My Windows Search service will not run on my Windows Vista PC.

When I try to start it, I get the error:

Error 3: The system cannot find the path specified.

The file C:\Windows\system32\SearchIndexer.exe does exist.

I have deleted all directories under C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search

Any ideas?

  • There are high possibilities of your PC to be infected by a virus
    – Mr-Right
    Jul 27, 2010 at 10:59
  • "I have deleted all firectories under C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search" I think you have found your problem.
    – Moab
    Jul 28, 2010 at 21:00
  • @Mr-Right - there is no virus. @Moab - that is a suggested fix, it forces the index service to re-index everything, although it didn't work for me.
    – Techboy
    Jul 30, 2010 at 9:41

2 Answers 2


Try a scan for broken system files.

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Run
  3. Type sfc /scannow and click OK

If there are any corrupt files, including the SearchIndexer.exe file - they will automatically be replaced with the good copy. You might need to pop in your Vista installation CD when prompted, if it does find any problems.

Failing this, a simple System Restore back to when it was all working okay should do the trick.


I tried everything mentioned here: http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/85803-index-windows-search-service.html but it didn’t work.

So I ended up installing Windows Search 4 and now it is working.

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