Slowing down searchfilterhost.exe on my Media Center box when Xbox 360 Extender is attached

I noticed an oddity with Media Center Extenders that didn’t work very well with my system, and was causing my computer’s SearchFilterHost.exe to unnecessarily re-index a bunch of stuff in my media libraries. 

I’m not on the Media Center team, but I poked around and found out some stuff.

Whenever you connect an extender, there’s a scheduled task (mcxtask.exe) that fires and makes sure that all of the Media Center libraries have access permissions for that extender.  That’s important if your libraries change, but for me it’s not that important, all of my libraries inherit their permissions and I don’t change the root folders that much.

The Windows Search Indexer notices when someone’s changed the permission for a file, so that it can be accurately indexed.  So when the XBox 360 Media Center Extender connects, it “fixes” all of my permissions, to the same thing they already are, and then the Indexer re-indexes all of that stuff.  With 100,000 photos, that can take a while and unnecessarily bogs down my machine.

So I looked in scheduled tasks (Search for Schedule Tasks in settings, or Windows + R, and type “mmc.exe taskschd.msc”), and found some entries under Microsoft->Windows->Media Center->Extender, one for each extender.  And then I disabled those tasks (right click -> disable).  Don’t do this if you aren’t comfortable with what might happen, no guarantees that it’ll work for you! 

Now when I log on an extender, the task won’t run.  The disadvantage is that if move my media libraries around, I might have to turn the task back on long enough to run once, or add permissions manually for the new folder, but it saves my machine a lot of unnecessary work.  My symptoms were the SearchFilterHost.exe process reading all of my photos, music and videos libraries every time I connected an xbox 360 extender.

If I add a new extender, Media Center will create a new task, so, after it finishes running once, I’ll have to go back to scheduled tasks and disable it.

If you’re curious about the permissions themselves, you can look at the security tab for a folder’s properties.  The Media Center Extenders are account names with a long number and then something like (MachineNameMcx1-MachineName).  Again, no guarantees if you muck with the permissions and break something!

Anyway, hope this helps other people if you’re having trouble with your Media Center computer over-indexing your media files.