How to Fix Microsoft Windows Search Indexer Stopped Working and Was Closed

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Since I perform technical support for my entire family being the computer guy, I sometimes run into strange issues that I decide to write about on my blog. Of course with Windows, it seems you never really run out of strange issues to deal with! There’s always some crazy and cryptic error popping up that makes you scratch your head.

One such issue is with Windows Vista and it relates to the

“Microsoft Windows Search Indexer stopped working and was closed”

or

“Windows could not start the windows search service on the local computer error 1067”

error. This is quite an unusual problem, but if it happens to you, it’s a pain in the ass! Anything that you try to open, or move, or copy will start giving you this error. It’s usually also associated with slow computer performance and crashing of the entire computer.

There are a couple of things you can try out to fix this annoying as heck problem in Vista:

Rebuild Windows Vista’s Search Index

This method is quick and easy, but may not work if you are having serious issues. Still it’s worth a shot before going to the other steps where you have to delete stuff.

First, type Indexing Options in the Start Menu’s search box in Vista. Click on the Advanced tab and then click Rebuild.

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You can also try clicking on Restore Defaults if Rebuild does not work. If for some strange reason you are not able to select anything on this page, you can rebuild the searcher index manually by editing the following registry key:

HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows Search/SetupCompletedSuccessfully

to zero and then restarting the machine. However, if you can avoid registry key modifications that’s best! Also, make sure to create a restore point before making any registry edits.

Delete the Windows Search Index Program Folder

If the above method did not work, you can try to delete all of the files associated with search indexing in Vista by deleting everything inside these folders:

C:ProgramDataMicrosoftSearchDataApplicationsWindows

C:ProgramDataMicrosoftSearchDataTemp

If you do not see these folders, you need to turn on viewing for hidden folders by going to Windows Explorer or My Computer and then choosing Tools, Folder Options. Go to the View tab and scroll down till you see “Show hidden files and folders“. You should now be able to see the ProgramData folder.

Again, make a backup of the files in the directories before deleting them just in case, but they really are not that important. If you get an Access is Denied message when trying to delete the files, you will first need to stop the Window Search Index service by going to Control Panel, then Administrative Tools, and then clicking on Services.

The service should be called Windows Search or Windows Searcher. Double click on the service and click Stop.

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After you delete the files, restart the computer and the index will be rebuilt and hopefully your error will be gone!

Hope that helps someone with a very annoying error! Remember the search index service is not critical, so you’re not going to mess up your computer by disabling the service or deleting it’s files.