Jonne

I'm having some serious issues with Desktop Search on Vista Business edition after installing the UNC-plugin to enable searching mapped network drives.

1. After installing the plugin, 80% of the time, opening a document in Word 2007 or Excel 2007 on the network drive (running Vista also), editing it, and then trying to save it leads to an error message. Excel simply says "Document not saved" when pressing save, and Word says something about network issues. The problem disappears when removing the UNC-plugin. No one else has the documents open or is editing the documents. The only solution is to save the document under another name. Removing UNC-plugin solves the problems. But why is the UNC-path plugin messing with the ability to save Word and Excel documents to the network drive

2. Clicking on a folder in search results opens a generic Vista search window (with grayish blue background), instead of opening that folder. Right-clicking on a document shows no option for opening containing folder. Why is this important functionality not working with mapped network drives I have hundreds of documents with the same name, organized in different folders. With Vista Search and UNC-plugin, it is impossible to tell in what folder that document is saved in the Start-menu, and impossible to access that folder

At first, I tried using offline folders for my network drives. Search worked flawlessly, however, offline folders have critical issues regarding Access 2007 databases. It managed to corrupt one database beyond repair, and led to data inconsistency errors on a daily basis, so that is not an option for me...

I've been searching the net to find clues about my issues, but so far, I have found nothing. I would be very greatful if someone could find a solution/explanation to these problems.

(Using Vista Business and Office 2007 on 2 computers. The other computer acts as document server, the client accesses the other computer through a router).



Re: Windows Desktop Search Help Vista search with mapped network drives serious issues

Mikegu

Jonne,

Issue 1 sounds suspiciously similar to the problem people were experiencing with file locking on shared drives in WDS 2.6 on XP (nb. one set of symptoms is described at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/927018/en-us.).

Noone on the newsgroup, to this point, has been able to make an authoritative statement regarding the suitability of WDS 3 in an environment that includes shared drives containing concurrently accessed files. At present, our IT staff refuse to allow any of us to run WDS because they believe the indexing engine is irreversibly locking shared files that are being simultaneously edited by various members of staff. It would be great to receive feedback from anyone that might know whether there are plans in the pipeline to remedy this problem. I love what this product can do on my home machine (which only contains local drives). But for the time being, we've all been banned from using it at work.





Re: Windows Desktop Search Help Vista search with mapped network drives serious issues

Jonne

Mikegu, yes, it sound rather similiar. Although the network error occures when saving the file (not when opening), and I don't think I, at all times, was logged on to computer 1 ("server") when accessing the file from Computer 2.

I now have removed the plug-in, and use offline folders, and moved the databases outside offline folders to prevent them from getting corrupted. It somewhat works, somewhat not... sometimes the offline folder loses some of the files (you have to manually sync to get them back), and every/every other week the search indexer decides to drop parts of the Outlook e-mails and contacts (sometimes they reappear later, sometimes you have to rebuild the index or do a repair on the pst file). The latter happend at my home computer, too. You can never rely on Vista search results...

I am still in chock and aw at how unstable and unreliable the star feature of Vista is, and that it is unusable in small network scenarios.

I have tried to find a place to report the behaviour, but I have not found another place than this forum. Lets hope that someone at Microsoft listens.





Re: Windows Desktop Search Help Vista search with mapped network drives serious issues

Eric Wolz - MSFT

1.) I would also agree with you that this is a file locking issue when we index the file. We use oplocks to release our access if we are indexing the file and someone needs to modify it. Also we also recycle the indexing process periodically, so even if we did maintain a file opened, it will get released when the process exits. At this point, I can only assume this is a problem on the file server side that is not handling file locks correctly. Can you tell me what you are using as your file server and any version info

2.) This is an issue with the UNC plugin. I will push for getting the "Open Containing Folder" menu item to be added to the context menu in a future release.






Re: Windows Desktop Search Help Vista search with mapped network drives serious issues

Mikegu

Eric,

Our file server is running Windows Server 2003 (SP1), and the network PCs are all on XP Pro (SP2). The problem was noted when WDS 02.06.6000.5414 was running on only a few of the network PCs. A common example involved the following scenario:

1. A user opended a Word document on shared drive X and commenced a lenghty set of edits.

2. One or more of the WDS users had their systems configured to index files on shared drive X.

After aprroximately half an hour the user editing the document on shared drive X found they could no longer save their changes. It "appeared" that WDS had noticed a change to the contents of the Word document, and decided to re-index the file. The unfortunate consequence appeared to be a file lock that made it impossible for the person editing the file to complete their session and save their updates. In each case it was necessary for the system administrator to forcefully release the lock on the file in question. One might expect that WDS would avoid indexing the file if it was being edited. One might also expect that the indexing process would be fairly quick, which makes it difficult to understand why the person editing the file was unable to reacquire control of the Word document.

None of these problems were evident when working from local drives (ie. it appeared to be specific to files being shared on a remote drive).





