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Windows 7: Windows Search on different file types

01 Nov 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Windows Search on different file types

I'm looking for the best way to have the option of searching all files that I specify, regardless of indexing or file extension or anything, for file contents. I know this will be slow - that's fine. I understand the indexing, limited extensions, etc... are all meant to speed up the search, which is great for most usage, but sometimes it just doesn't do what I need.

Thoughts? Thank you!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Nov 2010   #2

Windows 7 Pro/32 Academic. Build 7600
 
 

Start>search for your file. If it's indexed it will show up immediately. If it's not indexed and your results are 0, hit enter, and in the next window, search in "computer" it will now search your entire system for files you specify. If you do a search for a file type that is not indexed and get a list of indexed results and your file isn't there, scroll down to the bottom of the results list and click "search again in". You'll get the same window. Click "computer"
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01 Nov 2010   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

But how do I specify whether it's doing just name/properties, or contents in the search? I've read some places that you have to use "content:blah" in your search, and some that you don't, and I've seen inconsistent results when I've tried. I've also tried doing the "search again" option (even where it said "file contents"), and it didn't find content in one of my file types until I manually added that type to the index under Indexing Options.
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01 Nov 2010   #4

Windows 7 Pro/32 Academic. Build 7600
 
 

You can't specify properties or contents of a non indexed search, only file name (wild cards work) and file extension.

Windows indexed search will locate any name, type, folder, sub folder, extension, author, and even document content. For example, if your looking for a recipe you know is on your HDD but you can't remember the name of the file, but you *do* remember one of the ingredients was oregano, you can do a search for "oregano" and your file (and all files with the word oregano) will pull up instantly. If you want to specify exactly what to search (for example, by author) you can use filters. I don't think you can do non indexed filtered searches. Your best bet would be to locate the file the slow way and then index the folder or drive where it's located.
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01 Nov 2010   #5
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Download "Agent Ransack". Fast non indexed search program will do the job. Highly recommended.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2010   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mborner View Post
You can't specify properties or contents of a non indexed search, only file name (wild cards work) and file extension.

Windows indexed search will locate any name, type, folder, sub folder, extension, author, and even document content. For example, if your looking for a recipe you know is on your HDD but you can't remember the name of the file, but you *do* remember one of the ingredients was oregano, you can do a search for "oregano" and your file (and all files with the word oregano) will pull up instantly. If you want to specify exactly what to search (for example, by author) you can use filters. I don't think you can do non indexed filtered searches. Your best bet would be to locate the file the slow way and then index the folder or drive where it's located.
But an indexed search will only search file types you specify manually, correct? So to clarify, there is no way in Windows Search to search file content on any file extension (even if it's not listed in the indexing options, or say the file doesn't even *have* an extension)?
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01 Nov 2010   #7

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
Download "Agent Ransack". Fast non indexed search program will do the job. Highly recommended.
Looking at it right now...thanks for the recommendation.

Any additional insight on how Windows Search works is still appreciated, though - I'd still like to wrap my head around it, and how to do things I used to do in other OS versions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2010   #8

Windows 7 Pro/32 Academic. Build 7600
 
 

In Windows 7, indexed search is almost unlimited in what it can do. You can specify almost any aspect of a file and indexed search will find it. To give you an example of the power of indexed searching, you could literally specify:

A .jpg file that was created using a Canon 20D camera at greater than 30th of a second, using flash, that was created before 6/25/09 and edited in Photoshop after 7\01\10 and has a Photoshop layer named "candy" that has a minimum of a 2 star rating.

Wow!! Pretty powerful stuff, huh?

You asked about specifying a file type, well, there you have it.

Non indexed searching is much like the old XP type search. When you finish typing your search and there are 0 results, click on the "more results" link in the results window and a new window will pop up that says basically, “OK, I couldn't find what you were looking for in my index so I present you with this window to look outside my index, click where you want me to search outside of the index". 99 times out of 100, you'll tell Windows to search outside your index in "computer". This little guy will search not just your local PC but it will search your entire system, including, external drives, flash drives, network drives, system folders, etc. The search will be slow, however, and doesn't offer the same search criteria that indexed search offers. You can search for file names and extensions only, no content or metadata searches.

If you are looking for a file that in not indexed but you get a bunch of indexed results, it's the same thing; Click the more results link and search the entire computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2010   #9
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mborner View Post
In Windows 7, indexed search is almost unlimited in what it can do. You can specify almost any aspect of a file and indexed search will find it. To give you an example of the power of indexed searching, you could literally specify:

A .jpg file that was created using a Canon 20D camera at greater than 30,000 of a second, using flash, that was created before 6/25/09 and edited in Photoshop after 7\01\10 and has a Photoshop layer named "candy" that has a minimum of a 2 star rating.

Wow!! Pretty powerful stuff, huh?

You asked about specifying a file type, well, there you have it.

Non indexed searching is much like the old XP type search. When you finish typing your search and there are 0 results, click on the "more results" link in the results window and a new window will pop up that says basically, “OK, I couldn't find what you were looking for in my index so I present you with this window to look outside my index, click where you want me to search outside of the index". 99 times out of 100, you'll tell Windows to search outside your index in "computer". This little guy will search not just your local PC but it will search your entire system, including, external drives, flash drives, network drives, system folders, etc. The search will be slow, however, and doesn't offer the same search criteria that indexed search offers. You can search for file names and extensions only, no content or metadata searches.

If you are looking for a file that in not indexed but you get a bunch of indexed results, it's the same thing; Click the more results link and search the entire computer.
Once confidence is lost in the indexed search capability it is hard to win back. Especially if you are staring at a file it can't find, never mind searching on it's contents.
When the search "sort of" works how can you be confident that you haven't missed a critical file or some critical content string?
The fact is that some people are having problems with Windows indexed search.

At this stage I have more confidence in a program like "Agent Ransack" (terrible name!).
This program can do complex searches on non indexed file content using boolean search criteria, date ranges, files sizes etc. It finds (EXIF) character strings embedded in *.jpg files if you want that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2010   #10

Windows 7 Pro/32 Academic. Build 7600
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
The fact is that some people are having problems with Windows indexed search.
It's true, I've heard some of the complaints about Windows 7 search, but like most complaints, wouldn't you agree that it's more of a user issue/misunderstanding than the fault of Windows? I mean, I understand Windows search pretty well and I've never had issues with it.
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 Windows Search on different file types




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