none
how to find a file in windows 7

    Question

  • Somebody gives me a 8Gb pen drive, and I need to find and get from it a specific zip, .PPT, .docx, or watherver file name, but the user don't remember the path, or copied it to the wrong place, by mistake.

    In XP, i right click the pen drive root name, and click "Search...", to search for a specific file, but in Windows 7, there is no "search" option, and obviously the Pen drive is not indexed.

    ¿How I are supposed to find the file?

    should I return to 1980 DOS commands?

    Should I reboot and start another OS just to find a file?
    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:07 PM

Answers

  • The search box in Windows 7 will allow you to search for anything, not just using the visible options. Below are how it distinguishes between queries:

    Moonshine
    This will return any file that has "Moonshine" in the file name, metadata, or contents.

    Name:Moonshine
    If you only want files with "Moonshine" in the name.

    Content:Moonshine
    To search exclusively for files with "Moonshine" in the contents.

    Other examples:
    Datecreated:thisweek
    Author:Pompadour
    Tag:Windows
    Extension:zip (ext:zip works, too!)

    As for your problem, I did a few rudimentary searches on my flash drive just now and XP and 7 returned near identical results. The only disrepancy was searching for exe's, 7 returned 34 and XP only 23 but aside from that (and I don't have the will or energy to see why XP returned fewer results though I think it had something to do with .exe.mui files) all seems well.
    Thursday, June 04, 2009 3:04 PM
  • You're right there Wolfie, I was just so used to another method, opening up the drive/folder and pressing F3.

    A bit of research shows that the right click/seach functionality has been broken since Vista SP1 although a simple registry hack restores it.

    I've just tried the registry change and it does allow right click/search on a folder but not on a drive strangely.

    Windows 7 x64 RC, Asrock K8NF6P, AMD64 3200+, 1.5GB RAM, Palit Geforce 8400GS 256MB, 500GB Maxtor SataII, Asus 1814BLT optical
    • Edited by BrowniMFC Wednesday, May 27, 2009 12:43 AM spelling
    • Marked as answer by Guillermo.Marraco Wednesday, May 27, 2009 1:10 PM
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 12:42 AM
  • Guillermo -

    No... You don't have to get medieval on it to find the file..

    Assuming you've already plugged the drive into a USB port and Windows 7 has already found it.

    1.) Open Windows Explorer

    2.) Click on the drive letter assigned to the thumb/flash drive in question.

    3.) Look in the upper right corner of explorer. Just as in IE 8 (and most other browsers these days) there's a search box.

    4.) Type in the name of the file you're looking for.

    5.) Click the magnifying glass next to the text box.
    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:13 PM

All replies

  • Open your pen drive. In the top-right corner there should be a thing that says Search. Type in what you want to search for. There should by a magnifing glass by where you type your keyword(s).
    • Edited by Karate_77 Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:13 PM
    • Proposed as answer by Karate_77 Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:14 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Guillermo.Marraco Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:16 PM
    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:12 PM
  • Guillermo -

    No... You don't have to get medieval on it to find the file..

    Assuming you've already plugged the drive into a USB port and Windows 7 has already found it.

    1.) Open Windows Explorer

    2.) Click on the drive letter assigned to the thumb/flash drive in question.

    3.) Look in the upper right corner of explorer. Just as in IE 8 (and most other browsers these days) there's a search box.

    4.) Type in the name of the file you're looking for.

    5.) Click the magnifying glass next to the text box.
    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:13 PM
  • Open your pen drive. In the top-left corner there should be a thing that says Search. Type in what you want to search for. There should by a magnifing glass by where you type your keyword(s).

    No. it only finds previously indexed files.
    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:14 PM
  • Guillermo -

    No... You don't have to get medieval on it to find the file..

    Assuming you've already plugged the drive into a USB port and Windows 7 has already found it.

    1.) Open Windows Explorer

    2.) Click on the drive letter assigned to the thumb/flash drive in question.

    3.) Look in the upper right corner of explorer. Just as in IE 8 (and most other browsers these days) there's a search box.

    4.) Type in the name of the file you're looking for.

    5.) Click the magnifying glass next to the text box.

    do not works

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:16 PM
  • I tried search in two different thumbdrives and it worked normally and they are not indexed.
    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:57 PM
  • I can't see a right click/search option either but honestly do not remember coming across it before in any previous version of Windows.

    Is this a 3rd party add-on that you are referrring to, or maybe some registry hack to enable search in the context menu ?

    The other answers above also work for me on a thumb drive that hasn't been indexed.



