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Windows 7: Windows 7: two search engines!

07 May 2010   #1

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7: two search engines!

Have you noticed that a same search in Windows 7 can sometimes give you different results?

Windows 7 actually contains two search engines:
  1. When search is initiated from Start Menu, Libraries window, Users folder or its subfolders or the window showing results of these searches, Windows 7 is searching only the indexed locations.
  2. When you start Search from the Computer window, the root of a local drive or from a local file folder other than Users and its subfolders, Windows 7 uses the second search engine (a.k.a. Grep), and searches also the non-indexed locations.

If you want to test this, do both searches. First, using Start Menu or Libraries Search, do a search and you'll see an instant search taking place, results appearing fast.

Open then My Computer, a local drive's window or any folder other than Users or its subfolders, and do the same search again. You'll notice two things: first, the progressbar moves slowly, reason being Grep is searching also the non-indexed locations. Second, you even get a warning about slow search (see the attached image).

Conclusion: to get better search results, open for instance My Computer window and search from there, instead of using the Start Menu search.

Thanks to a good friend and colleague for pointing this out to me.


Attached Thumbnails
Windows 7: two search engines!-search_2.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2010   #2

windows 7 professional & ultimate 64bit laptops

I agree!!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2010   #3

Windows 7 x64 / Same

I'm disappointed that you usually have to have the first word correct to get the result you're looking for. For example, a search on a string of 2 or more words. It doesn't seem to search within strings (esp the Start Menu search).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 May 2010   #4

Windows 7 RTM x86

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Conclusion: to get better search results, open for instance My Computer window and search from there, instead of using the Start Menu search.

Sorry, but I absolutely disagree. Grep search sucks. It takes forever to search within file contents. The better solution is to index all the files and folders you are likely to search, and use the start menu search. That way you don't have to remember the file name and the search results appear within a fraction of a second.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2010   #5

Windows 10 Pro (x64)

Just to point out, there are not two search engines, it is what is called context aware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2010   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Pezzonovante, what I meant is that Grep searches also the non-indexed locations, so it finds a file when normal doesn't. Ay lkeast on my rigs it's not so slow, either.

Logiearth, the reference to two search engines is directly from Windows 7 Inside Out book by Ed Bott.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7: two search engines!

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