Windows search and indexing do not work in Windows 7

I swapped hard drives on my laptop by cloning. Everything works fine except Windows Search and indexing, which worked fine before. I'm using Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. I've tried the "solutions" on the Microsoft help site but none has worked yet. I only one I didn't try was to reinstall Windows because that takes so long. Thanks for any help.
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  1. Hi Dave, welcome to Tom's Hardware.

    Sounds like you have had both hardware and software issues recently. That's exemplary you cloned a laptop HDD and everything went smoothly.
    The cloning copies bit by bit, sector by sector everything from your old disk to your new disk. It doesn't leave out bits and pieces, or reset OS or application settings. So everything on your old HDD will be there on the new HDD.

    The indexing and search might have been changed by a recently installed application, a windows update download, even malware.
    Running Win-7, go to your control panel, and there is a choice Indexing Options. Review those folders your system does search, and at the bottom is a troubleshooting tool that will check out your Indexing and search features, may even correct problems if it finds any.
  2. Thanks for your help. Interestingly the Windows troubleshooting tools also would not work on my cloned drive. I reinstalled the former hard drive and Windows Search worked fine. I then formatted the new drive and cloned it again, using the Toto backup program again. It turned out that Windows Search did not work on the cloned drive, well before any updates. So I went back to my original (smaller and slower) drive. Apparently cloning, at least with the Toto program, does make some minor changes. Besides Windows Search, QuickBooks will not run after cloning until a registration file is deleted and the program is re-registered. I don't understand this, but it doesn't look like I might be stuck with my old drive.
  3. Hi Dave,

    Might try the Easeus Partition Master program (free also) to see that will clone over your HDD to the SSD without errors.
  4. Thanks to both of you for your answers. I tried cloning again using Acronis Seagate DiscWizard, which seemed to do a good job a little faster than the Easeus Toto Backup program. Search and troubleshooters were again disabled after the clone, and none of the normal ways to start them in Services and Control Panel Programs worked. So I went back to my original drive again. Apparently something in the cloning process disrupts some Windows 7 64 bit services.
  5. Instead of cloning you could try making an image backup of your old disk to an external HDD using win 7 own image backup options as long as you have a win 7 disk with your bitness of OS to use to do the restore. Then put in your new HDD (as long as it is at least as large or old disk).
    Then boot using the windows 7 disk and go to the repair option and select restore option and choose your restore point or use the default latest one.
    If the new disk is larger than the old disk you may need to use a partition manager to reclaim the unused space on the new disk.
  6. Hi Dave,

    By all rights, cloning copies bit by bit data from one drive to another. It doesn't make any changes to any program or application, or even know what OS or programs are on a disk, it just copies the bits. You have to use the same size or larger target disk (SSD) as the source disk, or there would have to be bit address changes to accomodate for that.

    I can see how a program, like QuickBooks, might look at the SN, and the HDD SN and if they don't match assume it is an non registered version. If you make a significant change in hdw, like a HDD or Network card, Windows will even make you re register the OS. That does'nt mean the bits have benn copied incorrectly.

    There is an interesting post about how to fix the Search and Indexing not functioning, by deleting its indexed data and temp files. Then it automatically rebuilds the index and works properly. Might take a look at it. Here's the URL
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