Spotlight problem. mds hangs

Discussion in 'macOS' started by dmelgar, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    Not sure whats changed, but now when I plug in my external drives. Spotlight (mds) spins for a good while then eventually hangs. I can't figure out what the problem is.

    The last thing I see in the console when it hangs is,
    7/16/10 12:23:09 PM mdworker[49840] CFPropertyListCreateFromXMLData(): Old-style plist parser: missing semicolon in dictionary.

    How can I figure out what file its getting hung up on?
  2. celticpride678

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Spotlight is trying to index the drive. Add it to the privacy tab in Spotlight preferences.
  3. dmelgar thread starter macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    Of course its indexing the drive.

    But after a while it gets hung. No access to disk, no CPU usage, but Spotlight still says its indexing. When its hung the console has the message I listed.
  4. dmelgar thread starter macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    I was able to go through a process to erase and rebuild the Spotlight index. That has apparently resolved the problem.

    Would be nice if Apple made it more robust. This was a major hassle to resolve.

    The basic steps are as follows. Commands need to be run from administrator userid with sudo in a command line (terminal) window. The idea is to stop spotlight on all volumes, when one at a time, renable spotlight, erase the index and have it recreate the index.

    To stop spotlight on all drives,
    sudo mdutil -a -i off

    To restart spotlight
    sudo mdutil -i on /Volume/[volumeName]

    To erase index after its started
    sudo mdutil -E /Volume/[volumeName]

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