How to search content on a file server using SharePoint 2010 search
Normally, the SharePoint 2010 Search service is configured to index content in your SharePoint Site Collection(s). But what if you want to index files on the file server and let users search from one centralized location? This can be solved by creating a "New Content Source".
Open SharePoint Central Administration and select "Manage service applications" under "Application Management.
Find and select the "Search Service Application".
Click "Content Sources".
Select "New Content Source".
Give the new content source name. Then select the "File Shares" radio button. In the "Start Address", enter the UNC path to the share (or subfolder within a share) that you want to index. Normally you would allow crawling of subfolders, but if you want finer control of what gets indexed, you can specify individual folder names using the "Only crawl the folder of each start address" option."
Now it's time to configure a crawl schedule, but before setting those, check the "Start full crawl of this content source checkbox". (You can check the box after configuring the schedules, but I won't be showing the screenshot again.)
Full Crawl Schedule
You can choose any schedule you like for complete crawls (complete refresh of content). I like to start with monthly and adjust from there if needed. (I have never needed to change it.)
Incremental Crawl Schedule
This is what feeds the search indexes with new content, which you will want kept pretty much in (near) real-time. How often depends on a combination of system resources and needs. I have always felt that hourly incremental crawls were adequate. For an hourly incremental search crawl configure as follows:
Going forward your File Server content will be included in your SharePoint search results. Go ahead and try it out. (Depending on the size of the file share, you may have to wait a bit for the initial full crawl to complete.)
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Article Last Updated: 2011-03-08