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Services Utility: Indexing Service Service

Display Name (?): Indexing Service
Short Name (?): CiSvc
Executable (?): cisvc.exe
Library (?): None.
Depends On (?): Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
Supports (?): None.
Description (?): Indexes contents and properties of files on local and remote computers; provides rapid access to files through flexible querying language.
OS (?): 2000 Professional, XP Home/Professional, Vista Home/Business, 2000 Server, Server 2003, Vista Server
Startup (?):

Explanation (?):

The Indexing Service service is used in creating a searchable database of all the files resident on your computer and on remote systems. This database also includes the properties of the files stored. The purpose of this service is to query the index when a file search is performed instead of scouring the hard-drive for the matching files themselves. Overall the concept of this service is a great idea and it's a prelude to the Windows File System that is supposed to be used in the next version of Windows following Windows XP. If enabled the service can be configured from the Computer Management through the Indexing Service snapin (ciadv.msc).

There are a few downsides to the service though. The greatest is that it can slow accessing your files down a bit. This happens especially during the intial indexing of the drive. During this phase the service can be set to either do it while the computer is idle or during use, but setting it to do so while in use will bring the computer down to a crawl. Once the index has been completed any file created or modified will need to be added or updated to the database and this increased access time to use a file.

So the average person should not use this feature of Windows unless they do a lot of file searching on their hard-drive and would like to sacrifice some of their computer resources to the cause of speeding up those searches. Servers may wish to consider using this service but only if it would be benefitial to find files quicker. Overall you will most likely not wish to enable this service unless you know you have a special need, as the amount of CPU usage, memory use and hard-disk access times will make your computer slower.

Please visit /tools/services/ for the complete Services utility.