Spotlight Indexing Progress (El Capitan)

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by woodenbrain, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. woodenbrain macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    #1
    Since no one appears to be looking at the Yosemite forum any more, such bleeding edge that y'all are and all, there still is no resolution about how to best monitor spotlight progress. (Please see this post/thread over in the backwards, back woods forum of yore.)

    Has this feature been removed in El Capitan? I ask because there are other indicators that spotlight is indexing (mds process running, for example) – but I can't get a progress bar to show up in any way.

    Any tips on how to interpret results from the terminal such as:

    How do you interpret these results of "mdutil -sv":

    Scan base time: 2015-10-14 09:23:42 +0000 (90 seconds ago), reasoning: '(null)'

    Does anyone know of a 3rd party utility that shows this progress information better?

    I've started a related thread at Apple Discussions, but have yet to get any answers.

    For the record, other similar threads at Apple Communities and AskDifferent.
     
  2. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a

    dianeoforegon

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    I suspect that Spotlight is indexing an external drive. You can select Spotlight > Privacy and exclude your external drives unless you want that drive indexed.
     
  3. woodenbrain thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    #3
    Thanks. Yes, I'm sure it is. I have several external drives and I want them indexed. I just want to be able monitor progress. Ideally I'd like to be able to pause the indexing in order to eject the volume if necessary.
     
  4. adnbek macrumors 65816

    adnbek

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    Oct 22, 2011
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    #4
  5. woodenbrain thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    #5
    Thanks. In theory. But:

    1) that hasn't appeared even when multiple mds processes are open and clearly indexing an external volume, which can't be ejected because it's busy.

    2) that progress bar gives no indication of what volumes(s) are being indexed, let alone provides a chance to pause/cancel.

    So the questions remain: is there a 3rd party utility that does better job? or, if not, is there a way to interpret the terminal results that has some value with regards to #2?
     
  6. adnbek, Oct 17, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2015

    adnbek macrumors 65816

    adnbek

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    #6
    No less info than the way it used to be.

    Try adding -a to the terminal command above to list results for all volumes.
     
  7. woodenbrain thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    #7
    Sure, I've done that. But the results are still similarly incomprehensible. Scan base time and reasoning is about the extent of the info given.
     
  8. adnbek, Oct 18, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015

    adnbek macrumors 65816

    adnbek

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    #8
    You can always try:

    sudo fs_usage -f filesys

    which will show you all disk activity and which process is doing it. Ctrl-C to stop.
     
  9. woodenbrain thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    #9
    Yes, thanks, interesting. I'm not sure of what use this is, though, off the bat. I can grep for mds, which does report periodic reads, but little else useful. more promising, still, is the process mds_store. That is reporting actual file paths for
    getattrlist.

    This leads me to think that maybe the reason this "progress" is so elusive is that there is never an end to the indexing, it's just always going on.

    But then I rather go back to my original issue, which was that I could not unmount/eject a volume because it was "busy" -- being indexed. Clearly there are times that it can be ejected and times that it can't… What I need to know is when spotlight indexing is being greedy like this, how long should I expect to wait? Should I let it do it's thing or force eject the volume if it needs to be unmounted?
     
  10. adnbek macrumors 65816

    adnbek

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    #10
    I find it kind of weird that this occurs so frequently with you. When a disk has been fully indexed, subsequent changes should be near instant so should rarely if ever interfere with ejecting them. The fact that it keeps trying to index indicates an issue of some sort. Have you tried resetting the index and let Spotlight reindex those drives from scratch?

    Also, look in activity monitor and in console and see if it can give a clue as to what spotlight processes (mdworker, mds and mds_stores) might be hung and why.
     
  11. woodenbrain thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    #11
    Not that frequently, just inconveniently. It's not surprising either. I had to replace 2 drives with TBs of data each, restoring backups. In the meantime I wanted to work with the failing and replacement volumes, mounting and unmounting them for various reasons. I find it frustrating that spotlight just goes nuts without any way to intervene. I'd rather do what is necessary with the volumes first and then let spotlight wild.
     
  12. texican1911 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2016
    #12
    How do you get to that window. Been on Mac since 05, never seen it, can't find it.
     
  13. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #13
    Click on the Spotlight icon in the upper right Menu bar and type something, anything to search for (you could type "preferences" like in the example in the link). The window will appear as soon as you start typing. To get out of the window click somewhere outside the window.
     
  14. texican1911 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2016
    #14
    oic, I had to stop typing and wait. But if you type preferences and hit enter, you don't get it.
     

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