Windows Search Confused After Disk Clone
It seems an issue can arise with Windows Search (AKA Indexing or Index Service) that "confuses" the service. The issue typically occurs if a physical disk or SSD is cloned to another physical drive.
The Problem: If a drive is selected for indexing by the Windows Search service in Control Panel, Indexing Options, Modify Button, Change selected locations, a different drive is added instead. For Example: C: is selected as a disk drive to index, but after adding it, the Indexing Options, "Index these locations:" shows V: as the added disk instead.
The Reason: As noted in the introduction, this situation usually arises when a disk or SSD has been cloned and both drives are present, connected, and available in Windows. Continuing with the above example: C: is the new / cloned disk and V: is the old / source disk.
Technical Details: The issue seems to be related to a file named IndexerVolumeGUID. Please note this is a file, not a registry entry. It is located under C:\System Volume Information. The cloning software, be it an Acronis product, O&O software, Clonezilla, etc., is not the issue. The problem is that the IndexerVolumeGUID is supposed to be a unique identifier, such that every disk and SSD has its own unique identifier. When a disk or SSD is cloned, the cloning software dutifully duplicates this file as well. So from the Windows Search perspective, both disk drives have the same IndexerVolumeGUID. They are not unique. They are duplicates, but they need to be unique.
Solution: Delete the IndexerVolumeGUID. And as usual, it is far easier to say that, than to do it.
Step by Step (to expedite the production of this article, the below steps reference other websites with granular instructions for those who may not know how to achieve the individual steps);
- Stop the Indexing Service: See https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/simple-ways-to-increase-your-computers-performace-turn-off-indexing-on-your-local-drives/ for additional information
- Open a command prompt as an administrator: See https://grok.lsu.edu/Article.aspx?articleid=16850 for additional information
- Navigate to the System Volume Information Folder (either on the original or duplicate disk): See https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/309531/how-to-gain-access-to-the-system-volume-information-folder for additional information (Note, even though the article is written for Windows XP, it applies to Vista, 7, and 10 (server version too))
- Delete the IndexerVolumeGUID file: del IndexerVolumeGUID
- Start the Indexing Service: See https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/simple-ways-to-increase-your-computers-performace-turn-off-indexing-on-your-local-drives/ for additional information
It should now be possible to add a disk or SSD to the "Index these locations:" and have the expected behavior occur. IE, from the above example, adding C: adds C:, not V:
Without the information from this site: https://superuser.com/questions/1053452/why-does-windows-search-indexing-options-select-the-wrong-drive-if-its-cloned, the above article would not exist. So thank you to those nice people.
I attempted to add the above information to the Stack Exchange SuperUser site as it is quality information. However, it was impossible to do. I must admit to being frustrated with that site. It seems a tragedy something I can provide which would be helpful cannot be added to their information database. Oh, well, fork them!