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Windows 7 search - does not return file contents - continued

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  • I was following this really interesting discussion on why Windows 7 search does not return file contents, but for some strange reason the discussion is locked???

    Anyway I'm having the same problem so I'd like to continue the discussion here. After reading the previous discussion I went to the control panel and selected "Change How Windows Searches" and clicked the "Advanced" button. Strangely I discovered that under "File Types" the panel "How should this file be indexed" was set to "Index Properties Only." I switched it to "Index Properties and File Contents", clicked "OK" and waited for reindexing to complete. After it was done Search still did not find the files specified in my search, even though I knew for certain the search string is in those file.

    So I went back to the control panel and this time I clicked the "Modify" button. Much to my surprise my C: drive was not selected, so I selected it, hit "OK" and waited for Windows 7 to reindex everything again. It certainly indexed more files than before, but my search still does not return all files for which I know the string is in.

    Two things I've noticed:
    1. On OS X, searching just works correctly. Everything is indexed from the get-go and searching from the Finder always returns what you would expect. There is nothing special to configure.
    2. On every Windows third-party search product (i.e. Google search), everything is indexed from the get-go and searching from the toolbar always returns what you would expect. There is nothing special to configure.
    So my question is: Why can't Microsoft figure out how to make searching "just work?"

    - Eric
    28 ตุลาคม 2552 4:00

ตอบทั้งหมด

  • Hi,

     

    Regarding Windows 7, we have specific configurations and designs for the locations and the file types and I would like to share the following with you:

     

    Windows Search Indexing

     

    Windows Search: Searchable File Types

     

    Windows Desktop Search

     

    Thanks.


    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    30 ตุลาคม 2552 10:04
  • I've pretty much given up on this issue since the thinking behind 7 seems to have been make everything different even if it serves no purpose. The broken search feature in Win7 was one of my biggest pet peeves. Getting rid of the search wildcards that have proved useful for years in favor of the SQLesque search language that you have to memorize seems utterly obtuse. Searching for files of a particular extension or date range has become an exercise akin to learning DOS all over again. I will disagree with you about indexed searching. I find it annoying in general since the sole area where it can function is for files the user has created. Otherwise they all fall down. And for me personally I don't need to search my documents folder for a document... it's in a specific folder. But I understand that there are people who put their files anywhere and need that sort of functionality. I actually prefer Vista over 7 if you can believe that. It at least has the advanced search option that lets you do a specific search without memorizing and typing in something like 'date:>=2/7/05<=2/10/05'. Vista got a lot of bad press and criticism but I think people are going to find that once they try Win7... Vista doesn't look that bad after all.


    One of the best moments in a previous discussion about Win7 search was when 2 moderators were actually debating how it worked and the syntax of the search language. these are people who at least present themselves as the experts and they can't figure out what should be one of the simplest parts of the OS works.
    30 ตุลาคม 2552 17:48
  • Hi,

     

    Regarding Windows 7, we have specific configurations and designs for the locations and the file types and I would like to share the following with you:

     

    Windows Search Indexing

     

    Windows Search: Searchable File Types

     

    Windows Desktop Search

     

    Thanks.


    Nicholas Li -
    Thanks for the references, but none of them solve my problem or really answer my question.

    My specific problem is I have an application called IceCast installed in c:\Program Files (x86)\IceCast2 Win32. In that folder is a file called icecast.xml. In that file several lines contain the word 'example'. Nothing I have been able to do can convince Windows Search that the word 'example' in in the file icecast.xml. In the Windows 7 Control Panel I have enabled file content searching for every known file type, and I have enabled indexing of every file system on my computer, including the C: drive. Each time, the system rebuilt the indexes and added even more files to the index, but still my simple search does not succeed. Why is this? None of the above documentation (which happens to be way more complicated than it needs to be) addresses this simple problem.

    Back to my real question: Why can't Microsoft figure out how to make searching "just work?"

    Is it something in the corporate culture? Is it the type of people they hire? Why can Apple and Google so easily do something that Microsoft cannot even begin to wrap its head around without making the issue 10 times more complex than it needs to be?

    The bottom line is that the Windows 7 Search mechanism is completely useless to me because I have absolutely no confidence that it is able to find what I am looking for, fundamentally because I have proven it cannot work in a simple test case.

    I am a software developer, and in the software developer community it is a standing joke that Microsoft have never been able to make search work properly and never will.

    I am deeply frustrated and disappointed.

    - Eric
    2 พฤศจิกายน 2552 18:41

  • The bottom line is that the Windows 7 Search mechanism is completely useless to me because I have absolutely no confidence that it is able to find what I am looking for, fundamentally because I have proven it cannot work in a simple test case.


    I have had absolutely no confidence in Windows search since around XP. It basically lies, not finding files that you know have specified contents. Windows 7 search is even worse, it finds nothing by default and quite often I can't even see a "contents" options.

