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Windows 7: Indexing, is it necessary ?

06 Jun 2015   #1

XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)
Indexing, is it necessary ?

On my C: drive indexing is disabled
- I don't use Windows "Find" -- because ...
  • affects my laptop performance
  • it does not search for contents
  • only searches specified folders -- I have read Brinks Index locations Add Remove
But I do use Start > Search heavilly for Windows features and have never had any problems (so far)

"Everything.exe" lists every file on my machine (including system AND external drives), if I need to find a lost file (a rarity)
"FileSearchEX.exe" finds contents (and file/folder names) on any drive -- it does not use Windows indexing

An external HDD is used for data storage.
- on the external HDD if I disable ...
[ ] Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties

Indexing, is it necessary ?-file-properties-dlg.png

When I disabled Allow files on this drive ~~ ... there was a lot of visible activity (a progress window) for about 10 minutes
Q1: what was the system doing ?
Q2: will it corrupt or hinder files (or folders) on the external HHD ?
Q3: file-type ICOs, HTM associated folders, shortcuts etc ?

Thank you :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2015   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

I don't index any drive.

Re question 1: I'd assume that what it was doing in that 10 minutes was removing those items from the index.

Like you, I use Everything and have no interest in searching for file contents--which indexing will allow.

Re question 2: I've never had any search related issues since I gave up on indexing and Windows search.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2015   #3

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

When you disable indexing windows changes the attributes of all files on the disk and that's why you see a progress window. You can check file attributes by adding the "attibutes" column to an explorer window.

"I" attribute indicates that a file is not indexed.

Re: Q2 and Q3 - I don't have any problems and indexing is disabled along with windows search.


My preference is to use SwiftSearch (for file / folder names) or for searching file contents UltraFileSearch.
Everyone has their own ideas / preferences.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Jun 2015   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bawldiggle View Post
Q1: what was the system doing ?
This option is controlled by a file attribute assigned to files and directories. Changing it for the root of the drive means it will propagate to all each and every file on the drive. All this does is just setting a flag for each file, nothing else is affected at all. This operation is quick generally, but with a great number of files it can take a lot of time, specially on slower drives.
This is the very same effect you would see if you change any other attribute too, like the hidden or system flags, or any security permission.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bawldiggle View Post
Q2: will it corrupt or hinder files (or folders) on the external HHD ?
It won't touch any file at all, just the a single attribute on each file. It's very unlikely that this could harm anything. Unplugging the drive while this is going on seems the only remote possibility of problems.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bawldiggle View Post
Q3: file-type ICOs, HTM associated folders, shortcuts etc ?
Nothing at all will be changed, just an attribute in the file system. Files themselves are unaffected.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Indexing, is it necessary ?

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