Spotlight doesn't work properly...

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Original poster
Mar 20, 2003
10,570
2,660
Bay Area
There are some things that it just doesn't find, on either my desktop or my laptop. I've reindexed it on both machines.

Sometimes it fails to properly search by content in word documents. I'll type in a word that I know is in a doc, and it won't come up.

And sometimes it misses other things. Like today, I was trying to find the application "bluetooth set up assistant," and it didn't come under any spotlight search, regardless of terms.

Every box is checked in the spotlight reference panel, so it should be searching every possible file.

Does anyone know why this is happening?? :confused:
 

Judo

macrumors regular
Mar 6, 2002
179
83
New Zealand
I really want to like spot light, but I've had the same problem twice, but a reindex fixed it. How are you reindexing?

This is a pretty bad flaw. It almost renders spotlight useless, by not working 100% of the time.



"bluetooth set up assistant" has no results for me either. I'm guessing it doesn't search that deep in system prefs.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Original poster
Mar 20, 2003
10,570
2,660
Bay Area
Mitthrawnuruodo said:
Try searching for "bluetooth setup assistant"... :)
haha, I did that, of course. Nothing.

I'm reindexing spotlight using OnyX.

I don't get this. I thought the point of spotlight was that it searched everything. If it doesn't do that, then how do I know whether I actually don't have a file, or if it's just not being found? Thus, I agree with Judo - an incomplete spotlight is a nearly useless spotlight.
 

aquajet

macrumors 68020
Feb 12, 2005
2,384
0
VA
Spotlight is broken, to put it frankly. Sometimes it worked for me, other times it didn't. I've just disabled it completely until Apple fixes it.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Original poster
Mar 20, 2003
10,570
2,660
Bay Area
well, after updating 10.4.3, it's gotten worse. Much, much worse. In fact, spotlight doesn't find tons of things now. But, if I open the file containing the desired term, *then* spotlight will find it. Useless! :mad:

I've tried reindexing with OnyX again, but I keep getting applescript errors. The reindexing does begin, but only after about 15 or 20 error messages. Stupid spotlight!!

edit: hmm, seems that every operation in OnyX produces applescript errors now. Oh goodie.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Mitthrawnuruodo said:
Try searching for "bluetooth setup assistant"... :)
Is this 10.4.3 specific? I don't get it.



It works with the quotes in it too, FWIW. However, it seems that using quotes is very sketchy...it frequently doesn't work for me, and I have also had files not found when they clearly should have met search criteria in other ways, although not this example. :eek:
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Original poster
Mar 20, 2003
10,570
2,660
Bay Area
mad jew said:
mkrishnan, you are far too talented. Searching for Bluetooth Setup Assistant doesn't work for me in 10.4.3 and 10.4.2. :(
yeah, seriously. How did you do that?? It doesn't work for me on my ibook or powermac, under 10.4.2 or 10.4.3. Gah, spotlight frustrates me. And now it's like it's deleted its whole index and can't build a new one automatically because 10.4.3 broke OnyX.
 

Mitthrawnuruodo

Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
13,591
141
Bergen, Norway
mkrishnan said:
Is this 10.4.3 specific? I don't get it.
In an earlier post QCassidy352 said he was searching for bluetooth set up assistant and my spotlight didn't find anything on that, but when I changed it to bluetooth setup assistant I got the hits I should...
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
I don't get it either way and I didn't with 10.4.2. :confused:

I wouldn't have thought Spotlight would work that way though. I would've thought it wouldn't care if you type setup or set up. Obviously it does though, how bizarre.
 

HiRez

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
5,805
1,697
Western US
mad jew said:
I don't get it either way and I didn't with 10.4.2. :confused:

I wouldn't have thought Spotlight would work that way though. I would've thought it wouldn't care if you type setup or set up. Obviously it does though, how bizarre.
Yeah, doesn't work for me either with 10.4.2. I love the idea of Spotlight, but man, the implementation is really horked right now. Also just the whole way it works with the "homeless" window (not a Finder window, not an application), the sketchy searching and the goofy sorting/organizational options...all pretty bad.
 

yenko

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2005
522
0
SouthWest-USA
QCassidy352 said:
yeah, seriously. How did you do that?? It doesn't work for me on my ibook or powermac, under 10.4.2 or 10.4.3. Gah, spotlight frustrates me. And now it's like it's deleted its whole index and can't build a new one automatically because 10.4.3 broke OnyX.
I think it's more like Onyx doesn't work with 10.4.3. :cool:
 

yenko

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2005
522
0
SouthWest-USA
QCassidy352 said:
There are some things that it just doesn't find, on either my desktop or my laptop. I've reindexed it on both machines.

