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Apple spotlight search not listing folders at top of search.

Posted on 2011-10-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a Macbook pro running a clean install of Lion on an SSD located in the primary hard drive bay. In my optical bay I used an Optibay to install my old hard drive. My apps and osx run on the SSD and my old hard drive has all my files on it. The problem is, now my spotlight searches are not very accurate. Even worse is that the only way I can get a folder name to show up as a top hit is if I uncheck all the different document types in the lion search results settings page. Otherwise pdfs and .xls docs bury the folder names, even if I search for the exact folder name. Please help me get spotlight back to how it used to be! It is my favorite tool.
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Question by:SkyHH
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Author Comment

by:SkyHH
ID: 37054928

I gave this a try but it did not fix the problem. Do you have any other recommendations?
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Expert Comment

by:mccrick
ID: 37054962
I doubt DiskWarrior is ready for Lion, but if it is, I would definitely give that a shot. Works miracles with various drive issues.

Did you reformat your old HD and retransfer the data back to it? If not I would recommend that. It will be just as good as running DW.

Also, did you do a fairly clean install of Lion on the SSD or did you do some funky kind of file copy from the old HD? Might want to reformat that drive and set it up as cleanly as possible.
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twohawks earned 2000 total points
ID: 37057788
I would be concerned about the integrity of my drive's files at this point, and run a deep permissions repair, like so...

1) run the Apple Disk Utility (to repair permissions, etc) as usual from within a booted environment

2) when I have taken that as far as possible I usually run cocktail and/or DiskWarrior (kinds of things), but anyway, in lieu of those, NEXT I WOULD

boot into single user mode and
 - run fsck -fy

Here's an aarticle explaining how to do it...
http://www.gballard.net/macrant/osx_troubleshooting.html#permissions

3) THEN, IF I HAVE LION (which I do not), I read this article, and I would also try doing this...
http://blog.chron.com/techblog/2011/09/want-to-really-repair-permissions-on-your-mac-try-this/

Now, it may be that #3 is the new #2 if you have Lion, I do not know, but in any event, its all about getting back to square one before you continue to beat yourself up over spotlight, and that means making absolutely certain the file system is orderly, and you need to be doing that booting into user mode.  

Note: You can likely do this booting to the installation media as well, or hooking the drive up to another Apple running the appropriate/equivalent  operatinig system, but I think it is preferred to be booting into user mode and doing fsck -fy if you can.

4) After making sure the integrity of the file system is intact, I would try fixing spotlight again as per my initial suggestion.


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Author Closing Comment

by:SkyHH
ID: 37122993
The only thing that worked was to do a clean install on lion and make sure my secondary hard drive no longer contained os files from my old Leopard install. I was hoping to avoid this, but thanks for the advice.
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Expert Comment

by:mccrick
ID: 37123004
You used my solution and then awarded the points to the other answer. Oh well.
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by:twohawks
ID: 37128373
nccrick, please use the request attention link in the original post above, and it can be sorted out properly ;^)
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Expert Comment

by:mccrick
ID: 37128682
That's ok. win some lose some. Thanks for the heads up though.
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by:twohawks
ID: 37135775
Guess if I had looked at your profile first I would have realized you likely already knew ;^)
cheers!


Oh, and thank you --both- for the pints then 8^)
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Expert Comment

by:mccrick
ID: 37135778
no, actually I didn't really know. If I knew, I probably wouldn't have been wining like a school girl. - Cheers
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