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After restoring fresh HDD from Time Machine Backup: No results from Spotlight

Posted by jpluimers on 2012/01/02

My Mac Mini Server had its’ primary HDD failure. It got replaced by the iAmStore service center, but contrary to what they promised, they didn’t put the Snow Leopard Server image on it.

So I grabbed an external USB DVD player, booted from the Snow Leopard Server install DVD, and restored the Time Machine backup from my external USB HDD.

Somehow, after the restore, Spotlight wouldn’t work: only the search bar was visible, but nothing else.

I tried various tips all having to do with erasing Spotlight for my root volume (so it would be automatically be reindexed), or many-part steps including killing SystemUIServer, Clearing Caches and Rebooting.

In the end the most simple one worked: just “turn Spotlight indexing on”.

My assumption is that Spotlight information is not backed up, and during restore Spotlight is turned off because continuously reindexing during restore will make the restore slower.

If someone can confirm this (or deny and explain the real reason), please post a comment.

This was what user nkt00 had posted as solution on the Apple forum:

I figured it out. In the man page for “mdutil” (type: “man mdutil” at the terminal shell prompt), it describes the option “-i”, which turns indexing on or off for the specified volume. I just typed:

sudo mdutil -i on /

and away it went

This was the screen output:

Last login: Mon Oct 31 19:31:01 on ttys000
macminiserver01:~ jeroenp$ mdutil -s /
No index.
macminiserver01:~ jeroenp$ sudo mdutil -i on /
Indexing enabled.
macminiserver01:~ jeroenp$

Now I’m happily using my Mac Mini Server again.


via No results from Spotlight: Apple Support Communities.

One Response to “After restoring fresh HDD from Time Machine Backup: No results from Spotlight”

  1. […] Now this was right after a reboot, and because Spotlight did find some files I know Spotlight was turned on (no need for mdutil tricks mentioned inSource: After restoring fresh HDD from Time Machine Backup: No results from Spotlight). […]

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