Sometimes it fails to properly search by content in word documents. I'll type in a word that I know is in a doc, and it won't come up.

And sometimes it misses other things. Like today, I was trying to find the application "bluetooth set up assistant," and it didn't come under any spotlight search, regardless of terms.

Every box is checked in the spotlight reference panel, so it should be searching every possible file.

Does anyone know why this is happening?? :confused:
Try this:

System Preferences>Spotlight

Click on the Privacy tab.

Drag your HD icon into the window.

Highlight the HD in the window.

Click on the "-" to delete the HD from the window.

Spotlight will now re-index your HD. ;)
 

eRondeau

macrumors 65816
Mar 3, 2004
1,020
96
Canada's South Coast
yenko said:
Try this:

System Preferences>Spotlight
Click on the Privacy tab.
Drag your HD icon into the window.
Highlight the HD in the window.
Click on the "-" to delete the HD from the window.
Spotlight will now re-index your HD. ;)

Yenko beat me to it! I've run into the same problem with Spotlight amnesia. However re-indexing in this manner always works, and it works pretty quickly. I've been re-indexing every month or so, just in case.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Original poster
Mar 20, 2003
10,570
2,660
Bay Area
yenko said:
Try this:

System Preferences>Spotlight

Click on the Privacy tab.

Drag your HD icon into the window.

Highlight the HD in the window.

Click on the "-" to delete the HD from the window.

Spotlight will now re-index your HD. ;)
Thanks for the advice, but I tried that and now everything is worse. Now, not only do some files not come up (old word docs and bluetooth setup/set up assistant, for example), but I get 0 mail message results.

I've reindexed several times and have nothing in the privacy box in system prefs. This is so frustrating! :(
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Original poster
Mar 20, 2003
10,570
2,660
Bay Area
well, just because this was driving me crazy, I clean installed tiger on my ibook. Same problems. I give up - spotlight is broken.
 

rickvanr

macrumors 68040
Apr 10, 2002
3,256
11
Brockville
I found it on my machine.

Try reindexing the way apple recommends, maybe it will make a difference.

System Prefs > Spotlight > Privacy

Drag your HD into the pane, then remove it.
 

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zach

macrumors 65816
Feb 14, 2003
1,205
0
Medford
bluetooth set up assistant yields nothing for me.
bluetooth setup assistant gives me perfect results.

i've honestly had absolutely NO problems with spotlight, only the unavoidable problem that it only searches what apple wants it to (i.e. doesn't search all your system files) when I want it to search everything.
 

dubbz

macrumors 68020
Sep 3, 2003
2,284
0
Alta, Norway
mad jew said:
I don't get it either way and I didn't with 10.4.2. :confused:

I wouldn't have thought Spotlight would work that way though. I would've thought it wouldn't care if you type setup or set up. Obviously it does though, how bizarre.
That's weird. i doesn't show up here either. and it's strange that spotlight would care whether it's written set up or setup. That's shoddy.

I'll try reindexing..
 

zach

macrumors 65816
Feb 14, 2003
1,205
0
Medford
it isn't strange at all.

think about it. the applications name is SETUP assistant. for spotlight to also know that set up means the same thing would require yet another list of definitions to search. taking more time. taking more disk space. and imagine, there are millions of different things like this.

it's far more efficient and logical to have to find only the exact terms you type in, not to have it think for you. a computer is only as smart as the end user.
 

dubbz

macrumors 68020
Sep 3, 2003
2,284
0
Alta, Norway
And is the search in System Prefs completely b0rked? Not even searching for Spotlight will highlight the icon...
 

zach

macrumors 65816
Feb 14, 2003
1,205
0
Medford
sys prefs search works fine for me too. maybe it shares components with Spotlight, if one's broken the other is too?
 

dubbz

macrumors 68020
Sep 3, 2003
2,284
0
Alta, Norway
zach said:
sys prefs search works fine for me too. maybe it shares components with Spotlight, if one's broken the other is too?
Must be it...:confused: I did what rickvanr posted, and it's reindexing now. Maybe that'll fix it.