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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    Search is not finding file (Vista Home Premium)

    I have had it happen twice now that I used the Search function and it missed finding a file that was in the folder.

    I searched a folder for a term that was in the title of the file, and Search told me no items match my search. I then scrolled down the list of files in the folder, and I located the file. Did the search again as a test, and even searched for some other words that were in the title, still did not find them. Interestingly, when the file was open and Word created its temporary version of the file in the same folder, search was able to find that.

    I then renamed the file, adding a single word to the title, then Search was able to find the file when I searched for the same word that I originally searched for.

    Incidentally, I have search options (in Folder Options) set to Always Search File Names only, not sure if that is relevant here or not.

    Any ideas what might be done to prevent this happening in the future?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: Search is not finding file (Vista Home Premium)

    Hi Vincenzo,

    Vista searches are set to search in Indexed Locations which by default is the Start Menu and the Current User files, such as (Documents, Pictures and Music). You can customise this to include/exclude locations as I explain below.

    How to do a quick search (outside the Indexed Location)
    If you need to do a quick search in a different location (outside the scope of the index), you must open the Search Window and choose Advanced Search. When the pane drops down, ensure that you choose the drive (or other location) you need. As long as the correct location is selected, the search will be applied there.
    See picture to illustrate.
    (Many searches do not find the file the user is after, as the default Index Location searches only in the Documents, Pictures and Music areas.)

    Customise Search Locations
    Please Note: By adding the drives to the indexed locations, it will broaden the search field that Vista uses but the more locations you add to the indexed area will also slow down the speed of searches.

    1. Click on the Start Button and type Indexing in the little search box at the bottom of the menu.
    2. Windows should find Indexing Options
    3. Select this to open a dialog box
    4. Click on Modify
    5. In the next dialog that opens, click on Show All Locations
    6. Respond to the User Account Control by clicking Continue
    7. In the Change Selected Locations, tick the Drives that you often search in - C: or D: or Both.
    8. Choose OK to confirm
    9. Choose Close to close the last dialog.

    Note:
    If you have already performed a search, a toolbar will appear in the window that gives you access to modifying the Index Locations quickly. If you see this button, you do not need to go through the 9 steps above to customise the Index. (I have marked it off in the graphic attached.)

    See Windows Vista Help for: Tips for finding files
    If you need to fine tune your search even more, you can review the Windows Help for even more search tips. It shows you how to search by File Type, By Wildcards, Using Logical Operators and more...
    To access this help file,
    1. Open Windows Help and Support (From the Start Button)
    2. Type Find File
    3. Select the first item from the search list - "Tips for finding files"

    BTW: Here is some more info on why searches may not find the file you are looking for...
    You cannot find files when you search a Windows Vista-based computer (even though the files exist on the computer)??
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932989
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    Regards,
    Rudi

  3. #3
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    Find Files with Natural Language Search

    Reading through the Help file on Searching in Windows Vista, I came across this interesting insert. (I have taken it from the help file)

    Find Files with Natural Language Search

    One disadvantage of using filters in the Search box is that they require you to structure your search in a very specific way, rather than the way people usually talk and write. If you turn on natural language search, you can perform searches in a much more familiar way, almost as if you were talking to another person. In addition, you don't need to enter AND and OR in capital letters when using a natural language search.

    For example, compare these two searches:

    Without natural language
    1. kind: music artist: (Beethoven AND Mozart)
    2. kind: document author: (Charlie OR Herb)

    With natural language
    1. music by Beethoven and Mozart
    2. documents by Charlie or Herb


    To turn on Natural Language Search

    1. Click to open Folder Options.
    2. Click the Search tab.
    3. Select the Use natural language search check box.

    To use Natural Language Search
    Even with natural language search turned on, you can continue to use the Search box in exactly the same way. If you want to use Boolean filters or introduce filters with colons and parentheses, you can. In addition, you can use all the same properties to fine-tune your natural language searches. The difference is that for more natural day-to-day searches, you can enter searches in a more casual way.

    Here are some examples of common natural language searches:

    1. e-mail from bill sent today
    2. documents modified last month
    3. blues music rating ****
    4. pictures of flowers taken July 2006
    Regards,
    Rudi

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    Re: Find Files with Natural Language Search

    Thanks for the info.

    The file is in an indexed location, and the search term was a single word that was present in the file name, so the natural language is not an issue.

    In the Microsoft page, on their list:

    When you search the index, you experience the symptoms in the "Symptoms" section if any one of the following conditions is true:
    The file is not in an indexed location.
    The file type of the file is not indexed.
    The file has properties that prevent it from being indexed.
    The indexer has not yet inserted the file into the index.
    The indexer is overlooking the file.
    The items in the search results do not match the file that you are searching for.

    the choice of "The indexer is overlooking the file. " is the only one that applies here. Their solution is to rebuild the index.
    But you cannot go rebuilding indexes every time Vista fails to find a file.
    If this is bug in Vista then I will live with it until it is fixed, but I am trying to find out if there is anything I need to be doing differently now, to avoid this failure.

