Last Reviewed:  October 17, 2017

I Can't Search Network Files

Issue

When you try to search files on the network using the Windows Search engine, you either get an error or nothing at all.

Description of Problem

Either Windows Search isn't enabled on the machine that houses your network files, your FileCenter data isn't being indexed there, or the index isn't being shared.

This article will take you step-by-step through getting everything set up.

Step One: See if Windows Search is Enabled

First you need to find out if Windows Search is enabled on the machine that houses your network files. To find out whether it's enabled, log onto that computer with Administrator privileges, then go to the Windows Control Panel and see if there's an item called Indexing or Indexing Options. If there is, you're in good shape. Skip ahead to Step Three: Set Up the Indexing Service.

If you don't have that option available, go on to Step Two: Enable Windows Search.

But My Server Doesn't Run Windows!

If your server doesn't run Windows, your only option is to use the alternate search engine that comes with FileCenter Professional, dtSearch. To enable dtSearch:

  1. Go to FileCenter's Settings
  2. Select Search on the left
  3. Select Enable dtSearch
  4. Set the Default Search Engine to dtSearch
  5. Select dtSearch Indexing on the left
  6. Select Enable Auto-Indexer
  7. Select each cabinet you want to be able to search
  8. Set an appropriate time for the indexer to run each day
  9. Click OK
  10. Repeat on your other workstations

Step Two: Enable Windows Search (if necessary)

Older versions of Windows and Windows Server don't have indexing enabled by default. Follow these steps to get it enabled:

Windows Server 2008 R2

  1. Start the Server Manager.
  2. Click Roles in the left navigation pane.
  3. Click Add Roles in the Roles Summary pane.
  4. On the Server Roles page, select the File Services role, and then click Next.
  5. On the Role Services page, select the Windows Search Service role service, and then click Next.
  6. On the Confirmation page, verify that Windows Search Service is listed, and then click Install.

Windows Server 2012 and Newer

  1. Start the Server Manager.
  2. Click Manage, and then click Add Roles and Features.
  3. On the Before You Begin page, click Next.
  4. On the Installation Type page, select Role-based or Feature-based Installation, and then click Next.
  5. On the Server Selection page, select the server or virtual hard disk on which to install Windows Search Service.
  6. On the Features page, select Windows Search Service, and then click Next
  7. On the Confirmation page, verify that Windows Search Service is listed, and then click Install.

Windows XP

Download Windows Search 4.0 for Windows XP and install it. Only download it from Microsoft.com!

Step Three: Set Up the Indexing Service

You should now have an item called Indexing or Indexing Options in the Control Panel. (If you don't see it, go to the Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services, right-click on Windows Search, select Properties, change the Startup Type to Automatic, click Apply, then click the Start button).

Do the following:

  1. Double-click Indexing or Indexing Options in the Control Panel.
  2. Click the Advanced button.
  3. Click the File Types tab.
  4. Select PDF on the list.
  5. If it doesn't say PDF Filter or File Properties Filter next to it, follow the instructions in this Knowledgebase article.
  6. Select Index Properties and File Contents.
  7. Click OK.

Step Four: Tell the Indexer Which Folders to Index

Now back in Indexing Options, click the Modify button. This is where you'll select the folders that need to be indexed. Drill down to the folders that hold your FileCenter data and put a checkmark next to them. Select any other folders you want to be able to search. When you're done, click OK.

The indexer will run automatically. If you have a lot of data, you'll need to give it a few hours to get everything indexed. You can see the indexer's progress in Indexing Options.

IMPORTANT: Do Not Map to a DFS Share

Windows Search does not work in a DFS environment (Distributed File System). If you use DFS shares on your network, you'll need to change your workstations so that they map directly to the server where Windows Search is set up.

Step Five: Put the Index in a Shared Folder

If your index isn't in a shared folder, your workstations may not have access to it. Do the following:

  1. On the server, go into the Windows Control Panel > Indexing Options
  2. Go to the Advanced tab
  3. Change the Index Location to a folder that you can share on the network
  4. Make sure that all of your network users have access to that folder