Outlook 2007, searching not adequate, indexing all the time

I use Outlook 2007 for business.  I have A LOT of important email.  My PST file is 15gb large.  Recently, I have been trying to search for email and the results either do not come up or they are incomplete.  Needless to say this is NOT good as my email is vitally important and I search for email all the time.  I regularly run ScanPST to keep the PST file healthy,  In fact I ran it just a few days ago to see if it would solve this issue.  It has not.  Each time I run a search, I keep getting the error: "Search results may be incomplete because items are still being indexed.  Click here for more details." When I do this I get a window that tells me what is being indexed (see screen shot).  This has been going on for at least a week or more.  It is ALWAYS indexing.  It never seems to end.  It's driving me nuts and I need to solve the issue.  Please help!
ArtG2521Asked:
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strivoliCommented:
Create a brand new index because your index might be corrupt.
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ArtG2521Author Commented:
How do I do this safely?
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strivoliCommented:
You can recreate an Index whenever you want. There's no risk.
Simply, during the Index "recreation" your searches will not be complete... they already aren't. This process might take hours.
Open the "Control Panel" and type Index in the text box. You should find the "recreate the Index" easily.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
If searching is really important for you (Outlook, as well as other content), I strongly recommend dtSearch:
http://www.dtsearch.com/

I have been using it for around 20 years — extraordinarily good piece of software! It has specific support for indexing Outlook:
http://support.dtsearch.com/support/dtSearch/dtisapi6.dll?cmd=getdoc&DocId=24&Index=*afb4ce7906a97294af6f048a8b457789

When it indexes documents that are mixed binary and text files (such as a PDF Searchable Image file that has been created by scanning and OCR), it has an option to filter out the binary. This makes the index much smaller than other products which also index the binary code (for no good reason). dtSearch has an interesting filtering algorithm that scans a binary file for anything that looks like text using multiple encoding detection methods. The algorithm detects sequences of text with different encodings or formats, and ignores the binary. This is perfect for PDF Searchable Image files created by OCR.

It has built-in viewers for most common file types, but can also launch an external program automatically when the hit is on a file type for which it doesn't have a viewer. You can control whether or not the external viewer is launched on a case-by-case basis, that is, you can have different actions for each and every file type.

It has extensive search options, including stemming, phonic, fuzzy, synonym, any words, all words, Boolean, and, of course, exact/specific phrases. Here's the search request dialog:

dtSearch search request
It utilizes the Windows Task Scheduler to update indexes. I currently have more than 50 indexes set up and have it configured to update (a subset of) them every day in the wee hours. Of course, you may set it up to update the indexes as frequently/infrequently as you want (and you may specify which ones get updated — if some data is static, there's no need to update its index). You may have any number of indexes, each of which may index any number of folders/files, and searches may take place on one or more of the indexes. I often build an index on the fly for a folder/subfolders that I want to search — indexing is very fast (as is searching), although I'm sure that indexing a 15GB PST will take a while.

The capabilities go on and on, but at $200, it is not an inexpensive product. Depends on how important search is to you. In my opinion, it is worth every penny — you are getting what you pay for.

As a disclaimer, I want to emphasize that I have no affiliation with dtSearch and no financial interest in it whatsoever. I am simply a happy user/customer. Regards, Joe
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ArtG2521Author Commented:
I opened the control panel and typed index.  There was no "recreate the index".  Look at my screen shot.  This is what I got and I clicked on advanced which brought up another window.  Apparently it may have been indexing for days or longer.  I'm not sure.
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ArtG2521Author Commented:
don't know if the file attached.  I'm trying again.screen shot
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strivoliCommented:
OK. The Rebuild button is the one!
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ArtG2521Author Commented:
Ok. I'll try it.
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strivoliCommented:
Once done, check Indexing status on Outlook 2007. When the number grows it means the indexer is enumerating items (mails). It grows until it reaches the total amount of items. Then it starts do decrease until it reaches 0. When you get 0 items remaining, your searches should return searched mails.
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ArtG2521Author Commented:
Ok, It's been about 12 hours and it is is only at 3,000 items.  In fact it has been at 3000 for a good while now.  I will have to begin my day and open my email with Outlook.  I will let the indexing keep running in the back ground.  At this rate, it will be days until it is done.  Is their no other way? Or do I have to blow $200 on dt search?
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> Or do I have to blow $200 on dt search?

"blow" is not the word I would use. It is among the best 200 dollars I have ever spent. And one comment about the high initial cost of dtSearch is that it is offset by their approach to technical support and product updates. Their store page says, "Technical support and product updates are free for a minimum of one year with all purchases." The "minimum of one year" statement is vague and there is no fee mentioned. Also, the dtSearch Desktop/Network Upgrades page says it is a "free upgrade", but it's not clear if these upgrades are forever free. So I wrote to dtSearch asking for a clarification of the policy and here's what they wrote back (with permission to share the answer publicly):

----- Begin dtSearch response -----

I appreciate your email, and sorry for the confusion!