    Windows 7 x64 RC, Asrock K8NF6P, AMD64 3200+, 1.5GB RAM, Palit Geforce 8400GS 256MB, 500GB Maxtor SataII, Asus 1814BLT optical
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 12:15 AM
  • Guillermo -

    Hmm... Odd.. I took my 4 GB Sandisk Cruzer, popped it into my Win 7 box, searched the disk thoroughly for various files - left no stone unturned. Then I disconnected it, popped it out, went over to my laptop, plugged it in there and copied a file to a brand new folder I created 5 layers deep. I then disconnected it, popped it back into the Windows 7 box - and searched for the file.

    It found it in about 2 seconds.

    Gotta ask - Is Windows Search turned on? Or did something disable it?
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 12:35 AM
  • Brown -

    Nope.. Previous versions of Windows - XP and before for sure - not 100% sure about Vista - had a Right-click search feature. Just open Explorer, right-click on a drive and a separate search window pops up.
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 12:38 AM
  • You're right there Wolfie, I was just so used to another method, opening up the drive/folder and pressing F3.

    A bit of research shows that the right click/seach functionality has been broken since Vista SP1 although a simple registry hack restores it.

    I've just tried the registry change and it does allow right click/search on a folder but not on a drive strangely.

    Windows 7 x64 RC, Asrock K8NF6P, AMD64 3200+, 1.5GB RAM, Palit Geforce 8400GS 256MB, 500GB Maxtor SataII, Asus 1814BLT optical
    • Edited by BrowniMFC Wednesday, May 27, 2009 12:43 AM spelling
    • Marked as answer by Guillermo.Marraco Wednesday, May 27, 2009 1:10 PM
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 12:42 AM
  • Guillermo -

    One more thought crossed my mind after I posted...

    Do you have another computer handy with another OS on it that you could connect the thumb drive to and verify the existence of the file in question?

     
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 3:06 AM
  • Brown -

    Hmm.. Got a link to that registry change? I don't recall Vista having any search issues - tho, I'm gonna check it out...
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 3:08 AM
  • Wasn't sure if I could post registry changes here as it seems to defeat the purpose of testing the RC.

    I found it easily enough though by searching for "add search to context menu" and it included removing a key called legacydisable.

    Apologies in advance to the moderators if this content is inappropriate.

    Windows 7 x64 RC, Asrock K8NF6P, AMD64 3200+, 1.5GB RAM, Palit Geforce 8400GS 256MB, 500GB Maxtor SataII, Asus 1814BLT optical
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 3:14 AM
  • Brown -

    It wasn't for the RC I was interested - it's for my copy of Vista SP1... ;-)
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 4:33 AM
  • Brown -

    It wasn't for the RC I was interested - it's for my copy of Vista SP1... ;-)

    Naughty :)

    Windows 7 x64 RC, Asrock K8NF6P, AMD64 3200+, 1.5GB RAM, Palit Geforce 8400GS 256MB, 500GB Maxtor SataII, Asus 1814BLT optical
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 5:04 AM
  • @ egads -

    No.. SP1.. I haven't really had a chance to do a Windows Update on that drive.. Too busy with Windows 7...

    @ Brown -

    Eh.. Yah.. well.. ehehe.. It's no biggie.. Found the link and it's now up and running just fine. Thanks!
    • Edited by Wolfie2k6 Wednesday, May 27, 2009 8:31 AM Typo
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 7:23 AM
  • egads -

    I do... It's XP - and it's on my OTHER box... Also have XP on my laptop. Think that's enough hardware to back me up?
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 8:30 AM
  • I tried search in two different thumbdrives and it worked normally and they are not indexed.
    Some files are found, but not any. ¿how many files you had on the Pen drive?

    How do you know that they where not indexed previously?

    maybe the reason is that there is not a clue about the search engine working, so is not possible to tell if the search ended, and failed, or if is still working.

    Also, you cannot search on a specific folder and sub folders.

    Cannot search for files containing some text.

    It does not search *.zip. (Only does if you search "*.zip" instead)
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 1:04 PM
  • I can't see a right click/search option either but honestly do not remember coming across it before in any previous version of Windows.

    Is this a 3rd party add-on that you are referrring to, or maybe some registry hack to enable search in the context menu ?

    The other answers above also work for me on a thumb drive that hasn't been indexed.



    Windows 7 x64 RC, Asrock K8NF6P, AMD64 3200+, 1.5GB RAM, Palit Geforce 8400GS 256MB, 500GB Maxtor SataII, Asus 1814BLT optical
    only Windows XP (and previous windows) where capable of search in the right click on a folder. You don't needed to configure anything, or install anything.
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 1:06 PM
  • Guillermo -

    Hmm... Odd.. I took my 4 GB Sandisk Cruzer, popped it into my Win 7 box, searched the disk thoroughly for various files - left no stone unturned. Then I disconnected it, popped it out, went over to my laptop, plugged it in there and copied a file to a brand new folder I created 5 layers deep. I then disconnected it, popped it back into the Windows 7 box - and searched for the file.

