"windows cannot find 'search:query=XXX'" error message Windows Serach

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by rastamanx, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. rastamanx

    rastamanx New Member

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    Hi All.

    I am hoping to get some additional assistance for resolving another "windows cannot find 'search:query=XXX'" error I have been experiencing lately.

    The problem is similar to the one I described previously (here: Windows could not start the Windows Search service on Local Computer)

    ...namely, I am running Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, and have experienced the same error message ( windows cannot find 'search:query=XXX', where XXX is my search query) when attempting to initiate a search via the Windows start menu search box. Unfortunately, my previously proposed solution (of removing a network search location from Windows Search Index list) does not resolve it.....and so finally I resorted to using Samhrutha's proposed solution of modifying the registry to reset Windows Search back to default (which DID work...but ended up removing all the search index customizations I had made).

    However, when I then modify the search indexing options to include indexing of my C: drive, I get the "windows cannot find 'search:query=XXX'" error message.

    If I then uncheck the C: drive box in the search in the search indexing options, the error message does not occur....so I then went thru a tedious process of trying to identify which folders on my C drive were causing the issue, and from what I am able to tell, the "windows cannot find 'search:query=XXX'" error message seems to always occur when the indexing options include at least one folder WHICH IS OWNED by TRUSTED INSTALLER (e.g., program files folder, program files (x86), c:, etc.). This wasn't a problem previously, so my guess is that MS Update recently (e.g., w/in the last few months) changed some security setting which now prevents Windows Search from being able to index/access folders owned by TRUSTED INSTALLER, resulting in the "windows cannot find 'search:query=XXX'" error message.

    Does anyone have any experience/knowledge about this issue and/or any suggestions on how to resolve?
    I would prefer a solution which does not necessitate me changing ownership of all the folders/files on my c: drive (as I am worried this may cause other problems).


    Any help/advice greatly appreciated.


    Thx.
    ~rx
     
  2. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    Must you absolutely index the entire C: drive?

    I would never recommend that Windows users try to use the search index to do an index of the entire drive. If you are able to get the index to work with default settings and a few custom folders, for which you use most often, this is the best possible use of the index. Trying to index the entire C: drive has the potential to defeat the purpose of the index (a faster search) by creating a heavy amount of disk I/O being in use at all times. It will be like your system is constantly running a search. Further, you will have problems with areas you don't have control over, or are written to a lot by various programs. This is one of the many reasons why the AppData and their related folders in User Profiles is usually excluded.

    Although not an answer that may be popular, if you are absolutely intent upon indexing the entire drive, you may want to consider Google Desktop as a real alternative. You will find that the more items that are in your Windows Search Index, the slower the computer may be to boot, the clunkier it will become, and so forth. This is why recommendations are usually made to decrease the number of files in the search index, rather than increase them. One of the best ways to do this on an Office install is to remove Outlook files from the index.

    The operating system works very hard to give the Windows Search Index priority access to files and folders that are indexed - and indexing an entire drive is almost certainly a recipe for disaster.

    The Windows Search Index, in and of itself, is designed to make searching for particulars that much easier, but not an entire drive. Google Desktop, on the other hand, will index your entire drive with ease. If you must keep track of certain key folders, one thing you may want to try is creating a Library with multiple folders and index the library. This is one way to organize data and also keep it indexed without indexing an entire drive.

    I have been able to index the entire C: drive before, but you will quickly realize it is a big mistake. Only index the folders that absolutely need indexing. If Trusted Installer is blocking the Windows Search Index, that is unusual, but not totally unanticipated. You do not want the search index interfering while software applications are also writing to disk. Having a search index of the system folders is inherently a bad idea. It will create a performance headache for you, and there will be potentially hundreds of thousands of files that you will never search in a bottle-necked queue for resources.
     
  3. rastamanx

    rastamanx New Member

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    Hi Mike.
    Thanks for your reply.
    You give sound advice, and I might end up going that route if I keep experiencing these error messages.

    ...but it bothers me somewhat that I was able to index my C: drive a few months ago w/out errors, and now no longer able to...and I'd also like to know:
    1. whether anyone else is experiencing the "windows cannot find 'search:query" error message when attempting to search indexed folders/files owned by TRUSTED INSTALLER; and
    2. (if so) is there any fix for this issue?

    Thx.
    ~rx
     
  4. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    I will give it a go on a test install, with all updates installed, and tell you what my results are. I will not be able to give you the info right away just yet. Mind you this will be on a clean install with all updates installed.
     
