Windows Desktop Search quirks…

Written by Cornelius J. van Dyk on . Posted in Blog

I was originally a X1 Desktop Search user, but with the coming of Office 2007, the installation of Windows Desktop Search became a prerequisite, so I switched to using it.

When I was using the 2.x.x versions of WDS I started to notice some quirks that just didn’t seem right to me. I wrote it off as being “beta” and continued on my way. Now that WDS is in a full new release (3.0) I revisit some of the items to see if they’re still around.

  1. Snoozing does not work for anything but 15 minute settings.If you look at the following screen print you will notice a couple of things:

    1. The time is 11:49 AM.
    2. The Indexer was set to Snooze for 30 minutes which means that it will kick back into action at 12:19 PM.
    3. There are 3,427 items to scan. Since my email is being scanned and continually growing, this number may increase slightly before 12:19 PM, but it should certainly not decrease.
    Now here’s a screen shot 21 minutes later. You will notice:

    1. The time is 12:10 PM, 21 minutes later.
    2. The status is shown as “Indexer Snoozing”.
    3. There are 1,013 items left to scan. This tells me that the Indexer has been scanning items for, probably the last 6 minutes, even though it’s supposed to be snoozing for 30 minutes. It pretty much doesn’t matter which setting you choose, you cannot snooze the indexer for more than 15 minutes. This can be very annoying.
    So the question is now “Why is this an issue?” It’s an issue because the Indexer can be very taxing on your machine and when it actively indexes items, it can cause response time delays or even what appears to be application freezes. Of course the application unfreezes as soon as the indexer is done, but it can cause some strife.

    The solution to this problem, brings me to the second quirk…
  2. Process Priority cannot be set.

    If you open the Task Manager and click on the “Process” tab, you will find the Indexer services listed together as in this image:

    The problem is that if you try to set the process priority for these services by right clicking on each one, you will get an Access Denied error in all cases except the “searchprotocolhost.exe”. To reduce impact, you can set the latter’s priority all the way down to Low.

    “searchfilterhost.exe” will remain on BelowNormal and “searchindexer.exe” will remain on Normal priority settings.
I will say that 3.0 seems to be much better optimized than 2.x.x ever was so it’s getting better each day… still not X1, but getting better…



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Cornelius J. van Dyk

Born and raised in South Africa during the 70's I got my start in computers when a game on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum crashed, revealing it's BASIC source code. The ZX had a whopping 48K of memory which was considered to be a lot in the Commodore Vic20 era, but more importantly, it had BASIC built into the soft touch keyboard. Teaching myself to program, I coded my first commercial program at age 15.

After graduating high school at 17, I joined the South African Air Force, graduating the Academy and becoming a Pilot with the rank of First Lieutenant by age 20. After serving my country for six years, I made my way back into computer software.

Continuing my education, I graduated Suma Cum Laude from the Computer Training Institute before joining First National Bank where my work won the Smithsonian Award for Technological Innovation in the field of Banking and Insurance. Soon I met Will Coleman from Amdahl SA, who introduced me to a little known programming language named Huron/ObjectStar. As fate would have it, this unknown language and Y2K brought me to the USA in 1998.

I got involved with SharePoint after playing around with the Beta for SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Leaving my career at Rexnord to become a consultant in 2004, I was first awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for SharePoint in 2005, becoming only the 9th MVP for WSS at the time. I fulfilled a life long dream by pledging allegiance to the Flag as a US citizen in 2006. I met the love of my life and became a private consultant in 2008. I was honored to receive my ninth MVP award for SharePoint Server in 2013.

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