    It found it in about 2 seconds.

    Gotta ask - Is Windows Search turned on? Or did something disable it?

    I formatted, copyed 8 Gb of folders data on my work windows XP SP3. then on my house, connected it to win 7 RC1.

    The search only found some files, not any.
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 1:09 PM
  • You're right there Wolfie, I was just so used to another method, opening up the drive/folder and pressing F3.

    A bit of research shows that the right click/seach functionality has been broken since Vista SP1 although a simple registry hack restores it.

    I've just tried the registry change and it does allow right click/search on a folder but not on a drive strangely.

    Windows 7 x64 RC, Asrock K8NF6P, AMD64 3200+, 1.5GB RAM, Palit Geforce 8400GS 256MB, 500GB Maxtor SataII, Asus 1814BLT optical

    I'm happy with restoring it with a registry setting. I gonna  google it.
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 1:11 PM
  • Guillermo -

    One more thought crossed my mind after I posted...

    Do you have another computer handy with another OS on it that you could connect the thumb drive to and verify the existence of the file in question?

     

    yes, I checked it on another Xp on the same machine.
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 1:11 PM
  • Wasn't sure if I could post registry changes here as it seems to defeat the purpose of testing the RC.

    I found it easily enough though by searching for "add search to context menu" and it included removing a key called legacydisable.

    Apologies in advance to the moderators if this content is inappropriate.

    Windows 7 x64 RC, Asrock K8NF6P, AMD64 3200+, 1.5GB RAM, Palit Geforce 8400GS 256MB, 500GB Maxtor SataII, Asus 1814BLT optical

    here is a link for vista. I gonna test it on Win7:

    http://www.petri.co.il/add-context-menu-search-back-to-windows-vista-sp1.htm
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 1:13 PM
  • Guillermo.Marraco,

    Good question.  I'm sorry to hear you're having so many issues with finding files on your Windows 7 system.  Finding files on Windows 7 is much like finding files on any other operating system.  You should check out the Windows 7 forum, at microsoft.com/springboard.  It provides support, "how to" video guides and several other tips and tricks to make your Windows 7 experience awesome.

    Thanks

    Glen

    v-glferg@microsoft.com

    Wednesday, June 03, 2009 8:05 PM
  • Good question.  I'm sorry to hear you're having so many issues with finding files on your Windows 7 system.  Finding files on Windows 7 is much like finding files on any other operating system.  You should check out the Windows 7 forum, at microsoft.com/springboard.  It provides support, "how to" video guides and several other tips and tricks to make your Windows 7 experience awesome.

    [...Windows 7 is much like finding files on any other operating system ...]

    I don't mean to be harsh; On other operating systems, I can use regular expressions to search files.

    I don't ask for it, but at least XP allows search files containing a given text. The Windows 7 search bar only allow two options (I don't remember, but I think that it was by size and by date)
    Thursday, June 04, 2009 1:15 PM
  • Guillermo -

    Have you tried searching with quotes - as in "*.ZIP"? I've found that if you enclose the search term with quotes it highlights the exact value in the search results.

    That somehow just doesn't make sense that only SOME files show up, while others don't.

    And yes, you're quite correct - it's date modified and size...

    Ok.. Silly question, perhaps, but what if you dropped to a CMD prompt and did a DIR /S for the files in question... Are you able to find the files in question then?
    Thursday, June 04, 2009 1:25 PM
  • Guillermo -

    Have you tried searching with quotes - as in "*.ZIP"? I've found that if you enclose the search term with quotes it highlights the exact value in the search results.

    That somehow just doesn't make sense that only SOME files show up, while others don't.

    And yes, you're quite correct - it's date modified and size...

    Ok.. Silly question, perhaps, but what if you dropped to a CMD prompt and did a DIR /S for the files in question... Are you able to find the files in question then?
    [Have you tried searching with quotes - as in "*.ZIP"? I've found that if you enclose the search term with quotes it highlights the exact value in the search results. ]
    Yes, is the only way to find *.extension (without quotes, the search is broken, I'm 100% sure it would rage many users).

    But I mean search any file like "*.txt" containing the text "My laundry list". XP allowed it, why Windows 7 does not?

    [...CMD prompt and did a DIR /S for the files in question... Are you able to find the files in question then?...]

