Canadian Mac Forums at ehMac banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This has happened around half a dozen times now, so I'm considering asking for a bit of help on this one.

I use spotlight religiously to open programs etc. However, every so often, spotlight seems to 'unindex' or simply not have any of my currently used applications (safari, mail, firefox, and so forth). I cannot access them at all with spotlight and must use the finder. The only solution I've found is reindexing. Does anyone have any idea whats going on and how to stop this madness? Running snow leopard.

Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,860 Posts
OK. No idea why you are using Spotlight to open or switch apps as that is the purpose of the Dock.

HD Content Indexing started way back with OS 8.6 and from that time forth has suffered from Index corruption. Prior to Tiger (OS 10.4x) Indexing was either off by default or occurred during the early hours of the morning. Starting with 10.4 Apple chose to go with live indexing and tie the search feature to the Indexing. Sadly they did not first come up with a way to keep the Index from sometimes becoming corrupt. As drives get bigger and external drives are added, Live Content Indexing becomes less stable.

While I have chosen to toggle off Spotlight and its Index, you seem to find it quite useful. For this reason I would suggest using ONYX or what ever freeware app you prefer to routinely rebuild the Spotlight Index at least once a month. When rebuilding the Index be sure to give the Index lots of time to rebuild itself before going back to normal use of your computer.

Also, when unmounting external drives be sure to give them an additional 10 seconds or longer after the Icon disappears from the desktop and before physically disconnecting the drive.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,860 Posts
I only use the dock to open apps. Spotlight the bloat, is something I avoid like the plague. A simple "Find" in the Finder File menu is far superior for my search needs.
Sorry Sinc, but if you disable Spotlight Indexing altogether you will find that even that simple find depends on the Spotlight Index.

To get around this I now use FindAnyFile: Thomas Tempelmann - Applications - Find Any File Not as elegant as Panthers search engine but it does get the job done and it is lightning fast.

Thankfully I do not need to search Mail and iTunes internal search is independent of Spotlight Indexing.
 

·
$webGeek = 1;
Joined
·
331 Posts
+1 for finding a better workflow. Having an application one click away on your dock is far more accessible than searching for the application with spotlight and then clicking on it.

That being said... If you really think there is something wrong with spotlight a simple reboot of your computer can sometimes fix minor issues with the spotlight data cache.

If that doesn't do it, you could take a slightly more geeky approach, skip any unnecessary software, manually reset spotlights data cache, and then force it to re-index your hard drive. NOTE: Indexing can take some hours, and is best done before bedtime to ensure you give it enough time.

Step 1) Open up /Applications/utilities/Terminal

Step 2) To reset the data cache, type the following command into Terminal, then follow by pressing the enter key:
Code:
sudo mdutil -E /
Step 3) Type in your password when prompted, then press the enter key

Step 4) To force spotlight to start indexing, type in the following command, then follow by pressing the enter key:
Code:
sudo mdutil -i on /
step 5) You will notice that your computer appears to be under heavy load, and it is, so it is best to leave it alone and let it do its thing until it's finished some hours later.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,860 Posts
Do I dare ask how you have "toggle off Spotlight and its Index"??

Or did you just use the privacy tab to include all your volumes??

Just curious.
This was done through Terminal. Would have to go back and check the command line sequences. First involved turning off Indexing then deleting the Spotlight metadata index for each Volume. The commands I have are for Tiger not sure if anything has changed as far as the Leopards go.

FWIW Tiger on an eMac is a lot snappier with Spotlight off. Also far fewer issues with external drives connected, although some of those issues were supposedly resolved with 10.4.4 and a couple of the later updates.

Edit:
Solution here but shutting off indexing and erasing the index must be done for each Volume: How to completely disable Spotlight
"sudo -s" must be invoked before you can actually disable Spotlight.

It is possible to shut off Indexing for things like thumb drives without disabling Indexing on your main drive, although it must be set up for each new external drive.

Note the easy shortcut for Leopard and Later at the bottom of the article.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,149 Posts
Thanks, I just thought that I may have missed any new Stoplight "toggle switch" that Apple might have nicely added in one of their latest OS X release updates.

Besides, I usually rely on 'Find Any File' and 'EasyFind" 80+% of the time anyway.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top