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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives System 10.4
Tiger only hintI have a couple of disks that I use as offsite backup drives that I only want to be complete copies of my primary backup drive. None of these are drives I want to have Spotlight indexed per se, but from time to time, I might need to recover a file. So after experiencing abysmal wait periods when I was doing a Spotlight search (since the external drives have to spin up before delivering anything to Spotlight I guess), I added these to the Spotlight Privacy preferences.

When trying to recover a file later on, I used the Finder's search field as I have always done on Panther. However, even though I was doing a search limited to one folder tree, I was not getting any results. That's when I discovered that the Finder search field, at least for local drives, only searches using Spotlight -- whether or not this is enabled for the drive/folder or not.

Currently I don't know of any workarounds either, except going command-line...

[robg adds: I hadn't noticed this problem, either, until reading this hint. After testing, I confirmed that, if you have a drive that Spotlight is set to ignore, you can't find anything on it at all. It seems that a basic Finder search should be possible. With the Privacy tab, though, it seems it's all or nothing. Perhaps a way to set "Allow Finder searches by filenames" for drives marked Private. The terminal is the only workaround at this point (via locate or find . -name ...).]
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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives | 18 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives
Authored by: Gigacorpse on Jun 17, '05 10:36:55AM

http://systemsboy.blogspot.com/2005/05/getting-back-to-search-basics.html

I don't have any external drives to test against but it might be adaptable to fix the problem.



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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives
Authored by: wallygva on Jun 17, '05 11:19:50AM

You will also find this website useful...helps you pull just your backup drives out of Spotlight's reach...

http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/stopspotlightindex.html



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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives
Authored by: egilDOTnet on Jun 17, '05 04:39:05PM

Good resources, both of these (thanks!). I will certainly use mdutil for my part then. I actually tried that for a while, but did not do any searches against the drive in question so that I didnt discover the difference in behaviour from the Privacy tab.



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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives
Authored by: elmimmo on Jun 18, '05 06:35:42AM

Note that while the hint in that link will make SpotLight, Finder's search field and Command+F to fall back to Panther-like behaviour (that is, "name contains…" ignoring metadata and content), you will be loosing search capabilities in Mail 2.



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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives
Authored by: arg on Jun 18, '05 05:23:21PM

Just to be clear, you don't lose ALL search capabilities in Mail. You only lose search-by-message-contents (or "Entire Message" as it's called in Mail) capabilties. Searching by to, from, and subject all continue to work.



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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives
Authored by: emale on Jun 18, '05 07:22:29AM

Thanks for this tip. I thought I could fix an issue when disabling spotlight, but unfortunately this did not help - however I keep Spotlight disabled and keep the Panther-like search.
One my problem of Tiger - I think I didn't have it in Tiger - was that I have a file called "myfile" on my harddisk. When searching for "myfile" or "my": No problem, there it is! But if I remember "there was important data in a file called 'file' or something like that" I'm really stuck! I can't find the file "myfile" when I'm searching for "file". Tiger only searches for names starting with the entered word!
Hope, Apple will fix this - so be critical when searching for files and your Mac can't find anything...



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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives
Authored by: skunk on Jun 18, '05 08:22:01AM

Good point. I have often been stymied searching for files with a partial name which does not include the first part of the name.



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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives
Authored by: elmimmo on Jun 17, '05 11:00:18AM
Or use old and trusty EasyFind. Bad UI, but great app, which will let you search by filename, and even (only if you want to) in contents too, without need of indexing (obviously crawling when compared to Spotlight; I used it back when we depended on Sherlock's scheduled indexing).

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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives
Authored by: diamondsw on Jun 17, '05 11:08:13AM

Since Spotlight ignores the BSD folders as well, good luck finding anything in there. I was trying to locate the text "Bluetooth-PDA-Sync" which I knew was *somewhere* on my system. find/xargs/grep choked on pathname spaces. Other methods just searched filenames.

Finally, I used TextWrangler (opened as root via Psuedo) and had it search the contents of the drive, which took forever, but found the file (/var/root/Library/Preferences/blued.plist).



