other users may want it set up slightly differently. They may want to change the keyboard shortcut or not search certain files or something. :)
     
  8. ungar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Location:
    Paris
    #8
    That makes sense. Anyway, I've tried everything I could. Spotlight has been reindexing for the last 12 hours or so, and shows no signs of stopping. I'm getting fed up. Does anyone have any ideas? Do you think I should reinstall Mac Os?
     
  9. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #9
    It shouldn't take that long to reindex your drive. My 250GB iMac's drive (almost full) takes less than half an hour. I guess a reinstall would remedy your problem, although it may be overkill. Did you try removing the PLIST already? :)
     

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