Windows 8 Freezes after Login caused by Windows Search service

So my Windows 8 laptop suddenly started freezing immediately after login. So after about 6 hours of trying to figure out what was going, I determined that it was the Windows Search background service which was causing the problem. This could also potentially be an issue with Windows 8.1 as well.

The first thing I did was boot up in Safe Mode with Internet Connectivity (you will probably need to do a search on how to this as it requires a long post of it’s very own) and everything worked fine without any freezes at all, so I figured it must be one of the services that was causing some kind of problem. So using msconfig I went to the Services tab and DISABLED all the services and then started alphabetically turning them back and re-booting. So started by turning on all the services that start with A and re-booted. Then I added all the services that start with B and re-booted. I continued until I got down to services starting with W and then the problem returned. So then I booted back into Safe Mode again, and started turning on all the W services 10 at a time until I narrowed it down, and finally pinpointed Windows Search as the culprit. I then re-booted one more time with all the services turned back on except Windows Search, and everything was working fine. There goes 4 hours of my life I will never get back, but at least I had found the cause of my Windows 8 Freeze problem.

The next thing I did was delete the Windows.edb file and the tmp.edb file which are the files that store the search index. The file are located in the following directory:


Thanks to the following post for helping me locate the Windows Search Windows.edb Indexing file.

The next step was to restart the Windows Search service without rebooting. To do this, from the classic Desktop you need to go to Computer then Computer Tab then Manage then choose Services and Applications then Services then scroll down to Windows Search service then right-click and choose Properties and change the Startup Type to Automatic (Delayed Start) and then click Start then OK.

And the last step is to rebuild the search index (the Windows.edb file). Note that when you start the rebuild process it may take anywhere from minutes to hours to complete. To rebuild the index, from the classic Dekstop choose Control Panel then Indexing Options then Advanced then click on REBUILD.

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