Getting Over Obstacles to Solid Edge Fast Search

Siemens Valued Contributor Siemens Valued Contributor
Siemens Valued Contributor


For those who have installed Solid Edge ST9, you know by now that it now supports index-based search queries – a new option called Fast Search. While Fast Search is straightforward to configure, there can be obstacles (who would have thought?!) you may run into.

So let me point out the ones we are aware of, so you do not have to trip over them. Smiley Happy


Let us start with a fundamental pre-requisite for Solid Edge Fast Search: the Windows Search Service. Here is how Microsoft introduces it: “Windows Search is a standard component of Windows 7 … and is enabled by default. …”

What if it is not enabled? Here is obstacle #1.

While our experience shows that everyone’s PC has the Windows Search Service indeed started by default, occasionally we ran into a situation where a customer’s file server running Windows 2008 R2 didn’t have this service running. We do not recommend to have the startup type set to “Automatic (Delayed Start)”, as this can delay the indexing process unnecessarily.

Open the ‘Services’ application (click on the Windows Start button and type “services” into the search box) and make sure it is started automatically and run by the ‘Local System’ account.

Windows' Services applicationWindows' Services application

The question: ‘How does the Windows Indexer know about our Solid Edge properties?’ characterizes another vital pre-requisite for Solid Edge Fast Search. The short answer: through the installation of Solid Edge ST9.


Windows Explorer provides the easiest way to quickly validate this. Using the ‘Details’ view type go to any folder, right-mouse-button click on any column (i.e. ‘Name) and click the ‘More …’ button at the bottom of the menu.

Windows Explorer column RMB menuWindows Explorer column RMB menu

This brings up a dialog with a long list of properties Windows knows about. Now hit the keys ‘S’ and ‘E’ on your keyboard and the selection in the list jumps to “SE Links”.

What if it doesn’t? That would make obstacle #2. (Example on the right)

SE columns are listedSE columns are listedSE columns are not listedSE columns are not listed

Missing the Solid Edge properties in the list are an indicator that something went amiss with registering the properties during the Solid Edge ST9 installation. A quick fix is opening the DOS terminal (click Windows Start and type “cmd” in the search window) and typing the following:

   cd "c:\Program Files\Solid Edge ST9\Program"

   regsvr32 /s SEPropertyHandler.dll


Subsequently restart Windows Explorer (kill the ‘explorer.exe’ process in Task Manager (RMB on the Windows task bar) and also start it again via Task Manager) and you just mastered another obstacle!

restarting Windows Explorerrestarting Windows Explorer

Having squared away the fundamentals, we can now move on to the Solid Edge Options dialog and specify the location(s) of our CAD files by clicking on the ‘Set Locations …’ button.

Fast Search settings in SE Options dialogFast Search settings in SE Options dialog

Windows ‘Indexing Options’ dialog will come up and after clicking the ‘Modify’ button one can check the desired locations.

Modify indexed locationsModify indexed locations

Did you notice the different shading of the folder icon? Here is obstacle #3.

folder icon shadingfolder icon shading

Make sure the folder that carries your CAD files shows in bold colors. Windows indicates with the dimmed folder color, it is not allowed to index the file contents inside these folders. Therefore, if the folder you are selecting for indexing is shown in a dimmed color, close the ‘Indexing Options’ dialog and go to Windows Explorer to open the properties dialog of the folder and check the box in the ‘Advanced …’ options.

advanced folder optionsadvanced folder options

Make sure to click ‘OK’ on the following dialog:

apply to all subfoldersapply to all subfolders

Go back to the Solid Edges Options dialog and click the ‘Set Locations …’ button.

The folder icon shows now in bold colors and the Indexer can do its part.


Hope this helped …


Thanks for this information. I have a question about Fast Search on a file server.

We use a Windows Server 2008 R2 as file server and Fast Search is installed and configured. The Solid Edge file locations were added to the index and our user defined properties were added via propseed file.

If i open the indexing options and click advanced -> filetypes i can't see any entries for asm, par, psm or dft.

Is this normal?

Only Fast Search is installed on the Server, not Solid Edge (i think this isn't possible or is it?).


Greetings from Germany

Christian Kunkel

Siemens Valued Contributor
Yes, the Solid Edge file extensions don't appear in that list, because Solid Edge is not installed. This is normal, hence the fast search on Solid Edge custom properties should be functional nevertheless - if not, please let me know and I might be able and to help troubleshoot.

Esteemed Contributor

@Michael_RvD, has it been determined what may cause the Solid Edge properties to become unregistered even though they were recently registered?


Any suggestions for companies that do not use a MS file server?


It sounds like fast search and therefore any of the built in data management features are unavailable to any company using any other file serving solution than MS; SAN for example.

Siemens Phenom

@bnemec  Fast Search is based on the Windows Search Service technology so can only be used with Microsoft file servers.  There is not a solution for non-Microsoft servers.


Thank you uk_dave.  I was afraid of that, there are some good data management tools that we could really make use of. 

Siemens Valued Contributor

@Grundey the most common reasons we have been seeing are: Windows OS updates and the IT department making changes to the file server post ST9 installation (mainly changing permissions on folders containing SE files).

With regards to the latter:

  • make sure the 'SYSTEM' group has permission to your SE folders. Essentially this gives Windows access to do the indexing. On a couple of occasions IT (inadvertantly) removed those permissions and designers couldn't find things anymore ...
  • We had one case, where adding permissions to the group 'AUTHENTICATED USERS' allowed Windows to do the indexing again.

I have a quick question from the IT side.  In our case, SE License Manager is the only thing installed on our Windows 2008 R2 Server as far as Solid Edge is concerned.  After discussion with our CAD team it sounds like we need this search ability so I'm going through this process of setting up the indexing as described above.  The CAD computers obviously have Solid Edge (ST9) so my only confusion is whether Solid Edge has to be installed on the server in order to properly access the extra file attributes that need indexing.  Any clarification is appreciated.

Siemens Valued Contributor

Solid Edge doesn't need to be installed on the file server to to access the extra Solid Edge file attributes. Instead, only the Fast Search configuration utility needs to be installed on the file server and used to configure the custom properties to be indexed.

















To ensure custom properties are consistent, it is recommended to have the propseed.txt and template files in a shared location, that can be accessed by the Fast Search configuration utility on the server as well as the Fast Search configuration (SE Options) on every CAD computer.