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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives
Authored by: fracai on Jun 17, '05 11:59:38AM

I assume you mean something like
find <search terms, etc> | xargs grep
or something

your friend here is -print0 as a find option and -0 as a xargs option
this will print matching files seperated by a null character and will set xargs to seperate input by null characters instead of returns and spaces

find <search terms, etc> -print0 | xargs -0 grep

---
i am jack's amusing sig file



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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives
Authored by: RobertBen on Jun 18, '05 05:37:31AM

The tip (just above) to use Easyfind instead makes more sense to me, will find anything anywhere on your Mac.

Since Tiger I use Easyfind in conjunction with Spotlight and this combination works very well.

I still don't understand why Apple excluded the 'old' way of searching, offering it in conjunction with Spotlight would have made sense.
Probably as an advanced option to keep things clear for novice users.

Maybe in 10.4.2? (just dreaming ;-)



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spotlight woes
Authored by: SOX on Jun 17, '05 11:31:31AM

Spotlight is definetely versions 0.9.

I have a drive with two partions. When I run mdutil -i off <drvie/partition>; mdutil -E <drive/partition> it stops indexing one but not the other. Obviously a bug.

And the too-short typing delay issue is maddening. best workaround is to leave open a text window type your queries there and them right click to search in spotlight.

Finally there ought to be two different command keys for search by name and seach by spotlight. I dislike having to command-F then selection search by name, then fill in a different form.



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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives
Authored by: jarcher on Jun 17, '05 11:35:41AM

I've used a utility for quite some time that I find helpful in these situations. It is simply a GUI frontend to the locate database which shouls allready exist and be automaticaly updated weekly through your cron. I also like it for finding hidden files & such. It has built in function for offline materials as well but I do not have experience with that function. The program is LOCATOR and can be found here: http://www.sebastian-krauss.de/software/



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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives
Authored by: davidwb45133 on Jun 17, '05 01:46:46PM

It never occurred to me to post this non-hint here but it is something that many of us discovered over the first week or so that Tiger was out. Unfortunately, Apple's discussion moderators moved, locked, and deleted threads discussing this and other problems.

If you go to the Apple Discussion site and select Tiger, Spotlight and then jump to the last page, the last three threads have some interesting information that I think all Tiger users should know about Spotlight. At times the tone is strident but the conversations, until so rudely interrupted by Apple, were quite interesting and helpful.



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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives
Authored by: rorya on Jun 19, '05 03:17:38PM

It's a perfect example of why changing Finder's search function to invoke Spotlight is a bad idea. Another side effect of the same problem is exhibited when you disable Spotlight altogether (in /etc/hostconfig). Once you do that, you can't use the Finder's search -- of course, since it depends on Spotlight. In that case Apple should have designed the finger to drop back to the Pre-10.4 search mechanism. As it is now, we have no choice.
Sorry Apple, but not all of us think Spotlight is the search panacea you seem to think it is. While is I recognize the advances it provides to the basic search paradigm, I think it should have been designed as an optional system, and not a complete replacement for the conventional search facilities we're accustomed to in MacOS.
I think a lot of Spotlight's issues/bugs will be resolved with the upcoming OS updates, but I think Apple made a bad decision by not giving us a choice to NOT use it.

---
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Arthur C. Clarke



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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives
Authored by: dreamer-of-rules on Jun 19, '05 09:35:56PM

I think that conceptually, Finder is doing the right thing. You marked the drive as Private, so that it would not be included in searches. The 'correct' fix would be to allow for "Do not index external drives for Spotlight" and Finder should revert back to its old behaviour for non-Spotlight drives.

To be perfectly clear, it's not a "privacy" issue, it's a "performance" issue.



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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives
Authored by: gevitek on Jun 20, '05 06:47:54AM

Well why don't you just turn off indexing for the volume with

sudo mdutil -i off /Volumes/volume_name

Then the volume isn't indexed, but old-style name search works just fine in the Finder. When Spotlight says "Privacy" it really means privacy, not just turning off indexing.



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10.4: Finder searches fail for Spotlight-excluded drives
Authored by: kattatsu on Aug 05, '05 07:00:49AM

Just look at the Apple support page.

Spotlight: How to re-index files and folders

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=301562

Good luck!



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