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Can't search in Outlook 2007

Posted on 2012-03-19
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Last Modified: 2012-04-01
I recently had to re-format my HDD and I backed up Outlook completely.  I have done this before so I have never had a problem....Until this time.  When I search hundreds of emails for things, Outlook can't find anything!  It says it is still indexing, however it has said this for days.  I went to Control Panel and to indexing options and had it rebuild all indexes.  It took a while but it completed the re-indexing.  However, it did not solve the problem in Outlook.  I still cannot search for anything, even simple stuff.  It still says it is indexing.  For instance, If I search for johndoe@yahoo.com and I know there are many of these emails, Outlook says there is none! Even though I am looking right at them!  I hope you experts have answers for me because this is really causing me headaches!!  Thanks.
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Question by:ArtG2521
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18 Comments
 
LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:achaldave
ID: 37739142
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:apache09
ID: 37739332
First check that after the rebuild you installed the latest Service Pack for Office 2007

SP3:
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=27838

Then check that you installed Windows Search
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=23

Then re-index.

Now depending on how big you HDD is and how much data you put back on it, it can take quite some time to complete the index.

If you are working on the machine while its indexing, this would extend the amount of time required for index

I have seen some PCs take up to 7 days to completly finish the indexing
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:apache09
ID: 37739481
If the above doesnt help
Could also try the Windows Search repair tool
http://support.microsoft.com/mats/windows_search/en-us
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Author Comment

by:ArtG2521
ID: 37740364
I will attempt these fixes and let you know.

I'm curious, are there any 3rd party programs that could do the job better at searching through Outlook?
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:apache09
ID: 37740367
If its a personal Computer there are a few 3rd party tools you could use to organize / search your Outlook Items

See

http://www.slipstick.com/addins/productivity-addins/outlook-search-tools-for-personal-use/
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Author Comment

by:ArtG2521
ID: 37741401
I've tried all the fixes (except 3rd party program) and nothing works.  I've rebuilt the index 3 times, doesn't work.  I go to tools>instant search>indexing status and it says it is still indexing 49 items.  That number sometimes never changes.  I searched on a simple email address that I copied from an email in my inbox and it can't find it!  This is really bizarre and is really causing me problems.  

If I buy a third party program to solve this, I hope they are not dependent on some function within Outlook and will not work either (?).  Any more ideas??
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Author Comment

by:ArtG2521
ID: 37741729
PS - I left Outlook open for 1.5 hours and the index status went from 49 items remaining to 51????
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Author Comment

by:ArtG2521
ID: 37751861
On 3/21 Outlook said it had 278 items left, but now today it says 49 again.  This is crazy.  I have installed Lookeen.  It's pretty good except it will not index my inbox or sent box.  I emailed them on this but no reply yet.
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Author Comment

by:ArtG2521
ID: 37753783
I uninstalled Looken and installed Xobni.  So far, the results are better, but strange.  I do a search on an email address and it finds the least 2 recent emails sent to me by this contact, but then skips over 5 more that it never finds and then shows some of the older ones.  I still suspect that even Xobni is having trouble with my in box and sent box.  It is possible that Xobni is not done indexing, however, I cannot see how to check this.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 37754352
How big is your mailbox?  Are we talking hundreds of folders each with hundreds/thousands of items or are we talking just a few folders and items?
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Author Comment

by:ArtG2521
ID: 37754537
About 25 sub-folders under my In box with maybe a couple hundred emails.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 37754553
A couple of hundred in each folder or a couple of hundred total?  I'm just trying to get a feel for what's being indexed/searched.
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Author Comment

by:ArtG2521
ID: 37754690
Like 500 or so total.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 37765050
Is your mail stored on an Exchange server or in a PST file?
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Author Comment

by:ArtG2521
ID: 37765324
PST file.  

Now that Xobni is done indexing, it is as I described before.  It will not index or display results from my inbox or sent box, but it works fine from every other folder in Outlook.  If I move mail from my inbox or sent box to ANY other folder, Xobni picks it up with no problem.  

Outlook search will not display from ANY box or folders.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 37770597
I have to wonder if your PST file is damaged or your Outlook profile corrupt.  How about creating a new email profile as a test?
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Accepted Solution

by:
ArtG2521 earned 0 total points
ID: 37770808
A tech support person from Lookeen solved the problem! He told me that a simple process called "scanpst.exe" exists (for Office 2007) in a folder on my hard drive.  In my case, it was located at C:\Program files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office 12.  I ran the program/process and then Outlook started its indexing again, but this time the indexing ran completely fine and when finished all was PERFECT once again.  I'm sorry but no experts got this right, so I can't award points.  I am going to try to post my reply as the answer so other people can know.  If that doesn't work, please "teach" the other experts this solution.  It will sure save someone the headaches I just went through!
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Author Closing Comment

by:ArtG2521
ID: 37792608
Please read my comments above as a tech support person at Lookeen came up with the answer which will help a lot of people that are experiencing the problem I had.
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