Outlook 2007 on Windows 7 never finishes indexing

RonN
RonN used Ask the Experts™
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Hi there,

I have a user who has a laptop with windows 7 pro 32 bit and office 2007 pro sp2 (V. 12.0.6554.5001).  She's using a hosted exchange account and downloads all her mail off the server to a pst file (which is her default folder).  She even has an archive pst that she would search on as well.  Up until a month and a half ago her outlook search function was working perfectly.  Now when she searches her pst she gets a message stating that not all items are shown because outlook is still indexing.  Her results are slow in coming and are incomplete.
What I've done so far (not necessarily in this order) is rebuild the indexes (via the control panel icon), ran scanpst.exe on both pst files until there were no more errors left, compacted the pst's, ran diagnose and repair on outlook, completely uninstalled office and reinstalled and patched, created a new email profile and new pst file and imported a known good pst, took both pst's and attached them to another pc (windows 7 with office 2007 pro) and indexed them there successfully, then put them back on her laptop only to have them still continue to index.
I've even turned off indexing but that was unacceptable to her.  Currently she is trying to index only her active pst and it has been running for at least 12 hours (she started at home at night then came into work and left it running).  Yes her laptop is set to always on (with regards to power) and yes she left outlook up and running during this process.  The number of items it indexes starts out low, then climbs and has started to decline as of this morning.  Please let me know if there is anything else you need to know... Thanks in advance for the help!!!

Ron
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Commented:
If you google "Outlook 2007 on Windows 7 never finishes indexing", you will find tons of people with the same issue and no answer.
does here exchange use Cached Exchange Mode?

IMHO regular search is just a s fast and less troublesome.
Commented:
I had this exact same probelm on a Windows XP SP3 with Outlook 2010.  User had approximatley 118K items to index.  I would leave it sit over night and it would only index approximatly 9K of items.  I upgraded 5 systems to Outlook 2010 and only one gave me trouble with the indexing.  I spent over three weeks trying to fix this probelm.  

I ended up formatted the hard drive and the indexing works just fine after reinstalling the OS.  I know this not what you wanted to hear, but it was the solution to the madness.  

Also, as a side note to prove out it was the OS at fault.  I did a P2V of the system using VMware and the same exact problem occurred inside the VM.  I want to rule out a physical hardware problem.

Good Luck!

Jordan

Author

Commented:
Thanks guys for the quick reply...

@PJam - Outlook is not set for exchange cache mode.  She basically downloads all her email to her pst.  I did try to get her to use the regular search, but she wasn't happy with it...

@Jordan - Re-installing OS is going to be my last resort... Perhaps an office upgrade to 2010...

Ron

Commented:
As DHRhelp says, If re-install is necessary, you can try two things:
Run SFC /scannow to repair any damged or missing windows files.  This requires the Windows CD or a restore partition.
Reinstall using Fred langas no format non destructive re-install of W7, info at:
http://windowssecrets.com/top-story/win7s-no-reformat-nondestructive-reinstall/
Carlos LlanosIT Manager

Commented:
Quick question:

Our Outlook setup with exchange allows up to quickly blow away the Outlook profile and rebuild it.  Upon rebuild all indexes are built rather quickly...(less than a day...)

Do you have the ability to blow away the users Outlook profile on her machine and let Exchange rebuild it?  For us, it takes about 10 minutes for a 1GB profile...

Author

Commented:
@PJam - will this "repair" install still work even though her system was an in-place upgrade from vista business to windows 7 pro?

@Nukit - Thanks for chiming in... I can certainly remove her exchange profile, but because of the way she uses outlook, her mailbox is not being included in the search indexes (The company uses a hosted exchange service).  She works off her pst files exclusively.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:

Author

Commented:
@nobus - I ran scanpst.exe against both pst files until there were no errors reported.  I even copied the pst files to another pc and ran scanpst against them on the other machine.  But when I reconnected them on her laptop the indexing still never completed.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
then your options are  : repair, or uninstall reinstall outlook or Office

Author

Commented:
@nobus - already tried both of those.  Each one gave me the same error.  It's wierd because it was functioning fine before and I don't see any updates to either office or the OS that would have caused her indexing to not complete...
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
maybe you posted it already - but what is the error exactly ?

Author

Commented:
@nobus - no specific error... basically, her outlook indexing never completes.  See my original post for more details as to what has done for troubleshooting... Thanks!!!
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
since you've completely reinstalled Office, may be best to do a system restore to a date it was OK ?

you can also try running sfc, or a repair install :
 http://www.nirmaltv.com/2009/12/17/how-to-repair-windows-7-installation/      repair windows 7
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1538-sfc-scannow-command-system-file-checker.html         SFC

Author

Commented:
Ok... after 5 days of leaving the laptop on it finally completed indexing the 2,5gb pst file.   I'm almost afraid to have her start the much larger archive pst.  Searching through her active pst is now working to her liking.  Aside from having to reload or use a restore point, anyone else have any idea's I can try?  Thanks again!!!
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
i always recommend using the smallest possible pst file :
backup, delete, or move old mails to a backup folder or cd

Author

Commented:
@Nobus - Her existing "active" pst has been shrunk to just over 2gb from 4gb.  Her archive pst is pretty large.  I'm going to try the "restore point" solution since she's been working with it as is for the past week.  I'll let you know how it turns out... Thanks...
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
ok - post results

Author

Commented:
Update - I tried to restore her system back to specific date, unfortunately I can only go back 1 month.  This issue has been happening for longer.  With that said, I'm thinking of doing a repair install of the OS.  Should I even bother with this? Should I just start from scratch and reinstall the OS?  Remember, this was an in-place upgrade from Vista Business to Win7 Pro.
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
i always do a fresh install, never upgraded
it is impossible to tell if the repair should work or not, only way to know is to try (it takes only about 1/2 -1 hr)
so you can try it before doing the fresh install

Author

Commented:
Thank you all for your assistance.  I ended up doing a complete reinstall of the OS.  Once completed and the laptop configured, it only took a few hours to index both pst files (total of 9gbs).  Not happy that I had to go to this extreme, but sometimes you just gotta to do what you gotta do!!!  Thanks again to everyone, I really appreciate the help...
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
tx for feedback

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