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View Full Version : Dave's disable_spotlight script vs. privacy window


Jay Moonskip
07-08-2005, 09:50 PM
I'm a new user of SuperDuper! and so far it's great. But I'm having a problem with Spotlight, and maybe someone can help me out of my confusion.

I have a Seagate external hard drive connected via USB to my PowerBook G4. I use this drive and SD to maintain a bootable clone of the PowerBook's hard drive. This part works fine. Each time I update the clone (using "Smart Update"), I close the session by running the disable_spotlight script provided by Dave. But then when I do a search with Spotlight, the duplicate files on the external drive are listed right along with the originals on the PowerBook drive. I also hear drive activity on the Seagate when I don't expect it, as though Spotlight is indexing it.

I tried adding the external drive to the Spotlight privacy window, both with the "+" button and by dragging, but no go. The privacy window is working otherwise: I can add desktop folders perfectly well. When I try to add the external drive, however, its name and icon just fail to show up in the window. No error message accompanies this behavior.

Then I realized that I don't really understand the need for Dave's disable_spotlight script. If all you had to do was put the backup drive in the privacy window, I guess we would have been instructed to do so....

So three questions: (1) Why can't I add my external drive to the Spotlight privacy window? (2) Why is Dave's script necessary, and what does it really do? (3) What is the relationship between Spotlight indexing and Spotlight searching?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

dnanian
07-08-2005, 09:54 PM
The thing is, when you copy the data, it also ends up copying the spotlight index. And, at least *part* of the "privacy" stuff seems to be stored on the drive itself, but in an undocumented way.

The disable_spotlight script uses the documented mdutil command-line utility to erase the index on the destination volume and disable indexing for that drive. But, disabled indexing doesn't necessarily mean that searching is disabled. It just turns off the "importer", which should turn off indexing. Spotlight still seems to search the drive, just more slowly...

neilio
07-11-2005, 11:21 AM
I believe the only way to add a volume to Spotlight's privacy pane is (stupidly enough) only after an volume has been completely indexed first.

If you don't wait for Spotlight to do its thing, disconnecting and reconnecting an external volume will send Spotlight off indexing again. It's super annoying and I've got a radar bug open with Apple to improve this.

So the best way to avoid this problem is to:

1. Wait for Spotlight to completely index a volume.
2. Add it to the Privacy tab.
3. Run Dave's spotlight script.

Dave, will the .Spotlight-VT100 folder be added to the items not copied over? I think if you leave this folder out of the cloning process when copying to a volume that is already marked private Spotlight will not start indexing the destination volume later on.

dnanian
07-11-2005, 11:47 AM
Yeah, we've got a bunch of bugs reported against this behavior.

We don't copy the .Spotlight stuff in v2.x (and you can exclude it with a copy script), but unfortunately ignoring it means it's deleted from the destination. The disable_spotlight stuff recreates the folder as expected, though, and *seems* to turn the indexing off... but, again, there are definitely issues here that Apple needs to work through...

themace
07-29-2005, 12:53 AM
Where do I get the disable_spotlight script?

...

I have a Seagate external hard drive connected via USB to my PowerBook G4. I use this drive and SD to maintain a bootable clone of the PowerBook's hard drive. This part works fine. Each time I update the clone (using "Smart Update"), I close the session by running the disable_spotlight script provided by Dave. But then when I do a search with Spotlight, the duplicate files on the external drive are listed right along with the originals on the PowerBook drive. I also hear drive activity on the Seagate when I don't expect it, as though Spotlight is indexing it.

...

dnanian
07-29-2005, 07:57 AM
It's in the FAQ, "themace"...

Piggy
10-27-2005, 07:55 PM
You might want to take a look at Spotless from www.fixamacsoftware.com. It will help you manage Spotlight. I just used it to clear up a problem I was having with iDisk indexing that I could not resolve from the command line.

I find it annoying that Spotlight searches disks that are Spotlight disabled. Hopefully Apple has plans to add more control over Spotlight.

dnanian
10-27-2005, 10:50 PM
The handling is a bit weird. But, putting it in Privacy does seem to disable searching... but you can't put it in privacy if spotlight is disabled for the volume... like I said, weird stuff!