Lion not searching external drive

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by weemanpow3, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. weemanpow3 macrumors 6502


    Mar 14, 2008
    When I open up finder and try a search for a file in my external drive, Lion just doesn't search it. When I had Snow Leopard installed it was able to search my external drive perfectly. My external is formatted for NTFS. I also went to "Disk Utility" to do a repair and It said the drive is ok. So now I'm in stuck.

    Anyone have any suggestions how to make lion start searching my external again.
  2. paulsalter, Aug 21, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011

    paulsalter macrumors 68000


    Aug 10, 2008
    at the top of the finder window when you do a search, there are 2 buttons 'On this Mac' and one with your username

    have you tried selecting 'On This Mac'

    mine defaults to just searching my user folder, selecting 'On my Mac' searches everything (including external drives, mine isnt NTFS if that does make a difference)

    EDIT:Have a look at finder preferences, advanced tab, a few search options theree
  3. weemanpow3 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Mar 14, 2008
    I tried your suggestions but, still nothing. The only way I can search the drive is by manually click through folders on the drive until I find what I'm looking for. :(

    When I search "This Mac" the external hdd light indicator doesn't turn on meaning nothing is searching it. When I click "Storage" (My hdd name) next to "This Mac" button the hdd is still not being searched.

    I really don't want to format the drive to mac because I use it for Windows PC also.
  4. paulsalter macrumors 68000


    Aug 10, 2008
    does it find anything in spotlight ?

    another thing to try, set the preferences in finder to search the current folder, then select external and see what happens when searching

    could be something with NTFS, dont have any drives like that here to try

    EDIT: just had a look around and can see others with the issue, i assume your spotlight wont find it eaither
  5. weemanpow3 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Mar 14, 2008
    Yah, spotlight won't search it either. I think it's an NTFS issue also.

    I took a thumb drive that was NTFS and had the same search problem. I formatted it to Fat 32 and HFS+ and was able to search files fine on it.

    Thanks for the help.
  6. Allan in T.Dot macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2010
    Hey weemanpow3,
    Aside from reformatting the drive, were there any other solutions? What is HFS+?
  7. mrjrhughes macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2012
    How to reindex external hard drive

    You need to re-index the external hard drive.

    See the instructions and link below - This will fix the problem

    Summary : Want to re-index a folder—or even an entire volume—for Spotlight (part of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger)? Just do this:

    From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
    1) Click Spotlight.
    2) Click the Privacy tab.
    3) Drag a folder or even an entire volume (your hard drive) to the list.
    4) Remove the item or volume you just added.
    5) Spotlight will re-index the contents of the item you initially dragged to the list.

    This worked for me and now I can search my external hard drive in the normal way
  8. jillaine macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2012
    Spotlight still won't search external hard drive by filename

    I tried the following and nothing happened. I still can't search I don't see any evidence that the external drive is being indexed. How do I make sure it is indexed? Thanks.


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