Windows Server 2016 (Essentials) incomplete search results

Dana Friedman
Dana Friedman used Ask the Experts™
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We recently migrated for Server 2008 R2 to 2016 Essentials. Since the move, searches on the same directory structure turn up fewer or no results on the new server than on the old. I looked at previous questions on similar topics. The only follow up that helped one person was turning the Startup type of the search service from Automatic (Delayed Start) to Automatic. I did that, restarted after some WIndows updates, and it still doesn't working. I think the search is ignoring certain subfolders, but said subfolders are checked off as included in the indexing criteria. I'm stumped. Anyone? Thanks.
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Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
What are you searching for?
Check your setup and whether the 2016 essential has indexing of the drives where you have data.

Author

Commented:
Indexing is set on the drive, the index is listed as complete. 148K+ items. Searching for text inside Excel spreadsheets. The same text could appear inside mutliple spreadsheets, and users want to search for it, and open all instances of the text in the different files.

Thanks!
Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
Do you have the data on a single drive or spread across a couple but the second drive is not indexed.

when you are searching, on the 2016, when searching look at the advanced search and see if that helps.

How many documents are or were reflected on the 2008?

Double check the indexing and document types that get indexed.
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Author

Commented:
On a single drive. The same number of documents (minus those created on the new server) are on the old. I tried the Advanced search options (and rebuilt the indexes after having ensured all the file types were indexing file names and contents). The primary ones are XLS and XLSX, but I double-checked for all Excel formats, and Word documents too.
Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
Unfortunately' I am not in a position to answer specifically.


Open any document in the list and see if you search for something there whether the document is returned.

Usually, the indexer service is disabled for a reason, perhaps you had the documents available through sharepoint

Author

Commented:
Sharepoint's not set up. The Search service is up and set to Automatic. Indexes get rebult, none of the buttons there are grayed out in the Indexing Options control panel.
Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
The change between automatic and automatic (delayed start) is not a functional difference
The purpose is to speed up the startup without loading up resources unnecessarily.

IT does not change the functionality of the indexer. it is not clear to me given it accounted for the same number of documents as the prior why its search does not work.

Where are you placing the indexing catalog?

See whether a component that is needed is missing not installed in your situation:
https://serverfault.com/questions/848651/windows-search-service-fs-search-server-gone-on-server-2016

Author

Commented:
The catalog is in the default subdirectory of ProgramData (where Search suggests putting it). The component isn't missing as the feature is installed, and the service is started. (I mentioned the change from Automatic to Automatic (Delayed) because another EE user reporting a similar problem in Server 2012 changed the startup type and his problem went away.

Thanks,
Dana

Author

Commented:
Also, Arnold:

You asked if any search results are returned. SOME are on the server, but none from the subdirectory in which there may be more results than in any other on the server. It's as if the index was ignoring that subdirectory, and all within it, even though said subdirectory is checked off with a white, not a gray background in the checkbox. From what I could "eyeball", all the subdirectories were checked off for indexing. Thanks :)
Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
Unfortunately, beyond what you've done, the only thing I can suggest is to go over the settings/options for the catalog index and make sure that your choices are included.

Are your users directly accessing the 2016 essential server, or are they doing searches on their computers of the shares provided by the 2016 server?

Where are you doing the search versus how it was with the prior SBS?

Author

Commented:
They are doing the searches on their workstations. The workstations pretty much show what the server does. The prior was 2008 R2, I think I got the settings and options correct, but I'm having an objective pair of eyes look at it.
Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
Check whether the workstations also have indexing enabled and are configured on shares from the server.

I think using sharepoint might be a more robust setup that would include versioning control of documents .......

Author

Commented:
Thanks, Arnold. I will look tomorrow. Most workstations' results are pretty much, if not exactly the same as the server's. We can try Sharepoint, but an implementation on a production server (in this environment) could be a tad disruptive. Understood, though.

Thanks!
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Is office even installed on the server? If not, you would need to install at least the ifilters for office, else, file contents cannot be indexed but only file names.

Author

Commented:
McKnife: that's interesting. Office is not installed on the server. I was told in past generations that installing Office on the server was not a good idea. I don't recall ifilters—(I have to look up what they are—having been installed on the previous server.
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:

Author

Commented:
Thanks. But, if it wasn't on the old server, and searches work without it on the old server, why is it necessary?
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
There could have been 3rd party ifilters. Without an ifilter it definitely could not have worked. As it says:
IFilters are components that allow search services to index content of specific file types, letting you search for content in those files
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
If there was indeed no ifilter installed before, then your clients will have used their own ifilters, which in turn means, the server index was not even used, rendering the search painfully slow (at least if you search within whole shares).

Author

Commented:
The searches weren't slow. Hmm.

OK, I'm confused, but that's nothing new. :)
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
It depends on how much data was searched. if you were searching within a share that has only a few files (say, 500), surely, the speed would have been bearable.

Author

Commented:
This one's at least 50,000 files.
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Install the filters, re-index - done.

Author

Commented:
I'll try it. Thanks.

Author

Commented:
Sorry for being dumb here, but...am I also supposed to install Office on the server? It's not on there now. I assumed I was installing the Filter packs on the server. Is that right?

Author

Commented:
Also, should I move the indexes to a new location when they rebuild? Does doing that have any ramifications for the end users?
Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
It may help offload hit on the same disks.

Not sure the client systems querying shares use server data, I think they use their own.
I gave ibdexing off. Not sure when the ibdexing us enable whether clients can connect to it. Issue deals with oath references
That makes it unlikely that the server Sata is relied on by clients.

Author

Commented:
Path references. Hmm....So how do workstations get their own data and keep it updated?

Thanks!
Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
See if indexing is also enabled on the workstations. Then when you access or map shares, those get indexed.

Author

Commented:
So the Windows Search service on the workstation? I figure on the one workstation with which we're most concerned it must be, as the user was able to serach the WIndows 2008 server with no problem.
Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/b41a3f55-8d5e-4adb-9ec9-b659904762c9/windows-10-search-indexing-network-share

The other as mcknife you may need to add I filters for office, PDF and other document types to enable the indexer with additional capability.
Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4098843/windows-10-search-indexing-faq

There are some references, though can not locate a source to provide,

Author

Commented:
Arnold: I looked at the article. The article doesn't seem very positive about Windows 10 and searches.

Arnold and McKnife: since having installed iFilters and reindexing it's looking good on at least one workstation. I'm going to have the key user try it later today. If she says it's good, we can close it out. :)

Thanks!
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Office does not need to be installed at the server - reading the file contents can be done without, when the ifilters are installed. No need to move indexes around, just re-index after the ifilters are installed and of course leave indexing on. If you turn it off, the searches will rely on the client. Client side indexing of the shares is not needed and causes only additional network traffic and hard drive activity at the server.

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