It's interesting you mentioned the search index starting and working for you. I can not get the search engine to start. I think there is an issue with the way they are attempting to handle the search index service.
This thread helped me if you haven't solved it.
Basically you create an OST outside of the users\ path
You include the custom OST path, ex c:\outlookdata in the snapvol.cfg
You exclude everything else (except windows search)
the two articles mentioned in the thread above might help.