So - I'm messing around on my machine, and I decide to shut a few things down so that I can tidy up my desktop a bit. I start shutting things down and my HD goes nuts as usual. I finally got tired of waiting for apps to shut down so I opened up Windows Resource Monitor and took a shufti at Disk activity. Well for staters we have pagefile.sys going great guns for a bit, then we have SearchIndexer.exe sucking my HD hard. pagefile.sys on a machine with 2GB of RAM. Perhaps this says something about Windows Vista. I remember not all that many years ago having a 486 with 16MB of RAM runing Enlightenment on linux and just about having enough RAM to run Mozilla without swapping too much. 16MB of RAM folks. A browser, a window manager that has fancy effects, and an OS with terminals and networking and stuff. I can't run more than two apps at once on a machine with 2GB of RAM without swapping, what gives?
Then there is the matter of SearchIndexer. I have noticed ever since I got my machine that whenever I save and shut down a bunch of apps, the HD goes nuts, and doing a little research, it seems that I am not the only person who has a major issue with SearchIndexer.exe. In earlier version of Vista it just plain crashed in non US locales. Later it would randomly break and cause a machine to thrash an HD endlessly and stop the user from moving or deleting files. It's supposed to active only when there are idle cycles on the machine. Hmm.... not really working is it?
Fortunately with a bit of digging, I found out how to turn this sucker off. You can go to windows services and shutdown windows search. Hooray! I will report if my machine is snappier or not.
Let me see how many Gigs of Word Docs and emails I have to index.... Well, I use gmail, so no email. And I have maybe a couple of hundred word docs, that are all well organized into files by client and sensibly names so I can find them easily. How quick can an OS grep through a couple of hundred Megs, pretty quick really considering an HD can do at least 50MB/sec read and with a half decent 7200RPM drive it's more like 70MB/sec. I think I can wait 4 seconds for a search to return if I ever actually do one, which in the last sixth months, I can't remember a single instance of needed to search my docs. Big PDFs? I bet they are mostly images and graphics. Text is small, and in a PDF it's zipped too, so searching over it requires less IO and more CPU, which is good because IO is slow and CPU is fast.
Windows Search - Useless for me, and I bet many others. Most of my FS is taken up by applications, photoshop files, illustrator files, games, videos and MP3s. Most of which are not even slightly searchable with current technology.