13 December 2006

December 13 Windows Desktop Search quirks…

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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