    Thanks

  5. #5
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    Re: Find Files with Natural Language Search

    Hi,

    Have you tried the search using the advanced bar and choosing Local Hard Drives?

    In all the tests I performed this afternoon, the test file I was searching for was located, even when the Indexed (default) option did not.
    Regards,
    Rudi

  6. #6
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    Re: Find Files with Natural Language Search

    Now that I've changed the name of the file (I added a space) Search is able to find it, so I cannot do any testing until the next failure.

    You said:

    "In all the tests I performed this afternoon, the test file I was searching for was located, even when the Indexed (default) option did not."

    That implies that the default search did not find your test file. What did you attribute that to?

    Thanks

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    Re: Find Files with Natural Language Search

    I attribute it to the fact that it was outside the default indexed location. I saved the test file on my D: drive. When I started testing the search it was looking in my Start Menu and in the User folders (documents, pictures and music). So hence, no test file was found. I think it is up to the user to customise his/her Index Location Settings if they intend to search using the Indexing Feature (or default search). They must include the drive or folders so that Windows will search in those locations. If they do NOT want to do this, they must go the advanced route and specify explicitly where they need the search to be done.

    The ball is in the users court...
    Regards,
    Rudi

  8. #8
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    Re: Find Files with Natural Language Search

    OK.

    My situation is very different from that. I was searching just that folder, and the folder is indexed.

  9. #9
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    Re: Find Files with Natural Language Search

    Here is a bit more info that I think you might find useful.

    This is an insert copied from the webpage link below:

    Information
    The Index keeps track of the files on your computer and stores information about the files, including the file name, date modified, and properties like author, tags, and rating. The index is used to make searching for files in Vista much faster. Instead of looking through your entire hard disk for a file name or file property, Vista scans the index, which allows most results to appear in a small fraction of the time that a search without the index would take.

    NOTE
    The Index will run slowly in the background during low or idle computer usage to keep itself updated and current from the changes you make to the files from the locations that you have listed in the index. If you do a lot of changes in these indexed locations, then your search results will not always be accurate until the index has finished updating itself. This can cause the hard drive to run a lot, especially for the first week or so after installing Vista. If you do not do a lot of searches or need very accurate search results, then disable the index to allow Vista to default to using the full non-index search of the drive. The searches will take a bit longer since it is a non-indexed search, but it will cut down on the hard drive running as much and will give accurate search results.

    View this page to find out : How to Enable or Disable Search Index in Vista
    http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/69564-in...le-disable.html

    Hope this will help more.

    Cheers
    Regards,
    Rudi

  10. #10
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    Re: Find Files with Natural Language Search

    Do you have Vista Sp-1 installed? If not, you should because you need it for Windows Search 4.0. If you do not have it installed you should install Windows Search 4.0. It is an enhanced version of the search originally released with Vista.Windows Search 4.0 has links to download it. See also Windows Live Gallery for download links for search add-ons to allow search to index more file types.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Find Files with Natural Language Search

    Joe,

    I can't tell you how many times I've downloaded this Windows Search 4.0 from various places ever since you recommended it be installed and in every instance it fails with the same error. This happened again just now after downloading the Standalone version from the link you provided. Any idea why I'm getting this error message?

    I'm running Vista Ultimate SP1
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    simul iustus et peccator

  12. #12
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    Re: Find Files with Natural Language Search

    I do not believe this is an issue with the delay associated with Indexing. The file I searched for was created weeks before and the computer is on all day with plenty of idle time. And when the file was open in Word and I searched the folder, Search immediately found the temporary file that Word had created. And when I changed the name by adding a space in the file name, Search then found the file immediately.

  13. #13
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    Re: Find Files with Natural Language Search

    Joe,

    I do have SP1 installed, I'll look into your suggestion.

    Thanks

  14. #14
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    Re: Find Files with Natural Language Search

    I can only think of two reasons. 1.) You are downloading a version that is not for the version of Vista you have installed (i.e. a 64-bit version for a 32-bit installation, etc.). 2.) Windows Search 4 is already installed - Check Control Panel | Programs | View Installed updates.

    Joe
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  15. #15
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    Re: Find Files with Natural Language Search

    The update is installing now.

    By the way, I found another file that search did not locate. So then I went into Advanced and told it to add non-indexed files, then it found it. This file was created 10 days ago, should have been indexed. And other files of the same type in the same folder (that were created days after this problem file was created) have been indexed and are found by Search. So the indexing is just skipping some common text files it seems, some are .doc some are .rtf.

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