Shaun Cassells at MyITForum.com

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May 2011 - Posts

How-To fix Windows 7 Start Menu Search being slow


Recently I noticed that my Windows 7 x64 Start Menu searches was ghastly slow taking longer than 10 seconds to return anything.  I checked a few things commonly broken and then found my issue was due to the indexer trying to search non-existent locations.

After reviewing:

·         Ensuring indexing enabled

o   Description: Indexing creates and maintains a database of file attributes. This can lead to multiple small writes when creating/deleting/modifying files. Disabling will still allow searching for files will still work.

o   Instructions: Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Manage -> Services and Applications -> Services - > Right-Click Windows Search -> Startup type: Automatic (Delayed Start)-> OK

·         Ensuring defragmentation enabled

o   Description: Defragmenting a hard disk's used space is only useful on mechanical disks with multi-millisecond latencies.  Questionable for SSD's. Free-space defragmentation may be useful to SSDs, but this feature is not available in the default Windows Defragmenter.

o   Instructions: Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Manage -> Services and Applications -> Services - > Right-Click Disk Defragmenter -> Startup type: Manual -> OK

·         Ensuring Write Caching enabled

o   Description: Most modern platter based HD's have a cache.  Generally there is no cache on the SSD, so there are no benefits to write caching. There are conflicting reports on whether this gains speed or not.

o   Instructions: Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Manage -> Device Manager -> Disk drives -> Right-Click Your drive -> Properties -> Policies Tab -> Check Enable write caching -> OK

I found my issue was due to dead file links in the Indexed Locations settings.  Resolution:

·          Ensuring all Indexed Locations are Available

o   Description: When indexing is setup it takes a snapshot of files and locations.  If these locations are removed for any reason the index remains.  This would normally be cleared out if the locations were not selected directly.

o   Instructions: Start Menu -> Control Panel -> Index Options -> Modify -> Uncheck any folder locations marked by (Unavailable) -> OK -> Advanced -> Rebuild

This is the same kind of issue you can run into if your system path values include UNC or Web addresses.

·          Ensure a Healthy System Path

o   Instructions: Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Properties -> Advanced Systems Settings ->Advanced Tab -> Environment Variables -> System Variables -> Path

§  Best practices

·         Place all local paths first

·         C:\windows; C:\windows\system32; C:\windows\system32\wbem must be present

·         Remove duplicates

·         Be cautious of UNC paths (ensure they are available)

·         Be cautious of HTTP paths (bad idea)


Posted: May 02 2011, 01:56 PM by scassells | with no comments
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