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I've searched around for a solution, but it seems that most people want this to happen. I would like Windows Search to start up in Automatic mode on this machine. I set the service to Automatic, start it, and all is well. But...when the system restarts the service is set to Disabled startup mode. I don't know what process, or boot setting, or whatever it may be is causing this to happen. Event Log yields no suspects either.

Can any one here advise on how I might troubleshoot this issue? Any tools, utilities, etc. you would advise? I know about procmon, procexp, and the like, but this seems to be a boot time issue, and I don't know if I can use procmon to trace boot time events.

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what version of windows? –  tony roth Jan 11 '12 at 19:53
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Assuming the machine is joined to an Active Directory domain the most likely explanation is that Group Policy is configuring the service startup to Disabled. The "Resultant Set of Policy" tool (rsop.msc) can show you (in under "Computer Configuration", "Windows Settings", "Security Settings", and "System Services") if a GPO is altering the startup setting for that service.

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Evan, Sorry for not being specific. The machine is not in an AD domain. It's just a dev system in Workgroup "WORKGROUP". I ran rsop.msc and the Windows Search service's "Security Policy Setting" tab's "Define this policy setting" checkbox is greyed out. I assume because we are not in a domain? I don't know for sure. –  Joe Baltimore Jan 11 '12 at 14:25
    
The machine is also running SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise with all the trimmings installed (Analysis Services, RS, etc.) Everything. If that helps. –  Joe Baltimore Jan 11 '12 at 14:30
    
@JoeBaltimore: It was worth a try guessing, at least. On the basis of your comments, then, I'm not sure that I have another guess off the top of my head. You can use Process Monitor to trace during boot. Have a look at the "Enable Boot Logging" option. –  Evan Anderson Jan 11 '12 at 15:53
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