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Windows 7: A Windows 7 search alternative ?

03 Nov 2010   #11
mborner

Windows 7 Pro/32 Academic. Build 7600
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by James Colbert View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mborner View Post
It's almost limitless. Most users having issues with Windows 7 search need to understand how to use it. With that knowledge, the power of what Windows 7 search can do is utterly astounding!
Hi mborner,

I'm always in the market for greater understanding...can you (and Deacon) post your favorite Win7 search resources? Thanks!

James
I picked up a fantastic book called "Windows 7, the Missing Manual" By David Pogue.
Great reference book. I would imagine, though, that the Windows search feature would be covered thoroughly in any Windows book.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Nov 2010   #12
James Colbert

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by James Colbert View Post
post your favorite Win7 search resources?
I'm not sure what you mean by resources. When I need to search for something, I just do it, and it finds the info/file/e-mail etc that I need. It just works. If I need to find a person's phone number in an e-mail from last year...it works. I'm not sure what you are after, in terms of resources, but if you post it, we can go from there. There isn't any config or learning to do, either. It's ready to go, out of the box.

The odd part is, it does exactly what the OP is asking about...already...by default.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mborner View Post
I picked up a fantastic book called "Windows 7, the Missing Manual" By David Pogue.
Great reference book. I would imagine, though, that the Windows search feature would be covered thoroughly in any Windows book.
Deacon & mborner,

But, seemingly, there are many who don't achieve the level of success that others do. Yet, as you and mborner have demonstrated, that 'success' is available, apparently without jumping through hoops. I myself find Win 7 search inconsistent. Not infrequently, it doesn't find files in the directory I search, even though I can see the file. Sometimes this is resolved by using the available filters, sometimes not. I myself ocassionally use Snowbird and also Everything, as I know beyond doubt that proper (complete and accurate) results will be obtained (at least filename based searches). I can't always say this concerning Win 7 search. Even when Win 7 was in beta, the BT groups had many posts regarding issues with win 7 search.

That being the case, it seems that there are 2 conclusions to be drawn:

1) That those of us who are not seeing consistent success are not properly using Win 7 search

2) That, somehow, win 7 search is inconsistent across a wide swath of machines.

I suppose a combination of the two is possible as well, and perhaps there are other factors, one of which is that the majority of those of us having trouble are simply incompetent. I consider this last the least viable of the possiblities.

As to #1, this is the intent of my question: are you and others who have have success simply typing in simple search names based on content and /or filename without any filters, tricks or 'special entries', or are you using the syntax and filters to be found at microsoft.com? If the former, then conclusion #2 would seem applicable. If the latter, well, #2 would still retain validity in my case, as even with filters, my results can be inconsistent. I would much prefer to use W7 search exclusively, but to do so, I must be confident in the results. Thus, when I see a thread such as this, my interest is piqued in the hope that I might glean some new information that I can apply to my searches.

Perhaps through this thread, something new can be added. Thanks for your thoughts.

James
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2010   #13
mborner

Windows 7 Pro/32 Academic. Build 7600
 
 

James Colbert, I agree with your post entirely. I, myself, don't have such issues with Windows 7 search. However, it would be fair to let everyone know that I have a very basic system. I have a single partition C:\ with Windows on it, that's it. I have not separated my data from my OS, on multiple partitions or multiple drives. I have one external drive that is used for backups only. I truly believe that those having issues have very complex setups with dual boots, multiple OS's, multiple partitions, multiple external drives, data stored here, data stored there, etc. I would imagine that these users don't even know what's indexed and what's not. All I know is, on my basic system, on a single C:\ partition, Windows 7 works, period. I can see why users with multiple partitions/drives are having issues, it gets very complex.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Nov 2010   #14
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by James Colbert View Post
are you and others who have have success simply typing in simple search names based on content and /or filename without any filters, tricks or 'special entries', or are you using the syntax and filters to be found at microsoft.com? If the former, then conclusion #2 would seem applicable. If the latter, well, #2 would still retain validity in my case, as even with filters, my results can be inconsistent.
I don't do anything out of the ordinary, or out of the box. I simply type in what I am searching for, and it finds it. I have nearly completed rolling out Windows 7 to my 30 person company, have it on four of my own systems, plus several other family and friends' systems...and not one of them who use the search have any inconsitency. I always have a second drive or partition as D where I store my data, and my search results always include those data points. I do NOT mess with services or indexing.

The only issue we have found is that searches don't include mapped network drives, but I am fine with that. If I go to the drive in explorer, and then search for what I want...it is always found. The search initiated from the Start Menu does not include them.

I really have never heard of inconsistencies with search, and it was a feature I touted heavily to my users before the upgrade. They use it often and love it. It just works, and works well.