  5. rastamanx

    rastamanx New Member

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    Thanks for the help.
    If possible, I'd also be interested in knowing what the "default" ownership is on your test system for the C: drive (top level) as well as for the program files and program files (x86) folders. Is it Trusted Installer?
     
  6. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    I'm still installing updates but the owner is TrustedInstaller.

    For the permissions list:

    Authenticated Users
    SYSTEM
    Administrators
    Users

    If you did happen to have a permissions problem, there is a way to use a tool (its been awhile but I believe its called secedit) to reset the permissions back to default. This is pretty risky, but it does work, at least under Windows Server. It can create quite an issue if not done properly. I doubt you are dealing with a problem like that if you have the info listed above and can still get into all of your folders and so forth.

    You should understand that the folder permissions in Windows 7 are way different than, say, XP. Its done with the idea that unless you are an authenticated admin, you can't go around poking through different system folders. Much like the Linux filesystem, it is designed with security in mind. So you will not own c:\ by default. As an admin account you'll have access to it, certainly, but it won't be under the complete ownership of your account. To do so would open the door to security problems. The later versions of Windows try to make it an explicit consent when you make changes to the system, and not implied consent. So you are not fooled by viruses and malware, etc.

    Keep in mind I am still installing updates to try your entire indexing of the C drive. Although I highly recommend against it, I will post my results when thats done.
     
  7. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    I hope this further information helps you: After doing a clean install of Windows and installing every Windows Update, I placed the entire C: drive in the Windows Search Index. Some folders were excluded by default: ProgramData; Data; AppData (twice in two different spots); Windows; CSC

    While not all files are indexed yet, the search still works. There is heavy disk activity on-going.
     
  8. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    On a clean install, only 3488 files are indexed with all of C: and that exceptions list. On a fully loaded system it could be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of files. These results may not be useful. I am able to search data in Program Files
     
  9. rastamanx

    rastamanx New Member

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    Hi Mike.
    Thanks for taking time to test out and report back.
    The ability to index/search my program files folders (and other c: drive folders) is very useful for me at times.
    From my prior experience, I usually find that once Windows Search has finished indexing the C: drive, there is much less ongoing indexing activity/load.

    ...so, given you've confirmed that at least program files folder can be indexed w/out producing error message, I now have to figure out and identify what has changed on my C: drive to now cause Windows Search to display the "windows cannot find 'search:query=XXX'" error message after I add folders from my C: drive to the search indexing options....it seems to me that there's some connection between the security/privileges/ownership of the folder and the error message...but beyond that, I have no clue...

    For example, if I uncheck the entire C drive from being indexed, I get no error message. If I add C:/USERS to the index, i get no errors...but if I then add C:/Program Files to the index, I get the "windows cannot find 'search:query=XXX'" error message. (Note: this only happens when I search via the Start Menu search box, and then select "See More Results")

    Do you have any thoughts/advice about what could possibly be causing this error (or how to go about isolating/identifying the cause)?

    ~rx
     
    #9 rastamanx, Nov 26, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  10. rastamanx

    rastamanx New Member

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    SOLVED!!

    I just discovered a solution to my problem:

    In "Customize Start Menu" options (of Taskbar and Start Menu Properties), set 'Search other files and Libraries' selection to SEARCH WITHOUT PUBLIC FOLDERS. Then click OK twice.

    Doing this, I am now able to add: I add the entire C: drive (or selected C: drive folders) to my Windows Search index w/out getting any "windows cannot find 'search:query=XXX'" error messages when I search via the Start Menu search box, and select "See More Results". The same is true even if the OneNote index box ("oneindex://{s-1-5-21.....") is checked in Windows Search indexing options.

    Yay!! :)
     
  11. ksl82

    ksl82 New Member

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    I don't know if this will fix your problem, but it fixed mine after many temporary fixes:

    Blue Screen Solutions: Windows cannot find 'search:query=cmd"



     
  12. rastamanx

    rastamanx New Member

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    @ksl82--did you see my previous post?


    Re: "windows cannot find 'search:query=XXX'" error message Windows Serach


    SOLVED!!

    I just discovered a solution to my problem:

    In "Customize Start Menu" options (of Taskbar and Start Menu Properties), set 'Search other files and Libraries' selection to SEARCH WITHOUT PUBLIC FOLDERS. Then click OK twice.

    Doing this, I am now able to add: I add the entire C: drive (or selected C: drive folders) to my Windows Search index w/out getting any "windows cannot find 'search:query=XXX'" error messages when I search via the Start Menu search box, and select "See More Results". The same is true even if the OneNote index box ("oneindex://{s-1-5-21.....") is checked in Windows Search indexing options.
     
  13. ksl82

    ksl82 New Member

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