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Windows 7: More on search hell

22 Nov 2010   #31

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

You have always tried in C:\Windows. Try (once more, if you please) in an abandoned location on your disk, or maybe simply under C:\ .

Here's a demonstration of what I'm seeing:

More on search hell-trytofindthis0.png
More on search hell-trytofindthis1.png

*sorry for the different-sized images*
This happens also if I omit the "contents:" type.

Note - I don't care about indexing, the search should take place whether this folder is indexed or not.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #32
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #33

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1

Hope I didn't leave you hanging, I had to go for a "Cat-Scan".
I also hope this is what you were after.

See Four pixs.
Also take note of what I wrote in each one, and check the address and search bars.

It wasn't until I clicked on computer that it found the folder, and Kind = document that it found the file inside the folder "Try".

As you can see it did find *Try* using *try* or *ry*.

Attached Thumbnails
More on search hell-trysearch.jpg   More on search hell-trysearch1.jpg   More on search hell-trysearch2.jpg   More on search hell-trysearch3.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Nov 2010   #34

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

That's ok, thanks for coming back for me :)

Are you now talking again about finding a file by its name? That's not of a problem anymore.
The problem is now finding the text *inside* the file. That's what my "TryToFindThis" example is about...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #35
James Colbert


Confusion is not a rare condition when it comes to Windows Search. I have been reading and participating in these 'what's wrong with windows 7 Search?" threads for quite some time, and there seems to be no common denominator. In my case, search is so inconsistent that I often just don't use it.

I actually have resorted to indexing all locations (except for my Acronis partition) and rebuilding the index. This has helped somewhat, but a simple filename search on a 40GB partition with 17 GB of data often returns no result, or if it does, it takes several seconds to several minutes, during which time the GROD slowly makes its way across the address bar.

It has been suggested that perhaps the number of partitions is a factor, and perhaps it is (I have 12 spread across several drives on my main machine), but the reality is that 3rd party search engines can find the exact same file in a fraction of a second.

Many report that search works fine for them simply by typing the word, string or even a few letters and can't understand why it shouldn't work for all in that same way. If only it did. One glaring attribute of Windows 7 search is its inconsistency. I have found this inconsistency demonstrated even between different machines here, although it doesn’t perform to my expectations on any of several machines I have.

I myself find it frustrating that (for me) even a simple filename search is unsuccessful (or so slow it's not worth using), even when trying different syntax and/or filters when a free search engine can find it immediately.

Ideally, I would like search to work seamlessly. I would like filename searches to immediately return results with the first letter or two, reducing the number of results as I type more letters, regardless of whether the term is a filename, partial filename or the contents of a file. And this should happen regardless of how many drives or partitions I have on a given machine. Sorry that I have no answers, but additional information may be helpful. Add me to the list of users who find Windows Search woefully inadequate.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #36


Personally, I've had quite good results using Windows Search. I have indexed the whole computer, and then starts the annoying setup process. You have to manually tell the search to index the file contents, too. Extension by extension, manually (as shown in this post: More on search hell)

But once you have done it, search also finds a strings or partial strings in file content. Usually. Quite often...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #37
James Colbert


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Personally, I've had quite good results using Windows Search. I have indexed the whole computer, and then starts the annoying setup process. You have to manually tell the search to index the file contents, too. Extension by extension, manually (as shown in this post: More on search hell)

But once you have done it, search also finds a strings or partial strings in file content. Usually. Quite often...

I have manually set the search properties, adding file contents, but only for those extensions for which I would deem it neccessary.

And this is part of the dynamics of Windows Search. It is often stated that one must do this or that, or use this or that syntax or...(insert 'must do' here). The reality is that a Microsoft search tool built for the masses shouldn't make one jump through hoops to get results. And then, even if one has jumped through all the hoops, this does not guarantee results. All of the threads on the topic should tell us something.

Truthfully, 99% of my searches are filename or partial filename. This reality makes it all the more frustrating. I would love to be able to search from the start menu and explorer. It would make my life simpler. If only it worked. Here, not there.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #38


I accept it when my friends call me a MS fan boy nowadays. Although always using Windows, Windows 7 really bought me from Linux world back to the MS camp. Today I only run OpenSUSE on VirtualBox, more for nostalgic reasons than anything else. All my computers are protected with MSE, I use Outlook for mail and Word for writing. I update my blogs with Live Writer and Live Photo Gallery, Live Mail takes care of my "To join you have to provide an email" post. I backup all my systems with Windows Home Server and built-in backup and imaging.

I have no problems to face the reality. Certain features and elements in Windows are not ready, certain might never be. The sad truth is if you want a fast, reliable search system you have to use third party apps and solutions. Although mentioning in my previous post that I'm quite satisfied with Windows Search, it's only because I normally never searchs file contents. I use long, explaining file names and saving almost all documents also in Office OneNote, Office Journal archiving everything. I usually find what I'm looking for.

That said, even my own "field tests" reveal it clearly: comparing for instance Google Desktop Search with Windows Search, there's no doubt who's the winner. If searching file contents is essential to you, my recommendation is to install Google Desktop Search.

I'm happy with what Microsoft has provided to keep track of my documents and correspondence. That I'm happy does not mean others must be happy, too.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #39

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

James Colbert,
I agree Windows search in my opinion is woeful. After much effort I could not resolve the issues. More importantly if I "fix" it, I no longer trust it.
It was time to go third party. I use "Agent Ransack" - free, nonindexed and great.
It will allow multiple levels of search complexity including complex Boolean searches.

example at start of thread:
Filename: persist

Location: c:\windows\logs simple browse to folder

4 occurrences found < 1 sec
51 items found 37 secs.

Found an obscure string contained in 900MB of pdfs in 2 min.

Spend 30 min download it, try it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #40

Windows 7 Ultimate

Just to add on to mjf's post...I also have used Agent Ransack and found it to be a great program. They now have rebranded it and call it FileLocator Lite...From Web site
FileLocator Lite is a rebranding of Agent Ransack for corporate environments. It has exactly the same functionality but with a different name and logo.
you can download it => FileLocator Lite - Free File Searching Utility
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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