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Outlook indexing does not seem to complete

Posted on 2011-03-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Running Outlook 2007 on a Windows 7 platform, Outlook does not appear to be completing the process of indexing.  Yesterday I needed to restore my hard drive from a saved image.  Before the restore, I saved my outlook.pst file on a separate drive.  After the restore, when I tried to import messages, there was an error that the pst file was damaged and needed to be repaired using the Inbox Repair Tool.  I did the repair, and afterwards, there were messages in various folders which had been deleted several months ago.  More importantly, I could not find certain messages in my archive folders by searching, and there was a report that indexing was still in process (137,043 items across all open mailboxes).  This has persisted for most of the day, without noticeable progress.  Please advise what is wrong and how to remedy it if possible.
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Question by:ddantes
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Accepted Solution

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Alan Hardisty earned 125 total points
ID: 35048296
Indexing usually works when your computer is idle so if it has not been idle, then that would explain why.

If Indexing is not happy - you can restart the indexing in the Control Panel> Indexing> Outlook> Advanced> Rebuild
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 35048335
Thank you for your comment.  I also just noticed that the menu item "Empty Junk Mail Folder" is missing from the context menu for that folder.  Would you mind advising on that point as well?
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 35048349
That's an entirely different question that could involve a multitude of troubleshooting steps and as the title of this question is only about Outlook Indexing, this is not the best place to be asking that question.

If an answer is discovered to the Junk Mail issue, no-one would ever find it because they would need to search for Outlook Indexing!
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 35048388
Understood, and I'll post the question separately.  I will post on this question again, or accept the answer, after giving the system some idle time for indexing and/or using the Control Panel Rebuild Index option.  Thanks.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 35048393
No problems - best to make sure the suggestion works before accepting an answer (in case it doesn't and you need more help).

Thanks for understanding about the Junk Mail issue.

Alan
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Expert Comment

by:shahzamm
ID: 35054080
PST curroption could cause this problem
users must be member of users or admin group.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 35071498
alanhardisty: after a couple of nights with no activity, the indexing is progressing, but it seems to be taking a long time.  Around 30,000 messages were indexed, with another 60,000 or so to go.  
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 35084981
24-hours later, and still 60,000 messages have not been indexed.  Indexing is "still in progress."  I am going to restart the process in Control Panel as you suggested.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 35085029
In Control Panel under Indexing/Outlook/Advanced, it said 19,000 messages were indexed and indexing was complete.  This is inconsistent with the information generated in Outlook itself, which says there are still 60,000 unindexed messages across all folders.  I restarted the process.
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 35085091
Restart should sort it out for you.  Fingers crossed in a while it is making good progress and you can start to search again.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 35085113
After a minute, Windows reported "indexing complete."  I'm attaching screenshots showing the contradiction. Report from Indexing service Report from Outlook
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 35085149
If you check back in the Control Panel again - has it updated at all?
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 35085333
Yes.  But as I watched, the number of indexed files went up, and then down, and then up again, staying within a range of 490-500 over a period of ten minutes.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 35085370
Okay - give it 24 hours to sort itself out and then see how it is.  Leave it on overnight if possible without using it and it should get busy indexing.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 35097881
The computer was on and idle all night.  This morning, Outlook reports there are 77,000 messages still to be indexed.  Control Panel reports 1305 files have been indexed and indexing is complete.
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 35097891
Ouch!  Do you have a busy mailbox?

Do any searches in Outlook return a result that is useful?
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 35097921
I archive all deleted messages and keep them indefinitely. Even so, indexing was always effective before I performed the disk restore operation.  Now, indexing returns results but they are incomplete.  I may not be able to find a message which I know exists.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 35097952
Okay - so it sounds like it is making progress.  Give it another 24 hours and see how it is then if you would please.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 35109567
Only a few more files were indexed, so I closed the larger of two archive pst data files (it is 4 GB) and am waiting another 24 hours to see how well the remaining folders will be indexed.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 35109584
Sounds like you have plenty for Outlook to get it's teeth into but it does seem to making good progress, which is good news.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 35116564
I think the restart has worked.  More messages were indexed last night, so I re-opened the largest archive pst and searched for "the".  As I watched, more and more messages were reported with "the" highlighted.  So I'm satisfied the indexing is working now.  Thanks for your help and prompt feedback.
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