    I did not tried it (I are at work now, with Windows XP. This night I gonna try it with Windows 7, to see how it works).

    Anyway, If I manually go to the folder (using windows 7 explorer), I see the files. They are here, but the search don't find them when I connect a pen drive with new files.

    Also, frequently, Windows 7 explorer can't recognize the pen drive partition name. Maybe is related.

    Also, I have disabled many indexing folders (using the end user GUI, not any register edit, or tweak), because I use RAID 0 and don't want the OS constantly accessing it.
    Thursday, June 04, 2009 2:42 PM
  • The search box in Windows 7 will allow you to search for anything, not just using the visible options. Below are how it distinguishes between queries:

    Moonshine
    This will return any file that has "Moonshine" in the file name, metadata, or contents.

    Name:Moonshine
    If you only want files with "Moonshine" in the name.

    Content:Moonshine
    To search exclusively for files with "Moonshine" in the contents.

    Other examples:
    Datecreated:thisweek
    Author:Pompadour
    Tag:Windows
    Extension:zip (ext:zip works, too!)

    As for your problem, I did a few rudimentary searches on my flash drive just now and XP and 7 returned near identical results. The only disrepancy was searching for exe's, 7 returned 34 and XP only 23 but aside from that (and I don't have the will or energy to see why XP returned fewer results though I think it had something to do with .exe.mui files) all seems well.
    Thursday, June 04, 2009 3:04 PM
  • The search box in Windows 7 will allow you to search for anything, not just using the visible options. Below are how it distinguishes between queries:

    Moonshine
    This will return any file that has "Moonshine" in the file name, metadata, or contents.

    Name:Moonshine
    If you only want files with "Moonshine" in the name.

    Content:Moonshine
    To search exclusively for files with "Moonshine" in the contents.

    Other examples:
    Datecreated:thisweek
    Author:Pompadour
    Tag:Windows
    Extension:zip (ext:zip works, too!)

    As for your problem, I did a few rudimentary searches on my flash drive just now and XP and 7 returned near identical results. The only disrepancy was searching for exe's, 7 returned 34 and XP only 23 but aside from that (and I don't have the will or energy to see why XP returned fewer results though I think it had something to do with .exe.mui files) all seems well.
    those search tags should be available at least in an "advanced options"
    Thursday, June 04, 2009 3:36 PM
  • The options under the search box change depending on the folder style that is currently being viewed. As an example, here is what I get in my box:

    Documents:
    Authors, type, date modified, size

    Music:
    Album, artist, genre, length

    Pictures:
    Date taken, tags, type

    Videos
    Length, date created, type

    The number of options expands with the search box size, the maximum number of options for documents is:
    Authors, type, date modified, size, name, folder path, tags, title

    So, they are available... kinda.

    Thursday, June 04, 2009 10:51 PM
  • Content:Moonshine
    To search exclusively for files with "Moonshine" in the contents.
    I searched Content:MZ, And it did not found a single exe, or dll.

    No on pen drive, no on hard disk.
    Friday, June 05, 2009 1:21 PM
  • Guillermo -
    ...

    Ok.. Silly question, perhaps, but what if you dropped to a CMD prompt and did a DIR /S for the files in question... Are you able to find the files in question then?
    Dir /s finds anything. after it, I tried agin the search bar, and it found the files.  Weird.

    At that time, the pen drive name was recognized. At random times, it is named "portable device", or sometingh like it.
    Friday, June 05, 2009 1:34 PM
  • Guillermo -

    Somehow, I doubt Windows would actually search an EXE file that wasn't a WinZip archive as well.

    And yes, that is weird, indeed, that it would find the files after the fact.

    Exactly what brand of pen drive is it and how old would it be?
    Friday, June 05, 2009 6:45 PM
  • ...
    Somehow, I doubt Windows would actually search an EXE file that wasn't a WinZip archive as well.

    ...
    It means that Windows 7 tools does not allow an administrator to search arbitrary files.

    For example, and Eudora attachments folder, can contain malware programs hidden as other filetypes. On older windows, was enough to search files starting with MZ to find them. Today is necessary a third part application.

    Please, do not answer specifically to this particular MZ example. Is only for illustration.

    The point is, that the owner should decide what files search, and the OS should not filter out unexpected (is documented?) filetypes.

    Is ok for novices, but is necessary to have advanced choices for advanced users.
    Tuesday, June 09, 2009 1:33 PM
  • Enter your search-string in the box on the upper right hand corner of your windows explorer window, while browsing the folder in which you would like to conduct the search. That's it.

    Here's a screenshot:

    Hope this helps (provided I got the query right).

    Tuesday, June 01, 2010 9:22 AM