Windows Search Server – Activate search and index for remote shares

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First, I hope you had a great Christmas and new year’s eve and I wish you all a happy 2012!

Last year I had a couple of customers asking for how to install Windows Search Server and see if it is utilized or not.
Mainly the questions is initiated if you redirect a user folder and disable the Offline folders feature image
“Some library features are unavailable due to unsupported library locations”

or if you try to add a non-index folder in a Library this message in Explorer will appear

“This network location can’t be included because it is not indexed”

Lets do a step by step installation

These instruction is based on a Windows 2008 R2 Server system.

1. Install Windows Search Server role in Server Manager > Roles > Add Roles



2. During the installation select the volumes you want to enable search for.
You can edit the folders after installation by using Indexing Options in Control Panel.


3. Installation complete, now from the client browse the folder where you got the warning message, and you will see that the message is gone.

If the message still appears take a second look at the folders indexed on the server and wait a while for it to start index.

How can we see if it’s utilized or not?

Fire up performance monitor or perfmon from the start menu on the server

Add these to counters:

  • Search Indexer\Active Connections
  • Search Indexer\Queries
  • Search Indexer\Queries Succeeded


Make a search from the client computer and you will notice the active connections will go from 0 (zero) to 1 (one)…


What about firewall rules?

A little notice about firewall rules, standard rules for File and Printer Sharing is enough. I will not go into details about the rules, since the port and protocol information can be found in the rules.


Some URL’s
Turn off Windows Libraries features that rely on indexed file data

Note! Microsoft does not recommend Windows Search Server for Enterprises, where it’s recommended to use other products like SharePoint 2010 Search.

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