I have never tested searching for a document that resides in the "My" folders of another local user, but that wouldn't concern me much because I don't and haven't ever used those folders. My D drives always have folders for Documents, Pictures, etc...and that's where I store everything. My users, however, ALL use the My Documents folders, and have no issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2010   #15
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

I also find Everything Search Engine very useful.

It's very fast and efficient - without requiring masses of indexing - it's only for filenames. tho.

Others like http://www.mythicsoft.com/page.aspx?...e=agentransack - to search for file contents
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2010   #16
James Colbert

 
 

Thanks, Deacon & mborner for posting your methods and setups. Details like this may teach us something new. I also find that network drives are not an issue for me (for the moment...), but I do make use of multiple partitions. I have 12 on my production machine (spread across 4 drives), and I edit Indexing Options so that I am not indexing all resources, but only those I feel useful.

I am very organized with my systems, and the reality is that my directories are meaningful and well structured. Most times, I remember where I put a file and what its name is. In the last few years, however, life has become busier (and, of course, I have grown older and perhaps less cognizant than I used to be ).

My search experiences:

I have about 1/2 of my partitions indexed. Searching from Computer takes forever, often longer than I wish to wait. After several minutes, I generally just cancel the search. During this time, I don't believe that it's searching unindexed partitions, as the 'info bar' stating such (along with the usual disclaimer) doesn't appear (at least not by the time I cancel). This is usually the result, even when the search is for a file on my D:\ (Data) drive.

The screenshot (poor quality...taken with camera in darkened room then imported and snipped, as snip tool would not work without start menu search 'going away') illustrates my point. The filename I searched for is shown on the front WE window. Also shown is the non-results returned by the start menu search and (3rd window back) the Computer search (Green Ribbon of Death), which I canceled after 10 minutes.

Although a search with D:\ selected in the Explorer window did return results in this case (not shown), often, it doesn't.

At any rate, I'm sure this post has become incoherant, as I've had a long day and am facing another tomorrow. I just wanted to post a clearer picture of what issues I have with search, and what others may be experiencing also. I can't type anymore...I'll check back sometime tomorrow.

James


Attached Thumbnails
A Windows 7 search alternative ?-search_not-found3.jpg  
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04 Nov 2010   #17
mborner

Windows 7 Pro/32 Academic. Build 7600
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by James Colbert View Post
I do make use of multiple partitions. I have 12 on my production machine (spread across 4 drives), and I edit Indexing Options so that I am not indexing all resources, but only those I feel useful.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by James Colbert View Post
I have about 1/2 of my partitions indexed.
James Colbert, More than likely, this is why you're having search issues. As I quoted in the last sentence of my last post "I can see why users with multiple partitions/drives are having issues, it gets very complex"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #18
James Colbert

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mborner View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by James Colbert View Post
I do make use of multiple partitions. I have 12 on my production machine (spread across 4 drives), and I edit Indexing Options so that I am not indexing all resources, but only those I feel useful.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by James Colbert View Post
I have about 1/2 of my partitions indexed.
James Colbert, More than likely, this is why you're having search issues. As I quoted in the last sentence of my last post "I can see why users with multiple partitions/drives are having issues, it gets very complex"
And I think your assessment is unfortunately correct. Multiple partitions and selective indexing likely do contribute to the issue. But this should not be so. In fact, I just left this post to google for any issues with "win 7 indexing AND multiple partitions" and "win 7 search AND multiple partitions". Given my time limits this morning, I only perused the first page of each google search, but could find no mentions of this being a problematic condition for Win7 search/indexing.

I think I may try turning indexing on for all partitions and see if it makes a difference. Of course, the system will need time for indexing, and given that I will be out for most of the day (and will turn the system off), I probably won't know if it makes a difference until the weekend.

A good day to all,
James
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #19
mitchell65

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Hi JAmes
In your post above #10 you said
Quote:
The screenshot (poor quality...taken with camera in darkened room then imported and snipped, as snip tool would not work without start menu search 'going away')
If you want to capture a snip of a menu, such as the Start menu, follow these steps:
  1. Open Snipping Tool by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Snipping Tool.
  2. After you open Snipping Tool, press ESC, and then open the menu that you want to capture.
  3. Press CTRL+PRINT SCREEN.
  4. Click the arrow next to the New button, select a snip type from the menu, and then use your mouse or tablet pen to capture the menu.
Copied and pasted from a Win7 Tut.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #20
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

The indexing and multiple partitions could certainly affect the outcomes of some searches. I never have more than two partitions on a drive, and that's when I only have one drive, such as a laptop. I also don't disable indexing on any of the drives.
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 A Windows 7 search alternative ?




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