I am attempting to activate the Windows Indexing Service by following a solution in a previous question. However, when I try to start the Windows Search service on my local computer, I receive the error message:
Windows could not start the Windows Search service on Local Computer.
Error 21: The device is not ready.
What is causing this issue, and what steps do I need to take to resolve it?
The error message “Error 21: The device is not ready” can occur if the required system files or dependencies are missing or corrupted. Here are some steps you can try to resolve the issue:
- Restart your computer
- Run the System File Checker tool to repair missing or corrupted system files: a. Open the Command Prompt as administrator b. Type “sfc /scannow” and press Enter
- Check if the dependencies of the Windows Search service are started and set to automatic: a. Open the Services snap-in (services.msc) b. Locate the required services for Windows Search (Windows Management Instrumentation and Remote Procedure Call (RPC)) c. Right-click the service and select Properties d. In the Properties window, ensure that the service is set to “Automatic” startup type and is started.
- Re-register the Windows Search service components: a. Open the Command Prompt as administrator b. Type “cd C:\Program Files\Windows Desktop Search” (assuming Windows Desktop Search is installed in the default location) c. Type “regsvr32 wdsutil.dll /i” and press Enter d. Type “regsvr32 wdssearchprotocol.dll /i” and press Enter
- Try starting the Windows Search service again.
If the above steps don’t work, you can try reinstalling the Windows Search component, or restoring a previous system backup.
I recently encountered Event 1006, Search, in the Event Viewer that stated “The Windows Search Service has failed to create the new search index. Internal error <1, 0x80070003, Failed to create application directory: E:\Search\Data\Applications>.”
This error was due to the fact that I did not have an “E” drive on my computer. To resolve the issue, I inserted a USB drive that became the “E” drive and Indexing immediately started. As a result, my search functionality in both File Explorer and Outlook was restored.
This solution is simple compared to the complex solutions that involve reloading Windows, as I found this solution to be effective. (Reference: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/search-and-indexing-stopped-after-update-to/a4cab8b0-43fb-4051-9abf-77e842325736)