Windows Search Engine Process – Part 2

As we have seen in Part 1 of Windows Search Engine Process, there are four processes related to Windows 7 search engine and during normal operations each of these processes starts immediately after Windows boots. The main indexer process (that is, SearchIndexer.exe) is the only one that always continues to run while, the others run on request by the search engine.

WSearch, the main indexer process service uses the standard service control mechanism to detect when the service is not running and restarts itself. In addition, the service has four restart conditions which are:

  1. Restart the service immediately after the first failure occurs
  2. Restart the service immediately after the second failure occurs
  3. Take no action after subsequent failures occur
  4. Reset the failure count after 1 day

Applications can also attempt to restart the indexer if it stops. For instance, Windows explorer does this whenever you attempt to execute a search from either the Start menu or Search explorer.

The previous Indexing Service (Cisvc.exe) used in Windows XP is still available in Windows 7 and this is for application compatibility reasons. Some applications developed for previous Windows platforms may depend on this service and therefore, this service can be enabled to support those applications. For instance, Microsoft Office Visio shape-finding process uses cisvc.exe to find shapes. You can turn on cisvc.exe from Turn Windows features on or off in Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Programs and Features and checking the Indexing Service check box. However, note that Microsoft does not recommend running older Indexer Service on computers running Windows 7 unless you have a valid reason to do so!