Searchlight's gone dim

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Searchlight. It used to be perfect--3 seconds, and that photo or Word document was found. Now nothing can be found. On another forum, a snide person responded, but the idea to click on Searchlight, add any drives and then take them out again to induce them to be in the search received an error message. All occurred when I upgraded my OS. (I am now at OS 10.8.5, early 2011 MacBook Pro.)
 

bobtomay

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You mean Spotlight? If you just finished the upgrade to a new version of OS X, it is going to take some time for Spotlight to reindex the drive - how long depends on how much data you have on the drive - usually less than 24 hrs run time though.

Maybe snide - maybe not - but, that is exactly how you force Spotlight to reindex the drive.

The error message was ?
 

bobtomay

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You could also download the appropriate version of Onyx for your version of OS X, head to the Automation tab - Maintenance section and place a check in the 'Rebuilding: Spotlight Index'.
 
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Er... Spotlight, yes

Thanks, Bobtomay--of course, yes, Spotlight. I like the idea of Onyx, whatever it may be, but perhaps it's a Linux 'brand'? Is there Linux for Mac?

The error message:
PRIVACY LIST ERROR
THE ITEM COULDN'T BE ADDED OR REMOVED BECAUSE OF AN UNKNOWN ERROR

Not very helpful, I'm afraid. Of course, for anything I try and add--external hard drives, essential drives, no matter. I have or had the G/H drive permanently attached for day after day and it never made a difference. Sounds like Onyx may be the way to go.

As for snide, it wasn't that the information wasn't accurate, but when a Google page telling me what to do was given to me, there was an overlaid ad within it that literally blocked me from reading the entire solution--some code error, I suppose. I just asked was there another link because I literally could not read the provided one and ... oh, some joke about not being able to read. He did provide a better source ... as above, it didn't work, but he did try. With sniditude, but it was help.
 

bobtomay

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Onyx - link - great free tool for OS X.

Just grab the correct one for your version of OS X - but, no worries - it won't run if you get the wrong one.

Give that a try first, let us know if that takes care of it - reindexing will take a while.
 
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Onyx Mavericks

(Was away at work...) I tried to grab the Onyx but recalled that earlier I'd ignored an offer of a free update to Yosemite. However the App store was busy or messed up a moment ago, so perhaps I'll just take the version for what I do have ... Mavericks.

Not clear yet what I can with this, but I'll see if a little poking around explains it. Does it install some alternate kind of Spotlight, or does it just work on Spotlight from a 3rd-party angle?
 

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To quote the Onyx site for Onyx for Yosemite, "If you’re not familiar with the tool, OnyX is a multifunction utility for OS X which allows you to verify the startup disk and the structure of its system files, to run miscellaneous tasks of system maintenance, to configure some hidden parameters of the Finder, Dock, QuickTime, Safari, Mail, iTunes, login window, Spotlight, and many of Apple’s applications, to delete caches, to remove a certain number of files and folders that may become cumbersome, and more.

Do not download from MacUpdate if possible, here is the developers home site with versions for Mavericks as well. As previously provided by Bobtomay.
Titanium Software - OnyX
 
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All the major people and staff here at Mac Forums run Onyx. You might want to give it a try and the URL that Rod gave above.
 
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Onyx seems to be on it...

An hour or two later, I think I'm getting a message that it's indexing. I say "I think" because I'll type a search term in and it flashes something about indexing the Administrator's Mac Book Pro 15" and then the message--and the search term--vanish. I'll see what the morning brings. Looks promising. Before, I didn't get any such indexing progress status.

And I was incorrect. Not Mavericks, still at Mountain Lion (10.8.5).

Thanks and until Sunday...
 

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Depending upon the size of the drive and how full it is indexing can take some time. That message is to be expected.
 
