SEARCH / WINDOWS DESKTOP SEARCH


Description:  Search has become an integral part of everyday computing. There are several versions of Search available for windows.

Windows Search is available for download on Windows XP and built in to Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Most of our support calls regarding search are regarding questions/behaviors around policy settings and or concerns with the index.

 

Scoping the Issue:  Group Policy settings vary between different versions of Windows Search and different versions of Windows operating systems. Windows Search 4.0 has both user- and machine-based policies, WDS 3.01 has machine-based policies. The user interface between versions on XP and Vista are also different.

Because of the differences our first question is to identify what version of Search is being used. From here we need to identify if the problem is user interface based, related to indexing, or policy related.

A complete Administration Guide for all versions of Search is available under Additional resources.

 

Data Gathering:  In all instances, collecting either MPS Reports with the General, Internet and Networking, Business Networks and Server Components diagnostics, or a Performance-oriented MSDT manifest must be done.  Additional information that may be required includes the following:

  • Export of the following key to confirm version of search: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\CurrentVersion
  • If this is a UI issue, collect screenshots of any error messages and or note any events in the event logs related to the behavior.

If this is an indexing issue:

  • Verify that indexing has completed.
  • Verify if problem is limited to a specific file type or location of file.
  • Check to see if the location of file and file type is specified to be indexed under advanced options for WDS. if available, does rebuilding the index correct the issue?

If this is policy related:

  • Verify which WDS .ADM is being used.
  • Collect Gpresult to see what policies are being applied.
  • The following registry keys can be exported and examined to confirm policy settings applied by Windows Search: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search

 

Additional Resources: