Local Hard-Drive Search Alternatives

Although this next letter specifically refers to XP, if you read to the end, you’ll find info of use in *all* Windows versions.

Hi Fred, this is the sort of information I subscribe to your newsletter for, so maybe it will be of use to your other readers. I must have found it in of the other newsletters I subscribe to, (all great reads, by the way, for the technically inclined), probably either Scot Finney’s newsletter http://www.scotsnewsletter.com , Lockergnome’s Windows Digest  http://www.lockergnome.com , or Win2KPowerUsers http://www.win2kpowerusers.com

Anyway, in Windows XP pro, I am no longer able to search *.java files for keywords. Also, it sounds like you can’t search by keywords in *.html files when the keywords are in comments. Unbelievable for the "Professional" edition of Windows!

From the link http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;309173 : "In Microsoft Windows 2000 and earlier versions of Windows, all files are searched for the content that you specify. Windows XP does not search all file to enhance the performance of searching and to avoid extraneous results. This behavior occurs whether or not you use the Indexing service when you search." 

Keep up the great info! Thanks! Joseph Maddison

Thanks, Joseph. I actually gave up on Windows’ built-in indexing tools long ago for that reason, and more: Windows’ background re-indexing can be extremely slow and inefficient, eating up huge amounts of CPU cycles, and keeping your hard drive busy for ridiculously long periods.

We’ve discussed several alternatives, including:

 A "Wow" Utility: Boolean Searches Of Your Hard Drive
http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2001/2001-10-22.htm#4

More Boolean Searches (Some FREE)!
http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2001/2001-10-25.htm#4

"Wilbur" Indexes Your Hard Drive For Free
item #11 http://www.langalist.com/plus/newsletters/2001/2001-11-05plus.asp

For searching local content— your own data— any of the above is better than Windows own search/index tool. For searching with the ability to replace any given search term with any other term of your choosing, I especially recommend "Advanced Find and Replace," a $30 tool I use literally almost every single day: http://www.vknoware.com/afr/index.htm



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Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.