Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: searching external hard drives

07 Nov 2010   #1

windows 7 32
searching external hard drives

I have used "search" in microsoft before there was windows. From that time to 95, 98, xp, vista, but Windows 7 has me baffled. My Desktop pc died and I was well backed up but now I need to find some stuff in one of the drives. Windows support is useless. Give it more than one word and it is lost most of the time. When desktop comes up I am limited to all programs on the c drive of where to search. . When I go to computer and select an external drive of course the search option disappears. I detest the standard layout as it is so different from all the other systems which were easy to use. There has to be an easy way but not for me. If there is a way to change this action to the Win XP layout please let me know.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2010   #2
Orbital Shark


Hi, welcome to the forums :)

You might want to try

Search Options - Change or Restore
Search - Have More Accurate Search Results

and see if they help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2010   #3

Windows 7 Pro/32 Academic. Build 7600

lfp2, welcome to Seven Forums.

Windows 7's search feature is worlds better than XP ever was. There is a slight learning curve, however. It's important to note that a search from Start/search is an indexed search. It will find only files that are indexed, and your external drive is not indexed. However, Windows 7 can still find the file by using a type of XP search. When you search for a file on your external HDD and get 0 results, keep an eye on the results window. There's a link at the bottom of the results window that says "see more results". Simply clicking this link will open up a window and offer you a chance to search for your file outside the index. Most times, you'll look for your non indexed file in "Computer". The search will be much slower because the file isn't indexed. If you'd like to index your external drive for future use, click "start" and type index. In the results, click "indexing options". From there, you'll be able to index your external HDD.
Hope this helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Nov 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

The Windows 7 Search is definitely world's better than the point I actually use it, and find it useful, without the need for third-party apps.

I don't know why people bitch and complain about it so much...considering how easy it is to use, even on external drives. In the main explorer window, you can enter the term, or part of the term in the upper right, and have it find what you are looking for. You don't even have to right-click, or move off of that screen. Aside form searching by doesn't get any easier than that...and yes, you can search by partial terms just fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2014   #5

Windows 7 home edition 64 bit

Attach your external hard drive to your computer. A small drive receives power through the USB port; larger hard drives will have an outside power source.

Click on "Start" and "Computer." Find the drive that lists your removable device. When you open it, your saved information will display.

View the search option on the top right of your window. To find a file, do a quick search by typing key words in the search window, or look down the page for the title.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2015   #6

Windows 7 32bit

This did it. Nice, simple, fast. Could not ask for a better answer. Now I know that I have to load two concerts to my two externals so that I have additional backups other that the discs, which can become corrupted. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 searching external hard drives

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
External Hard drives and flash drives security
I have a new computer plus a couple of other computers and I have some external hard drives and flash drives. what is the best way to check these devices to make sure they are clean, will just connecting them and viewing them or running AV and other security checks propose a risk to the computer...
System Security
All Flash Drives & External Hard Drives NOT ACCESSIBLE?
I set up a new computer. Windows 7 Pro 64x Everything was fine but then I connected a flash drive to it and I get: Location Not Available H:\ is not accessible. Access is denied If I go into the properties to the “security” tab, it says “you do not have permission to view or edit this...
Hardware & Devices
Flash drives and external hard drives
I have windows 7 pro and recently I have not been able to open up a new folder on any external hard drive or flash drive that I use with my computer. When I use these same flash and external hard drives in another computer it works fine, my initial thought is, there is something disabled in my...
Hardware & Devices
Searching an external hard drive
I everyone, this is one that's been frustrating me for some time: Windows 7 search. I've searched the forums and skimmed several threads regarding Win7 search, with opinions ranging from "great" to "grrrr" (story of Windows' life, eh? :p). Anyway, to the point: search works fine on the local...
General Discussion
Indexing and searching external drives
Is there a way that I can search and index external drives and USB flash drives from the Start button search?
General Discussion

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 15:49.
Twitter Facebook Google+