The built in domain administrator can't find addtional installed programs on all of our Windows 2016 servers.

Today I looked around and tested in on 11 Windows 2016 Servers in different domains. At none of them the search for programs works. I had suspected the virus scanner, but on the servers are different virus scanners installed.

Example Exchange
The file indexing results are shown but not the installed applications.

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Since it works for a not built in administrator I don't assume we have an indexing problem.

Is there any server where the search works?

Are there any restrictions for built in administrators causing this behaviour and can it be turned off?

  • 1
    We observe the same behavior on our 2016 servers. It would be enough for me to know if someone is watching another behavior. – Layer8 Nov 30 '18 at 15:19

This is definitely an annoying problem and I don't have a root cause or permanent fix for it. But I have a workaround that seems to solve the immediate problem on a per-account basis.

In short, delete the local user profile. What I have observed is that the only things that get properly indexed from the Start Menu are things that existed when the account first logged in. So if you log in to the server before anything is installed, you're stuck in that empty OS start menu state forever. Deleting the profile basically forces it to re-build the index on the next "first" login.

There's probably a more elegant way to do it than deleting the whole profile, but I haven't had the time to figure it out yet.

  • We have a really long list of actions to repair it but none of them . It includes several methods to manually rebuild the index, fixing permission errors, cleaning up the index an so on. All without success. – marsh-wiggle Dec 3 '18 at 18:10
  • On the plus side, my limited testing with Server 2019 so far indicates whatever the problem was has been fixed. This plus the extremely slow patching in 2016 are likely going to be large drivers in us moving to 2019 sooner rather than later. 2019 is way faster at downloading and applying the cumulative updates than 2016 is....like waaaaaay faster. – Ryan Bolger Dec 4 '18 at 0:01

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