I wanted to speed up Windows Search indexing on my Windows 2008 R2 server. Every time I moved my mouse or something, the indexing of my content would slow or stop. I have a quad core cpu and wanted it to just index the content quickly, so I could get on with life and not have to wait for it, while using my computer for other things...so....
Open regedit as an Administrator, and brows to the registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\Gathering Manager\
now look for the key DisableBackOff
which should be set to zero.
This should be set to 1, then Windows Search will index like mad until it is done Indexing your content. If you try to set this value and get an error saying you don't have adequate permissions, you have to take ownership of the Gathering Manager node. To do this right click on the Gathering Manager node, then choose permissions, then Advanced, then Owner tab, then give ownership to the Administrators group (or yourself), then apply.
Now you should be able to change the Disablebackoff setting to 1, and Windows search should really perform.
Don't forget to restart the Windows Search Service, to apply this new setting.