Re: Windows Desktop Search Help Vista search with mapped network drives serious issues

Eric Wolz - MSFT

Is any of this done over a wireless network, that you would lose connectivity momentary




Re: Windows Desktop Search Help Vista search with mapped network drives serious issues

Jonne

Eric

1. I run a small business, we have two workers, we both run Vista Business. All documents are stored on Computer 1 in "Public Doucments" and all are used from Computer 1 and Computer 2.

When opening a file on Computer 2 in Word or Excel, editing it and trying to save it (or waiting a while and trying later), the error message occures. On computer 1, no document is open. The network is cabled (with a router). Removing UNC plugin resolves the issue.

If this behaviour is by design, I can only say, that the design has a fundamental flaw. Vista maintaining of a search index should NOT disable my ability to save my documents!

2. Thank you.





Re: Windows Desktop Search Help Vista search with mapped network drives serious issues

Mikegu

Hi Eric,

We are also running a wired network. Would you be able to clarify if you believe the described behaviour is unexpected (with an installation of WDS on a network that is in full health). At present, our IT guys refuse to let us run WDS because of the article at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/927018/en-us. The article implies that WDS will never be able to handle shared drives that have files in concurrent useage (but they may be overinterpeting an article that is difficult to understand). Perhaps our IT guys need to check that our network is running smoothly. If we did lose network connectivity momentarily would it be enough to cause the symptoms that have been described





Re: Windows Desktop Search Help Vista search with mapped network drives serious issues

Eric Wolz - MSFT

Yes this behavior is unexpected. This issue could be in multiple places and not directly in the WDS code, obviously but we are contributing to the problem. The KB article just address the fact that the document is temporarily locked and not permanently locked until the client WDS is closed down. To help me out, can you just kill the WindowsSearch.exe process and see if the files become assessable again That is the try icon code which also listens for file change notifications.




Re: Windows Desktop Search Help Vista search with mapped network drives serious issues

Mikegu

Thanks for this clarification Eric; it should be enough to reactivate the discussion with our IT guys. I won't be able to run any tests on our work network, but given your input, I'm eager to replicate the conditions at home.

The line from the KB article of concern was that "if the file is changed while WDS is reading the file, the IFilters interface could crash". We were told (perhaps incorrectly) that when/if the interface crashes it is permanently locking the file (hence, making it impossible for the user to save changes). I'll let you know how I go with the test you have proposed.

Many thanks for following up on our posts.





Re: Windows Desktop Search Help Vista search with mapped network drives serious issues

Eric Wolz - MSFT

You miss-read the KB. We open the file with the share READ only, and therefore do not allow modifications to occur. We did this because *if* we allowed writes, there is a potential that an IFilter might not expect a file modification and may crash.

I would be interested in your results at home. Thanks for any personal time you put into this!






Re: Windows Desktop Search Help Vista search with mapped network drives serious issues

Mikegu

Thanks Eric. Will try to run that test this evening.

I appreciate your description; it nicely describes what will happen if someone attempts to open a shared file while WDS is in the process of indexing. However, I'm still not too certain about the theory behind WDS trying to commence indexing of a remote file that is already open and in the process of being edited.

In order to better understand the 'SHARE ACCESS = READ' concept I searched the Internet and came up with a hit on a WDS blog hosted by a chap named Brandon. One of the forum items (circa AUG-2006) appeared to outline a similar scenario (quotation appended). Do you think the issue outlined has any merit


"The easiest way to reproduce the problem is to create a large file 40 MB file (Excel or Word preferably but I don¡¯t think it matters) and put it in the UNC path your WDS is indexing. Open the file from your machine and click save. This should cause the error your seeing every time. It happens with 2.x and 3.0.

I¡¯m pretty sure WDS only knows not to index a file if it¡¯s LOCAL hard drive has no activity. Since the save is being carried out on a network drive WDS sees the new file and, even though it¡¯s not complete, starts to index it. When it starts to index it puts the ¡°SHARE ACCESS = READ¡± lock on the file. When Word is done saving the file it tries to re-access the saved version but WDS has a lock and Word will through (sic) the error. Virus detection programs had this problem years ago. I¡¯m surprised the WDS team can¡¯t use the same sort of trickery to solve it as the anti-virus guys did."





Re: Windows Desktop Search Help Vista search with mapped network drives serious issues

Jonne

Mikegu, if the explanation you describe is correct, and if I were Microsoft, I would immediately pull the UNC-path plugin from the download section, or label it beta. Of course, we don't know if the cause described is correct, but the symphtoms exactly matches the problems I have been having.





Re: Windows Desktop Search Help Vista search with mapped network drives serious issues

Mikegu

Hi Eric,

Sorry for the delay; I finally got an environment up and running in which I could test the problem. The experiment (as suggested in the earlier post) seemed to illustrate the problem with WDS quite clearly. Whilst attempting to save a large Word file on a UNC path I lost control of the file quite frequently. I'm still running WDS 2.6. Should I push on and test the scenario with WDS 3 Or do you know if the issue has been remedied





Re: Windows Desktop Search Help Vista search with mapped network drives serious issues

Eric Wolz - MSFT

OK, Thanks, I'm going to pass this on to our test team (David Peng). Can you please verify this with WDS 3.0