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Windows 7: How do I use 'Search'?


26 Nov 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 
How do I use 'Search'?

I was looking for a tutorial, but haven't found one that helps. Maybe someone can advise?

In XP I was used to being able to search for, say, the phrase "Windows XP" in any type of document I chose, e.g. pdf, doc, ini .. etc. I cannot see how to do the same thing in Windows 7.

Moreover, when I go to a folder and use the search box in the top right-hand corner, files that I can clearly see are in that folder (or one of its subfolders) do not come up in the results. For instance, I have a file called "AES-VHHH-LIB.BGL" in a subfolder (3 or 4 deep from the 'root' folder I am searching). But searching for VHHH, or *VHHH* or *VHHH*.bgl does not include the file in the results. Even worse, the long list of files it identifies do not have VHHH in their title, they just happen to be in a folder called VHHH.

No doubt this is my fault, but I'd really appreciate some help because as it is the search function is totally useless to me.

Thanks,

Martin

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Nov 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Hi, martinlest!

This issue has been discussed quite a bit here. Have a look here and here for some of the latest discussion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


26 Nov 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

Will look at all those links and post back here if I have any further questions.

Thank you..

Martin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2010   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

I am amazed at how spectacularly useless the search feature is in Windows 7. I need to check that I have only one example of a particular dll file (eSellerateEngine.dll) on my C Drive. I know there is one example in a folder all on its own in a subfolder of C:\Program data. I have gone into Indexing Options and made sure that C:\Program data is indexed (but surely the file should be found even in unindexed folders - just more slowly?), but the file isn't found. Even when I open the subfolder containing the dll file and search that, Windows claims not to have found the file. It's like me giving a student a book (I am a teacher) and he immediately saying he can't find it, even though I can see he's holding it in his hands!

I am reading the information in the links here, but can't yet see anything that will explain this. Is there a good (freeware) replacement search programme that I could install (does anyone know?) so that I can bypass the Windows 7 search function altogether?

Thanks,

Martin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2010   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

Found this - it works brilliantly:

Alternative to Windows Search For Files + Duplicates Search

Martin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2010   #7

 
 

A number of posters have recommended Agent Ransack - Free File Searching Utility - a free 64 bit Windows 7 file searcher - Apparently it's very good, very fast and is similar to XP's search. However Agent Ransack was designed as a power tool and is not as user friendly or easy to use as some others. Your NirSoft app may be a bit easier to use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by martinlest View Post
I am amazed at how spectacularly useless the search feature is in Windows 7. I need to check that I have only one example of a particular dll file (eSellerateEngine.dll) on my C Drive. I know there is one example in a folder all on its own in a subfolder of C:\Program data. I have gone into Indexing Options and made sure that C:\Program data is indexed (but surely the file should be found even in unindexed folders - just more slowly?), but the file isn't found. Even when I open the subfolder containing the dll file and search that, Windows claims not to have found the file.
That is how it works, sorry to say. It boggles my mind how many people claim to have issues with the search, without even doing some quick troubleshooting. Is the file hidden? Do you have UAC enabled, which might prevent access to such a folder?

One of the best features of Windows 7 is how well the search works, and how useful it is. I can search for a text string and it will even find it buried in an e-mail from several years ago. If it didn't work for me, and I did the troubleshooting, I'd reload the OS, and not muck with any of the "tweaks" and settings that I shouldn't.

I've seen people complain about the search being useless...and once they start thinking rationally again, and reload the base OS again...it works. It has always been a user "tweak" that has caused the issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2010   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

No, the file is not hidden. I spent some time 'trobleshooting, including reading the posts linked here: there comes a time when one thinks 'this is a waste of time'. This PC is one week old and the Windows 7 is virtually 'out-of-the-box', I've tweaked nothing. I say the search function is useless because even when I search for a file directly in its containing folder, Windows 7 search can't find it. XP search was excellent. This one isn't. Well, that's my experience; great if yours is different. The replacement I installed today works superbly and very fast. I shall use it for all my searches in future.

Why Microsoft felt the need to change what was a good search feature in XP is beyond me...

Martin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by martinlest View Post
No, the file is not hidden. I spent some time 'trobleshooting, including reading the posts linked here: there comes a time when one thinks 'this is a waste of time'. This PC is one week old and the Windows 7 is virtually 'out-of-the-box', I've tweaked nothing. I say the search function is useless because even when I search for a file directly in its containing folder, Windows 7 search can't find it. XP search was excellent. This one isn't. Well, that's my experience; great if yours is different. The replacement I installed today works superbly and very fast. I shall use it for all my searches in future.

Why Microsoft felt the need to change what was a good search feature in XP is beyond me...

Martin


Martin, is your index up to date?
  1. Click the Start Orb
  2. Type "index" (without quotes) in the search box, then select "Indexing Options" from the results
  3. At the top of the "Indexing Options" screen, does it indicate "Indexing complete"?
  4. If you click "Modify" in the "Indexing Options" screen, are all you drives selected for indexing?
Name:  Image1.jpg
Views: 5
Size:  64.0 KB
Indexing Complete

Name:  Image2.jpg
Views: 6
Size:  66.4 KB
Indexed Drives

It may be that you just haven't given the index time to initialize it's database, the process of which will be slowed down while you are using your computer. I find that leaving my computer on over night at least once gets the job done of indexing over 500,000 files.

Once you've allowed the index to create its database for the firt time, it updates itself in less than 2 seconds after modifying a file.

Give it a go?

EDIT:

You will notice in my first screenshot that the "ProgramData" is excluded by default from the index. Along with the "AppData" and "Windows" folders. There is nothing of any particular use in those folders anyway. At least nothing usefull for us mere mortals...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How do I use 'Search'?




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