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Windows 7: Searching apparently non-indexed files

18 Jun 2009   #1

7137
 
 
Searching apparently non-indexed files

I've never liked Windows 7 search, not because it has a new different index search, but because it removed the simple linear one. I also dislike how the average Joe is supposed to know the syntax for refined search queries, not mentioning only having a set amount of size options (unless that can be changed manually?). All this, not mentioning how little space the "Search filter" has gotten...I wish there was a Search window like we used to have on at least Windows XP (Start -> Search) where you could fill in Advanced Search forms. Today if the start search field (no idea what it's called) is not enough you have to open a folder first. That part seems a little regressive.

Anyways, now I turned on an external HD because I need a file that is there but when I search for it I get nothing. Does the file exist? I'm pretty damn sure. I even ran some searches for files I saw and therefore know they exist. Results: 0.

For all I know, if I had to do it under XP it would take longer than an index search to find my PSD file but hey at least it's simple and I would have gotten it by now >_<

So what's the deal with the search feature? Am I doing something wrong or is it not working properply? Any help on understanding this would be grateful!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Jun 2009   #2

Windows 7 7600.16384 x64
 
 

I thought that Windows 7 first searched the index, but then started searching the old way right after.

Try it. explore from C: (or whatever drive) then type in the box.

It first checks the index, then plows thru your drive like XP/2000 use to.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2009   #3

Windows 7 Pro & Vista Home Premium
 
 

Windows 7 search sucks alright.

try this freeware for 4 times faster searching, plus enables some hidden features in Windows 7, such as CopyAsPath.

PowerDesk 6.0

When you right-click on a file that you have searched, it gives you the entire hidden Send To menu that was only available by a keyboard combination.

Awesome
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Jun 2009   #4

7137
 
 

I thought so too but nope. Maybe it thinks my external HD is fully indexed when it isn't?

As soon as I search, instantly, it says "No items match your search" the search doesn't keep on going.

edit: Thanks reghakr, I'll take a look at it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2009   #5

Windows 7
 
 

Did you try to set up the drive for indexing or add it to a library? (adding it to a library would get it indexed automatically)

Is the drive NTFS or FAT formatted? What build are you on? If you go to the Indexing Options control panel, does that drive appear in the list of indexed locations?


As for the filters, there is a rich set of filters available in the drop-down that shows up under the search box. Depending on which library you're in, it will show you relevant filters, and once you select a filter it will show you the possible values that would return matches given the rest of your query. You didn't have anything like that in XP.

In Details view you can also filter using the column headers, just as in Vista.

Also, you don't need to open a folder window before searching. You can just press the Windows key, type your search terms, and press Enter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2009   #6

7137
 
 

I never included it in any library however it is listed in the Indexing Options. Its format is NTFS and the build is 7137.

According to my drop down all there is is a (nice) Date modified and a (very simple, can't choose my own sizes) size option. For other things I will need to know the syntax.

The intial start/windows key search bar is great and quick but I meant for advanced searching.

Unless the searching is just broken on my machine I'd say the search can sometimes be quite incomplete. Back when I was on Windows XP I thought there were things lacking as well. An example would be being able to tick what folders you want to search instead of searching just one "branch" (if I can call it that way) at a time. Less useful with index searching of course but more useful as storage increases. I guess being able to add many different search queries would be nice.
Eg. 1. find a file with name XXXXX or YYYYYY
Eg. 2. find a file XXXXX that was created between date A and B and/or date D and E.

Other than that I've been very pleased with Windows 7.
edit: oh I also wish we could pin the taskbar previews =)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2009   #7

Windows 7 7600.16384 x64
 
 

Copy As Path has been included since vista, hold down Shift and Right Click, you get more options, CMD here, Run As, .....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2009   #8

Windows 7 Pro & Vista Home Premium
 
 

Yea, like i said with Key combos, but not in the GUI itself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2009   #9

Windows 7
 
 

For the size property, the valid values are pretty intuitive and flexible. You can just type size:<5MB or whatever. Or you can use KB, GB, etc.

If you're in the Documents library you should see Author and Type, and in Music you should see Album, Artist, Genre, etc. The filters are based on the type of the library you're in. For non-library locations the filters are a fixed list though. If you make the search box wider, you'll fit more filter suggestions like folder path and such.

Part of the idea behind the filter suggestions is that they'll teach you what you could have typed. You can also type other properties, like type folder: or ext: and it'll even turn the text blue to indicate it recognized a property filter.

Not sure why you aren't getting results from your drive. If you just query for "*" does anything come back?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2009   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Schmich View Post
I never included it in any library however it is listed in the Indexing Options. Its format is NTFS and the build is 7137.

According to my drop down all there is is a (nice) Date modified and a (very simple, can't choose my own sizes) size option. For other things I will need to know the syntax.

The intial start/windows key search bar is great and quick but I meant for advanced searching.

Unless the searching is just broken on my machine I'd say the search can sometimes be quite incomplete. Back when I was on Windows XP I thought there were things lacking as well. An example would be being able to tick what folders you want to search instead of searching just one "branch" (if I can call it that way) at a time. Less useful with index searching of course but more useful as storage increases. I guess being able to add many different search queries would be nice.
Eg. 1. find a file with name XXXXX or YYYYYY
Eg. 2. find a file XXXXX that was created between date A and B and/or date D and E.

Other than that I've been very pleased with Windows 7.
edit: oh I also wish we could pin the taskbar previews =)
Actually, you already have what you want, you just haven't given yourself the opportunity to see it:

1) Click the "Start Orb", and enter your search query in the Search field, then when you have a set of results, click the "See more results" link:
Name:  Image1.jpg
Views: 33
Size:  64.0 KB

2) A normal Windows Explorer Search window will open. Scroll all the way down, then click "Custom...":
Name:  Image2.jpg
Views: 9
Size:  28.5 KB

3) Filter your search down to specific folders by selecting specific drives/folders:
Name:  Image3.jpg
Views: 22
Size:  60.3 KB

But then again, I've found that if I already know in which folder (or set of folders) a particular file exists, then I don't need to use search at all, so it's kind of a moot point.

You can also use Windows Help:

1) Click the Start Orb
2) Click "Help and Support"
3) In the Help window, search for "search"
4) Click on the second result "Searching in Windows: Frequently Asked Questions". Result 6 is also handy: "Improve Windows searches using the search index: Frequently Asked Questions"


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 Searching apparently non-indexed files





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