Configuring Windows Search for XenApp 6

Windows Search is enabled on XenApp 6 Windows 2008 R2 servers by installing the File Server > Windows Search Service role.

Once the Windows Search Service is installed file searches on shares hosted on Windows 2008 R2 file servers can be off-loaded to the file server thereby conserving XenApp server resources. E-mail messages and Internet Explorer history will be also indexed….. and this is where the trouble can start:
  • The application event log may start logging event id 3036 from source Search:
The content source cannot be accessed.
Context: Windows Application, SystemIndex Catalog
Details: No protocol handler is available. Install a protocol handler that can process this URL type. (HRESULT : 0x80040d37) (0x80040d37)
  • Outlook may fail to open and attempt to open in safe mode.
  • The Search database file C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows\Windows.edb may grow very large – a “normal” size seems to be around 40 MB and a large DB can be 4 GB.
  • The SearchIndexer.exe process has high disk I/O
We decided to only allow file searches as it seemed the main cause was indexing of MAPI content. The follow group policies fixed this issue:
Computer Config/Admin Templates/Windows Components/Search
  • Prevent indexing certain paths
    • iehistory://{*}/
    • mapi://{*}/
  • Prevent unwanted iFilters and protocol handlers
    • Search.FileHandler.1
The index path exclusion may not be required, but I have not tested without these settings. The “Prevent unwanted iFilters and protocol handlers” settings tells Windows Search to use only the file search handler. A caveat is that if your environment has custom search handlers installed, this setting will disable them.


  1. xMav says:

    I wonder how this would be related to installing outlook 2010 on a 2003 xenapp 4.5 server. Outlook is handicapped w/o wds. I don’t know what to do. the overhead for indexing 20 users per server could be brutal. if it stores the index db in programdata, does it have to re index each user eveyttime they changes servers? I wish exchange 2010 could just do this on the backend like you say windows 2008 file servers do.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi I am in the same boat with a Server 2003 and XA 5.x. We upgraded from office 2007 to 2010 and searches stopped. Compond this with the fact that also subscribed to MS BPOS now Office 365.

      Any forward progess anyone?

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