In Windows 7 you can troubleshoot Search and Indexing problems using a built-in tool that allows you to fix common issues. You can start the troubleshooter tool by typing fix search in the Start menu search text box and clicking the Find and fix problems with Windows Search. Alternatively, you can use the links at the bottom of the Indexing Options Control Panel dialog box.
The catalog contains the results of the indexing process running on your local computer. Your Windows 7 computer has a single catalog located in the Search subfolder under %SystemDrive%\ProgramData\Microsoft folder. Remember to make hidden files visible in order to view the ProgramData folder and its contents. The location of the catalog can be changed using either Indexing Options in Control Panel or Local Group Policy. The catalog contains three type of information:
Windows 7 like its predecessor and Microsoft SQL and SharePoint servers has a search engine based on the MSSearch indexing which replaced the Indexing Service found in earlier versions of Windows such as, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. The search engine is logically made up of the following processes:
If your search for content in encrypted files is failing then you may need to enable the Index Encrypted Files option available in Windows 7. Windows uses the index to perform very fast searches on your computer. Unlike the previous versions of Windows, Windows 7 supports indexing the contents of encrypted files. This makes searching encrypted content as easy as searching unencrypted content. By default, non-encrypted content (even non-encrypted properties of encrypted files) are always indexed. Indexing of encrypted files is possible on local file systems and an index rebuilt is required when you enable or disable this function. Read more…
The search functionality in Windows 7 is by default set to ease searches for documents based on their names and content, however, if you are the kind of user who rarely searches for and inside documents may find Windows 7 search quite annoying. The good news is that there is a way how to configure the search functionality according to your specific needs.