spotlight reindexing error

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by thasan, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. thasan macrumors 6502a

    Oct 19, 2007
    hi guys,
    i know there are quite a few spotlight index threads out here but i cant seem to find a fix. i tried to reindex from system prefs (add and remove a folder) and all i get is this:
    "the item couldnt be added or removed because of an unknown error."

    i also tried through terminal and whatever i try to do i get this message:
    unable to perform operation. no index

    any way to fix this? i thought windows 7 was annoying.... but this issue is getting really frustrating :(

    any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    You're not supposed to just add a folder, you're supposed to put your hard drive into the list and then remove it again. Just adding and removing a random folder wouldn't have worked, and it's possible that the folder you're trying to use for that purpose actually can't be placed in the ignore list.

    If you still have trouble, you can reset Spotlight from the Terminal. Just open a new Terminal window and paste in this code, then hit enter:
    sudo mdutil -E /
    Note that it will ask you for your password, but when you type, you won't see any input appear in the window. This is normal, just type in the password and hit enter, even though it won't look like anything is happening.

    Let us know if that doesn't work.

  3. thasan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 19, 2007
    thanks. for the last few days, i tried adding the whole hdd at first. didnt work. then i tried with individual folder, didnt work. i also tried to the terminal luck there. but just a few minutes ago, i removed imessage (for some other reason), restarted the system a couple of times, read your msg and i could add the hdd without that error message. dont know what happened but no complain there ;)

    i left it there for about 10-20 minutes and then removed the hdd from the spotlist exclusion list. hopefully it will get reindex. fingers crossed!

    thanks again.

  4. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    Thank you for this tip, I will need to give this a try. I am having similar issues with Spotlight not finding things, and was wondering how I could reset the database.

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