Our setup licenses provide for a minimum of one year of support and upgrades on all licenses. That said, we have provided support and upgrades at no charge since Year 2000 for all end-user Desktop / Network licenses (!). Because of the higher average cost of developer support, we have been charging annually for developer (Web / Engine / Publish) upgrades and support, but again not Desktop / Network upgrades and support.

I can't always guarantee that this will be the case until the end of time, but that's why you don't find any "upgrade charge" indicators for Desktop / Network on our site currently.

----- End dtSearch response -----

Amortized over a large number of years for technical support and software upgrades/updates, the $200 license fee becomes much more reasonable. dtSearch was careful to say in the response that they "can't always guarantee" no upgrade charge, but I have been using dtSearch for around 20 years, have received technical support and product upgrades on a continuous basis (am currently running the latest release), and have never paid anything beyond the initial license fee. So it's a pretty good bet, if not a guarantee.

I want to repeat the disclaimer that I have no affiliation with dtSearch and no financial interest in it whatsoever. I am simply a happy user/customer. Regards, Joe
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ArtG2521Author Commented:
Joe, thanks for the info.  I called dtSearch and they were VERY helpful.  I was impressed with the customer support.  I asked a very important question and they actually knew what I was talking about and answered it.  I asked if dtSearch constantly and continuously access my SSD (main drive) because windows does this and I had to deactivate some of these features.  My other computer (which I have the Outlook problem with is a SATA HDD).  They told me that dtSearch only accesses the drive when needed.  Good answer because I may use it on the SSD computer as well.  They have an evaluation 30 day trial so I will try this.  Any comments before I award points?
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Art,
I've had the same results with their support over the years — very helpful! I usually email them at tech@dtsearch.com and I always get a prompt reply from someone who is extremely knowledgeable about the product.

I'm in no rush for the points. I suggest you install the trial to see if it works well for you before closing the question and awarding points.

Btw, one thing you may want to consider is separate indexes for your Outlook folders. Instead of doing a single index on 15GB worth of email, you could have multiples indexes. I don't know how your email is organized, but, for example, if you have separate folders for Family, Friends, Customers, Prospects, Suppliers, etc. (and, of course, Inbox), you could index them separately. I have over 50 indexes (not just for Outlook) and I typically know what index to search, but it's also possible to search multiple indexes in the same query. Just a thought on dealing with a 15GB PST! Regards, Joe
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ArtG2521Author Commented:
Trouble in paradise!!  I installed dtSearch and called their tech support because I encountered two errors for the two different ways to index Outlook (see image files).  They told me that it is an Outlook issue and they can't help me.  So now unless someone has a new idea, I'm SOL.error 1error 2
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Click the Switch To button — that should fix it.
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ArtG2521Author Commented:
Here is an email from dtSearch, but it isn't helping me that much as my tech level on this subject is medium at best.

Art,
Per our conversation, you have two potential Outlook/Windows issues, which we're limited in our ability to diagnose/correct. Basically, dtSearch is unable to access your Outlook data, which may be due to a network connectivity issue or insufficient user permissions (see this Microsoft article and the section The Server is Unavailable for additional information).
Also, if you're running the 64-bit version of Office 2010 or later (64-bit version ONLY!!), see the section Outlook Indexing.
NOTE: In general, errors that begin with $E are environmental. That is, they're generated by the operating system (Microsoft Windows). From the information you provided, it appears that dtSearch was unable to access the Outlook mailbox data. Be aware that dtSearch can only access mail data that you have Windows permissions to access. Additionally, if the data resides on a network share or external drive which is disconnected at the time dtSearch attempts to access it, Windows will return the error.
David
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
One other idea: I see that your Inbox has subfolders (the plus sign). Expand it and select just one (small) subfolder to index, so that it's not immediately going after 15GB of mail. Of course, that's not the solution — I'm simply suggesting it as a troubleshooting step. Btw, is your Outlook 32-bit or 64-bit?
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ArtG2521Author Commented:
Trying switch to. will report on success later.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
OK, I'm leaving my office now for an hour or so. Will check back in to see how you're doing as soon as I get back.
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strivoliCommented:
We you'll get that problem fixed, built-in searches will do their job. I don't know the software you are testing. I can tell you my experience: I manage a few hundreds of users. None of them use third party software for indexing contents. When searches don't return valid values, a rebuild is needed. That happens time to time.
I just gave some support to one of them running a mailbox and an 2 attached PST archive files (19,5GB + 9,70GB). Searches are fast and reliable.
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strivoliCommented:
Sorry... When you'll get... NOT We you'll get.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Shows how experiences vary. For users I know who think that search is very important, few of them use what's built into Windows. They use third-party products like Copernic, dtSearch, X1, etc. Regards, Joe
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