Finder search does not find all relevant documents MacOS 10.6.8


I'm having problems with the search in Finder windows in MacOS X 10.6.8.

If I'm typing a search keyword in the textbox in a finder window and search for "file name" or "content", I get no or only a few results, although there should be much more results.

Is this a bug in OS X?

e.g. if I activate the search for "file name" and type "a" in the text box, I get 8 results.
When I search for "b" instead, I get 61 results, and 60 of them have an "a" in the file name!

Is this a known bug?
Is there a solution?

Edit: I've tried to

  • rebuild the spotlight index with sudo mdutil -E _PathOfPartition_
  • repaired permissions on the startup drive

… but no change – Finder/Spotlight does not list files as results, although they exist and match the search criteria.

Best Answer

On my system, typing successive letters always shrinks the results menu. Have you tried rebuilding your Spotlight index? Open terminal in an admin account and type:

sudo mdutil -i on "/Volumes/YourHardDiskNameHere"

, authenticate with your password, and go get a coffee.

Edit: Another way to accomplish this is to open Spotlight preferences to the privacy tab and drag your HDD icon from finder onto the "Prevent spotlight..." list. Close preferences (may not be necessary - ?). Open it again to the same tab and use the +/- buttons to delete the disk. Re-indexing should start.