The initial indexing of a 'new' upgraded disk can take hours.
Colin's suggestion is solid, but may I also add if your drive is not currently listed in the Privacy list to not index for Spotlight – that you ADD your boot drive to Privacy and then close System Preferences, then log out. Then log in again, go to the same Spotlight > Privacy settings and REMOVE your boot disk.
This will trigger a re-indexing of your drive for Spotlight. It is a long process but after it completes your Spotlight should again be happy.
Hope this helps.
Currently Being ModeratedJul 25, 2011 7:39 PM (in response to Michael Sidoric)
I figured it out. In the man page for "mdutil" (type: "man mdutil" at the terminal shell prompt), it describes the option "-i", which turns indexing on or off for the specified volume. I just typed:
sudo mdutil -i on /
and away it went. Still a mystery how indexing got turned off in the first place, though.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 16, 2011 12:34 PM (in response to GlennW)
I have a new MacBook Pro running Lion. Spotlight will not do the initial indexing of the drive. I have tried all of the above suggestion, and nothing seems to work. Apple Care says it may be a bad hard drive and I should exchange the machine. However it was a special order, and it is a 6 week turnaround for a new machine. I use it for work, so that is a big issue.
Any other thoughts?
Thanks a lot.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 30, 2011 12:57 AM (in response to bamancabroad)
Eurika I've found it
The deleting the cache worked for me
Currently Being ModeratedDec 10, 2012 11:39 PM (in response to alhandyman)
I have tried all the above cures and none seem to work for me.
If I click on the spotlight icon I only get the availablity of Web Searches.
I cannot do any searches from a finder window
I have a new iMac running 10.8.2 I get the "spotlight server disabled" when I run sudo mdutil -E /
In spotlight preferences>privacy when I try to prevent spotlight from searching these locations in order to rebuild the index, I get error: Privacy List Error - "The item couldn't be added or removed because of an unknown error"
I have deleted cache files and preferences
I have reinstalled OS 10.8.2
verified volume -ok
ran Tech Tools Pro volume rebuild
still no spotlight or finder search
Currently Being ModeratedDec 11, 2012 7:12 AM (in response to Doug Weiss)
Finally a post from Thomas Reed, thanks Tom, worked. After trying all the above and stumping even Applecare phone support this did the trick.
The guaranteed way to reenable Spotlight is to reload it into launchd using launchctl:
sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist
Now finally back in business.
I just had a similar issue. Spoghtlight just stopped showing any results other than search web/wikipedia for...
I tried checking in system preferences/spoghtlight/privacy, nothing.
I tried unchecking/rechecking all the areas for spoghtlight to search, nothing.
I considered running a series of lines in terminal, then got the novel idea of just trying a simple warm boot, and vwala, IT WORKED! Spoghtlight started indexing the Internal HD, then continued functioning normally again!
Often times, the simplest fix, is the best.
- MBP 15 (pre USB 3.0), OSX 10.7.5, HD screen upgrade