Windows Search/Windows Indexing Service Error Event ID 3036

This is one that has puzzled me for about 2 weeks.  And the net is rife with similar issues.  You have probably come to the end of your tether with this, as did I.  Let me give you the scenario, where you experience one or all of the below:

1. Terminal Server environment
2. Windows Search never completes, or it’s always got items remaining and this keeps changing
3. You see Event ID 3036 in the event viewer

Windows Event ID 3036

Source: Search
Content Source: <mapi://{GUID}/> cannot be accessed  (e.g. mapi://{S-1-5-21-652277433-1968782461-551167323-1146}/)
Details:(HRESULT : 0x80004005) (0x80004005)
Context: Application, SystemIndex Catalog

4. Outlook search failing to locate items
5. Outlook search reporting that Indexing is still in progress

My thoughts:  This happens for a number of reasons.

1. SYSTEM is not the owner of %systemdrive%\programdata\microsoft\search\ (or your search database location, including subfolders).
2. You have moved the Outlook OST from it’s default location in %appdata%\local\microsoft\outlook
3. You are indexing a large number of files.

My solution – and one that I haven’t seen anywhere else on the web:

1. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\Gather\Windows\SystemIndex\StartPages
2. Export this key (just in case)
3. Remove all subkeys apart from ‘0’ which should be “URL- C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\”
4. Open indexing options and remove check marks from all folders
5. Remove the indexing service completely (from add/remove features/roles), reboot and reenable the index – about 200 items should be indexed (depending on the size of your start folder – this should be the only folder indexed right now).
6. Select all folders that you require – be careful checking the ‘Users’ folder as %appdata% is included and this can contain a heap of unnecessary files, like iehistory:// etc.

You now have full control over which items are indexed.  The errors will also be removed from the event log

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6 thoughts on “Windows Search/Windows Indexing Service Error Event ID 3036”

  1. Great guide, thanks!

    I had a Windows 7 desktop with Office 2010 with partial results in their Outlook search.

    I followed your guide however deleted the entire key “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\Gather\Windows\SystemIndex\StartPages” as URL in 0 was “C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Microsoft Office\\Office14\\Visio Content\\”

    Reinstalled Windows Search, however still didn’t have results. I ended up recreating the OST file as I suspected Windows Search could not index everything in it. Sure enough, indexing found it had alot more items to sift through.

    Side note: If you are using a terminal server, why would Outlook be in cached mode?

    1. Thanks for the comment. Deleting the entire key could be the solution, especially if it is recreated during the readding of the search service.

      In response to your side note: I don’t quite get your standpoint. Applologies for being so blunt but I see no issue with having Outlook in cached mode on a TS – feel free to share your experiences. In actual fact, it was a requirement for this client as they used Sage to email invoices which went through Spindle 5 and a prerequisite to Spindle was Outlook needed to be in cached mode. We also found issues with connectivity/slowness when clients were on Exchange Online. Cache mode resolved those issues too.

      1. Oh no worries on bluntness, was just curious about what was driving cached mode on your terminal server.

        I prefer having users use cache mode as well (especially if using Office 365). However in some cases drive space is at a premium (like with our IaaS clients) so its always good to hear the business requirement for having Outlook in cached mode on a terminal server.

        Prior to Outlook 2013’s cached mode it was hard on some of our clients with Terminal Servers. Some end users have very large mailboxes… and some don’t care about quotas/retention policies/archiving/etc.

  2. Anybody know what triggers these errors?
    What would cause indexing to take a dump? out of the blue? The other two scenarios don’t apply in my case…If it is something that elecrical interference or surges or something other than a failure of some sort, what would cause it to happen is my question.

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