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Windows 7: Problem - Windows 7 or 8 Indexer will NOT index Files on Drive A or B

12 Jan 2013   #1

Windows 7
Problem - Windows 7 or 8 Indexer will NOT index Files on Drive A or B

Windows 7 & Windows 8 Search Indexing WILL NOT work if your drive is assigned letter "A" or "B".

I have been a Windows user since the Beta of Version 1, and a computer professional since before DOS 1.
I've never been much a user of the Search function in Windows since it was pretty useless compared to third party apps I used.

About the time Windows 7 came out I decided to try using Windows Search. I was never able to get it to work on my data files. I had the same method of Operation for every PC I built. I always used a small, speedy drive for the O/S and a larger drive for Data. I always used drive "B" for my data. I have worked with Microsoft tech support, and with people in forums, as well as Google, and it never occurred to anyone that the drive letter could be the problem, until today.

I just installed Windows 8 on one of my PC's with a super fast 3 x 10,000rpm RAID0 array and a 2 x 7,200 rpm RAID1 array for my Data, again as drive "C" and "B" respectively. I thought to myself that they had to finally get the search function right in Windows 8. Nope, same problem. Windows Indexer never registered any new files on the DATA drive.

For some reason this time I thought back to the old Floppy drives, which I gave up on ages ago, but had just used a USB Floppy to load my RAID driver to install Windows 8. I thought, "Could it be that this is a hold back to the floppy days, that Windows assumes an A or B drive is a floppy, so it will ignore it for Indexing?". Sure enough, I changed the drive letter to "D" and it now worked.

I am posting this because I have searched a lot for this problem and I have never found it mentioned anywhere. I guess I am the only person that uses drive "B" for Data. Actually, I use a lot of drives for data, all 26 as a matter of fact. I have 32 External hard drives and thus all 26 drive letters are spoken for, however, my main data drive for documents, which is mostly what I needed to search was on "B". It was just happenstance that I really only wanted to use one drive to search and it never worked. I found the only way to get search to work on Drive "B" was to disable indexing on that drive and then I could do filename searches on it. I can't believe this never occurred to me before.

So for those of you out there that run into the same problem I am posting this thread with a title that might make some sense to you when you Google for a "Windows Search Problem". I hope it saves you the trouble I went through.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP


We were just discussing the other day the reasons A and B still can't be used after generations have been born who don't know what a floppy drive is. This is likely one. I wonder if there's a workaround though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Problem - Windows 7 or 8 Indexer will NOT index Files on Drive A or B

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