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mac spotlight where is indexing saved

Posted on 2010-11-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi,
Where is indexing information saved and in what format, I have an ecrypted drive and would like to turn on indexing but then that would make the list of files indexed and visible...?
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Question by:NewtonianB
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3 Comments
 
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by:woolnoir
woolnoir earned 166 total points
ID: 34130441
A file called .Spotlight-V100 at the root of every drive is where the index's are stored...
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PowerIT earned 167 total points
ID: 34130448
Spotlight creates a per volume database with all its index related files in the ".Spotlight-V100" directory at the root level of the volume it has indexed.
You can easily verify this by using a e.g. thumbstick. When you have used it on OS X and then attach it to a Windows or Linux system you will see this directory.
Or on a Mac: open Terminal, cd /Volumes. Then cd to the volume and execute a 'ls .*'. This will also show the hidden folder.
So the index files are stored on the encrypted volume.
However, this does not mean that Spotlight never creates temporary files in other locations. In theory it shouldn't. I have found no documentation that it does. But it doesn't hurt to consider this risk.

kr, J.
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by:strung
strung earned 167 total points
ID: 34133195
If you are using File Vault to encrypt your drive, it encrypts only the home folder. I believe the home folder is then treated as a separate volume. There is then a .Spotlight-V100 folder at the root of the hard drive containing the index for the unencrypted portion of the drive and a separate .Spotlight-V100 folder at the root of the home folder for the index to the home folder.

The easiest way to find these folders is to turn them visible using the freeware Invisibles utility:  http://blog.tice.de/software.php?page=InVisibles%20engl

Remember to turn change the file visibility back to invisible after you are done.
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