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Indexing network mapped drives management

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Old 04-15-2009

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Indexing network mapped drives

I installed new machines at a client's location with Vista. Boy, do i regret
that choice but that is a whole other story.

The owner wanted to be able to search for files 'just like on XP' . I knew
the XP machines had google desktop installed. But since Vista comes with it's
own indexing toolkit I though: hey, why not use MS's tools for a change?

So I setup windows search. Just the fact that manual intervention was needed
to have it index Outlook for all user accounts should have rung a bell. But
it didn't. It seemed to work ok.

After a couple of days I got a call telling me that too few search results
came up. After a bit of reading I found that windows search does not index
network locations. Mapped or not. But, depair not, Microsoft released an
extension that enables you to search UNC locations. Ok, I can live with
entering \\server\location instead of entering u:\. The fact that this so
called extension is not included with windows search by default should have
rung a bell. Again it didn't.

Even reading about known problems with this extension didn't ring a bell.
Most common problem seemed to be word, excel, etc. not being able to save
documents anymore. Looking at the date those problems where reported, late
2006, I thought to myself, nah, surely they fixed those old problems in 2009?

So I went ahead and installed the extension leaving my customer in a happy
state.....For a few days.

I got a call telling me that 'sometimes' they where unable to save their
word,or excel documents. Aarrghh. Nooooooo. This can't be! Well, yes, it was.

I just cannot believe MS hasn't fixed such a crucial part of an indexing
tool. In the end I had to do a system restore to get rid of the extension. I
installed Google desktop and 'it just works'. I disabled windows search,
disabled the windows sidebar since we now had a better one and my customer is

Moral? I guess MS needs to kick Ballmer out of his lazy chair and put me in
the driver seat so Google could get some real competition ;-)
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