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mrplow 02-23-2009 04:10 AM

Spotlight constantly indexing
My current install of Leopard has been running fine since it was installed, 3 days after Leopard was released. Never had any major issues.

In the last couple of weeks however Spotlight indexes, seemingly randomly. It brings the machine to a grinding halt for a couple of minutes, then you get 2-3 minutes use before going at it again. This problem gets even worse when using Safari.

If I reboot the machine it always seems to do a 'full' index which takes 2-3 hours.

I've tried permissions repairs, Onyx and Main menu spotlight index cleaning, cache cleaning.... the list goes on.

Finally seemed to sort itself out after a mammoth 5hour re-index this weekend.

Tried spotlight this morning and it's only bringing back dictionary results.

I'd previous added my downloads folder to the Privacy tab (thinking that downloading new files etc was causing the re-indexing). Came to remove the downloads folder from the privacy list and I get error "The item couldn't be added or removed because of an unknown error" - arrggghhhh!!!! Can't add or remove anything from this list.

For info:
I have a 250gb disk that has 70gb free.
The last 'significantly sized' software to be added was iLife '09 - anyone know of any issues with iLife 09 and spotlight?

I've Googled and Googled but I just seem to be going around in circles. Disabling, re-enabling and re-indexing but the results seem short lived.

I'm hoping that someone here will have a different take on the problem, ideally someone that has experienced and resolved similar issues.

Fingers crossed. Don't really want to resort to the old windows stalwart of flattening the machine and re-installing from scratch.


bobtomay 02-23-2009 07:03 AM

Had something similar - removed the plist file - thinking that would be it in this case, because that is where the info related to your user account (such as what you've added to the privacy tab) would be stored.

It is located at user/Library/Preferences/

Move it to the desktop, log out and back in.

I've been using this as my 2nd choice after cleaning with Onyx or MainMenu. Removing the plist file and letting it create a new one seems to fix a multitude of random issues with individual programs.

If it fixes it, you can go ahead and trash the file.

mrplow 02-23-2009 08:00 AM

Thanks bobtomay, was sure I tried that before but it seems to have stopped the re-indexing....for now.

I still can't add or remove items from the privacy list without error though

Any more ideas?

bobtomay 02-23-2009 11:49 AM

I'll see what I can find on that later. Won't be back to my Mac till after work. Maybe someone else will have a suggestion.

mrplow 02-23-2009 01:04 PM


I've deleted the .Spotlight-V100 folders from the root of my mac and bootcamp volumes.

That seems to have corrected the privacy tab issues and your plist deletion suggestion seems to be holding the re-indexing at bay..... fingers crossed.

Thanks for your help

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