Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

For some reason, OS X thinks it's a good idea to reindex my entire hard drive (which takes it a few hours) about twice a week. This is really getting annoying, especially since it does this on battery, and drains it quickly.

There's nothing suspicious in the Console, when I grep for mdworker it only gives:

6/12/12 6:04:40.870 PM com.apple.launchd.peruser.501: (com.apple.mdworker.pool.0) Throttling respawn: Will start in 2 seconds
6/12/12 6:11:19.769 PM mdworker: CFPropertyListCreateFromXMLData(): Old-style plist parser: missing semicolon in dictionary.
6/12/12 8:26:59.774 PM mdworker: CFPropertyListCreateFromXMLData(): Old-style plist parser: missing semicolon in dictionary.

There's also a huge number of these errors (about one every 5 seconds):

6/12/12 8:29:25.000 PM kernel: SMC::smcReadKeyAction ERROR F1Mn kSMCBadArgumentError(0x89) fKeyHashTable=0x0xffffff800a715000

(I posted a different question about that here)

Why is it indexing and how can I stop this annoying behavior? Why would it ever need to reindex the entire drive? Every sane indexing program only indexes new files. I don't see why would it need to reindex the whole drive, and I certainly don't see why it would need to do this twice a week.

share|improve this question
1  
Do you have multiple operating systems? If a different system modifies a disk, OS X will Reindex the whole thing the next time it starts. –  ughoavgfhw Jun 13 '12 at 1:36
    
@ughoavgfhw: yes, I have Windows 7 on it too. But I just checked the uptime and it's 14 days, so I had not booted into Windows recently. –  houbysoft Jun 13 '12 at 2:25
1  
A similar question. On my Air it was caused by running out of disk space. –  Lri Jun 13 '12 at 5:38
    
@LauriRanta: yes I saw that and I looked in /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports a few weeks week ago. There were a few reports of crashes of the Finale plugin, but I've deleted it since, and the problem still persists. I have ~25GB available, so I don't think that's the problem either. –  houbysoft Jun 13 '12 at 13:04
    
What version of Lion are you running? My iMac did this once on 10.7.3. No other bootable OS'es. It had been up for about 3 weeks at the time when I realized what was happening. Killing mdworker just caused it to respawn. A reboot stopped it though, and I havent seen this happen again since 10.7.4. Maybe just a bug? –  Vickash Jun 21 '12 at 2:37
show 1 more comment

1 Answer

I found my disk was indexing a lot a few months ago, probably more than twice a week. Finally tracked it down to Backblaze - it turned out that backblaze creates a lot of temporary files as it backs up, especially if you're working with lots of small files (which I do, being a programmer). Spotlight would see those changes and initiate a re-index causing my fan to kick in and the laptop to get hot and burn through battery-life very quickly. Adding the /Library/Backblaze directory to blacklist in Spotlight's settings fixed the problem.

I've also heard people can have the same problem if they have a very active Dropbox account.

If you're doing any video editing this can also be a cause; adding the working directories to Spotlight's blacklist should help. Or, basically, any app that creates a lot of files outside of the OS's temp directories.

share|improve this answer
    
Whatever the cause, IT'S SO ANNOYING. I guess it could be because I am a programmer, and running make and whatnot creates many small .o files, etc. Any way to make the indexer ignore those? –  houbysoft Jul 2 '12 at 3:03
    
or is there at least a log of the indexer to see why it feels like indexing? –  houbysoft Jul 2 '12 at 4:23
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.