Lion: Spotlight-Search fails on (external) NTFS-Device (Harddisk)

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by robbybubble, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. robbybubble Guest

    Feb 13, 2012

    does anybody know, why Spotlight-Search does not work on NTFS-formated devices? Of course on OSX Snow Leopard it worked fine, but since I updated on Lion, I cannot find any file via Spotlight on the device. That is very frustrating because it was still updated to 10.7.3 and the problem is not fixed yet. :mad:

    There are many threads in different forums, but I cannot find any solution! Why is there a change between an older (SL) and a newer (Lion) OS? What is the purpose? I do not understand that!

    I need NTFS because I want to work with both systems, Windows and OSX. I have installed the Paragon NTFS Driver and as I already said, it has worked fine until I changed to Lion.

    All known Terminal-Commands (Re-Indexing, ...) did not work...PLEASE HELP! It would be great if anybody can help me solving this issue. I think many more users related to this problem will thank you too.


    Some related threads:
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Which version of Paragon NTFS for Mac® OS X are you using?
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  4. robbybubble thread starter Guest

    Feb 13, 2012
    I am still using an older version (8.0.0) of Paragon NTFS Driver (the version, which was preinstalled on a Seagate GoFlex Pro harddrive) BUT I have read that also the newest version does not fix this issue. You can look it up here:

    Of course I have tried Re-Indexing the normal way but that also does not solve the problem. I think it is logical because there is the same done as I did it with the commands in the Terminal.
  5. mac65 macrumors member


    Mar 31, 2009
    Munich, Germany
    Maybe re-creation under SL helps

    It may be that Apple has decided not to support Spotlight indexing on non-HFS volumes due to performance reasons.
    Wasn't there just last week an article about something like that - Spotlight partially being disabled because of performance issues? Hmm, not sure.

    Anyway, here's an idea: If you can, boot into SL and have the index recreated there. Then see if it's still available in Lion, even if it doesn't get updated any more.

    OTOH - what do you need Spotlight mainly for? If you only want to search for file names, not content, get EasyFind (free) or my Find Any File ("FAF") (not free but, well, check it out). Unfortunately, Paragon doesn't support "CatalogSearch" (although they could as NTFS's layout is similar to HFS's in this regard), so searches will be slow.

    Say, is there a ".fsevents" folder at the root of the NTFS volume under Lion? I'm running SL here atm so I can't check. If there isn't then that's probably the cause why Spotlight doesn't work. On SL, though, that folder is still there. To check, use Terminal, with the "ls -la /Volumes/*" command to see all root items of all your volumes, including hidden ones).

    Also, I wonder if Spotlight can be tricked into scanning these vols on Lion. There's two parts to it: The tool that scans new files are they got updated (which is managed by the "fsevents" OS technology) and the database. I wonder if one can get the database updated without relying on the fsevents activation model. Either with a little program that invokes the scan program explicitly, or by fooling the system in other ways.

    If I had the time, I'd look into this myself. But I've got a deadline to meet for a big improvement of my FAF app.
  6. Dracos macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2012
    Timmins, Ontario, Canada
    Fixed it

    This worked for me:

    Go to Applications - Utilities - Terminal

    Type in:

    /usr/bin/mdutil -i on /Volumes/NTFS_DRIVE
    /usr/bin/mdimport /Volumes/NTFS_DRIVE

    Where NTFS_DRIVE is the name of your NTFS external drive. Put quotes before and after the drive name if your drive name has spaces in it.
  7. amitkool21 macrumors newbie


    Oct 16, 2012
    i confirm this works.....i checked an external drive
  8. mveplus macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2013
    Great! Finally some thing that works!

    I'm using Mountain Lion 10.8.3 and Paragon NTFS v.10.0.1 - this is the only working solution I found so far ( you can check your NTFS volume in Disk Utility as well)!

    1K Thanks for this inside!
  9. sobhyking macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2013
    Yes it worked :)

    Thanksssssss :d

  10. sobhyking macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2013
    freeze problem

    sorry but could u know how to cancel that command coz after sometime indexing it freezes my laptop totally so now i can't plug my external HD at all :(


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