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11 a.m. Sunday, and I've had the computer running all night since I installed OnyX. Still not done or, at least, the Spotlight check shows a flashed message about how it is indexing. How to be sure it's indexing? Is there a graphic showing completion status? So far I know my SMART disk status has been verified. The "Maintenantce" icon says I can execute--ought I? Oh--back to "Verifying: There is an error message under "Structure of volume": Error:

Error: -69845: File system verify or repair failed
Underlying error: 8: POSIX reports: Exec format error

The volume needs to be repaired.

I guess my question is answered: Execute, yes. Any warnings before I do?
 
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Still hoping

Using Disk Utility (Ctrl-R, suggested by OnyX, I have now verified and repaired where necessary all of my disks--external, HD, two iPods (why not), and ... except for Backup, which cannot be fixed. So I have no backup, but at least I know.

I than ran the permissions maintenance while I did other things (took a while), and it found many differing permissions. Not clear if the "should be's" and the "are's" are left as they were found, or if everything now agrees. Surely I'd need to provide some input?

Anyway, I think OnyX suggested I do this. Wish I'd kept notes, but wanted to ensure the indexing encountered no obstacles. If it is still indexing, I have no way of knowing. But I cannot find anything, still. Trying to get a resume together and looking for certain scanned documents, I am out of luck.

Manual search is next. Thanks for the help.
 
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thanks--maybe THAT will work. I always wonder if these third-party things are safe, reputable. But I still can't find anything, and if indexing is happening, it's not obvious. I'll give FaF a try! Deadline's looming....
 
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Wow--that worked as fast as Spotlight once did. Boom! Luckily, I name every photograph and document, although I mutter with annoyance as I do! Otherwise, searching by size and date would be useless to me. Thanks again, pm-r.
 
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Thanks for the feedback about Find Any File. I couldn't work without it and have used it since it was first released, and it's just got better and faster.

I don't care how fast Stoplight (aka: Spotlight) is supposed to be, I actually enjoy an app that can actually find what you want.

And having the file path shown is often a great asset along with some other view options. ;)
 

chscag

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I almost never use Spotlight since I started using Find any File years ago. At one time you could remove the Spotlight icon from the top menu with an option in OnyX. I'm not sure if you still can and whether or not the indexing can be turned off as before. I need to check into that again.
 
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Find A File

Spotlight used to work like lightning, but 2 or 3 days after installing OnyX, it still can't find a thing. Today it still flashed the indexing-in-progress message--too fast to read--and nothing is offered. And as I have said, all of my files have keywords, so a photo will have the camera-generated number plus some keywords: "DSCF010905 dog stick B&W" or something.

Without such detail, I'd never have been able to find these in Find a File. I sure wouldn't know how big a photo was, which year I may have downloaded it (dogs are 14 now--when did that last porcupine event occur?? 2009, 2005, 2011? ) ... only that it was of my long-lost car, a Barracuda or of my departed dog, Shelby. Or that the byline I'm searching for (1988) was on Valentine's Day. Found!

(I hope it was called Find a File, because that page is gone while I type this closing response. Now to see if I can figure out how to post these found articles on a quick Web page...)
 
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Well, now I'm wondering how on earth you could have had and driven a Barracuda, yet you had the good sense to name your dog Shelby!!! ;) ;)

BTW: The app name is Find Any File. Just in case you lose that bit of info. :D
 
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Yes, saw the name as soon as I got out of my composing page. If I use it to find itself, would be good to know. And not calling Spotlight Searchlight would have been a better beginning to this saga of searching.

As for Shelby, my first-ever dog, a brother suggested the name after the singer Shelby Lynne, whom I was briefly into circa 2001. I'd rather have my '64 Barracuda than any Mustang (after all, that first Barracuda was called the "Mustang-killer" for a reason! ... not a Ford guy! ... although the 2015 Mustang is the first I've been interested in, because it's kind of European-looking. Quite amazing. Sold my 3rd-owner (moi) Barracuda (273 V8) for $500. ****.
 

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