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I'm handling a migration from a on old mac server to a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine running a 12TB(10 usable) RAID5 server. It's using an SMB share and now the OSX 10.5/.6 users can search sometimes it works but takes up to 10 minutes. The OSX 10.7 machine seems to be fine. I've looked in the root of the shared drive for a .Spotlight-V100 file (ls -a) but it doesn't seem to be there. mdutil says indexing is on for that volume and I have cleared the index using mdutil -E /Volumes/MeSharedVolume numerous times. Any ideas?

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Spotlight for network shares requires the server to build the metadata index for the share (the .Spotlight-V100 directory). It's not a client-side thing. This is a frequently overlooked downside of moving from OS X Server to another fileserver platform, at least for Mac clients used to fast search results. Currently only ExtremeZ-IP for Windows (a commercial AFP fileserver product) will produce Spotlight compatible indexes for its AFP shares. Netatalk for Linux (open source AFP server) has experimental support for a similar feature, but it's not clear when this functionality will make it into a stable release.

While it is possible to coerce a client into building a metadata index for a network share, this is bad idea, as it is ephemeral (it must be rebuilt each time the share is mounted) and causes every client to trawl through every file on the share each time it connects. That's just not how Spotlight was meant to work for network shares.

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