    I agree - why can't Microsoft just make a search that works?

    We shouldn't have to mess around with indexing settings and file types, and even if the files or folders we are searching are not indexed, Windows should still use the old method of reading the files directly and actually finding what you want.


    2 พฤศจิกายน 2552 21:09

  • I am a software developer, and in the software developer community it is a standing joke that Microsoft have never been able to make search work properly and never will.


    Oh, and, Eric, our development team are always slagging the searching in Sharepoint saying it's a complete waste of time and blaming it for our intranet (based on Sharepoint) searches not working as expected...
    2 พฤศจิกายน 2552 21:28
  • It is so frustrating that I usually resort to using a command line, such as:

    for /f %f in ('dir /b /s *.xml') do find /i /c "example" %f|find "----------"|find /v ": 0"
    2 พฤศจิกายน 2552 22:14
  • Brian, yep, me too. It's the only way to be sure. On a server it's even more critical that we have a reliable way of searching output and that always works, try it in Windows Search (should that be Lurch?) and - nothing!

    BTW, this morning, my option to search file contents is back in Windows 7 but it's still not finding things...
    2 พฤศจิกายน 2552 22:20
  • OK, after 3 hours of swearing I have made some progress on this :)

    1. Windows 7 indexing settings affect search settings. This should not be the case. My Search options are set to "Always search file names and contents". However, this only works if I add the filetypes required to the index options. This is wrong! These are indexing options and should not affect searching, especially if I select to search contents in unindexed locations.

    2. My "My Documents" folder is redirected to another folder, C:\USERDATA. Now, in my indexing options, "My Documents" is selected. However, NOTHING is returned when I search here - for any file type, even .txt. I can't even see this folder in Explorer, as Windows inconveniently hides it from me, regardless of explorer view settings. So, from a command prompt I run ATTRIB on it and see it has the index exclusion "I" attribute. So, the folder is excluded from indexing, but Windows is set to Index "My Documents" so all looks good from a user point of view. We have conflicting settings and the net result is searching does not work at all. Nothing in our environment would actually set the "I" attribute on anything so I can only assume Windows 7 has done it because of the redirection.

    So, in my opinion, Microsoft need to separate the indexing and the search options. Indexing settings should not affect searching unless you actually set the "don't search contents in non-indexed" options maybe.

    I am still seeing some issues where file content searches fail, but playing with this has greatly solved many of them, perhaps some more playing will solve these, too.

    However, going back to what Eric was saying, why can't Microsoft just make this work? There is absolutely no way a standard user or home owner is ever going to figure this out. It needs to work out of the box and the indexing location and filetype options should not affect the search options.

    Yes, warn the user that the location is not indexed, but if you enter something, it should be found!


    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Brian Borg 5 พฤศจิกายน 2552 0:19
    • ยกเลิกการนำเสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Carey FrischMVP, Moderator 7 กันยายน 2553 21:37
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย rfjason 8 มีนาคม 2554 5:40
    3 พฤศจิกายน 2552 2:35
  • Ok Rob, I found that I had not set "Always search file names and contents" in my Windows Explorer search settings so I turned it on. It still does not seem to be searching my file contents as all it returns are file names. I rebuilt my indexes, but it still cannot find the specific file I am looking for. Is there some sort of search results caching going on?

    As an experiment I installed Google Desktop and waited until it had finished indexing my system - no special configuration needed. It easily finds the file I am looking for, that Windows 7 still cannot find. The only problem is that it is harder to narrow the search to a specific directory as you have to use the under: search operator and type in the file system path, whereas Windows Explorer makes it easier to specify the folder you want to search (because it has a GUI), except as we've been discussing you cannot trust Windows Search.

    Cheers, Eric
    5 พฤศจิกายน 2552 20:19
  • Yeah, I'm still having issues with it, too. This time, it's not finding things on the Start Menu when I type in "Search programs and files" that blantantly are on the Start Menu. It is incredibly frustrating, yep, you just can't trust Windows Search and Microsoft appear to be in denial about it...
    6 พฤศจิกายน 2552 3:20
  • Hi guys, having the same issue here. Windows 7 search doesn't seem to be working with indexing disabled (And search service not running to save resources). It did fine under the same conditions in Windows Vista.

    A bit confusing.... If I enable the Windows search service then it searches but returns no results (No items found)....
    16 พฤศจิกายน 2552 21:35
  • Hi

    Yes , finding a file in Win 7 is a struggle , and because of this i use " Locate32 " for my searches instead.

    It is a small and free to use program and best of all IT FINDS EVERYTHING !

    This is my advice to all of you who struggle with the Search util in Win 7.

    It can be found on this site . www.locate32.net


    18 พฤศจิกายน 2552 10:29
  • Hi

    Yes , finding a file in Win 7 is a struggle , and because of this i use " Locate32 " for my searches instead.
    The maddening thing about this situation is that MS has removed or crippled so many features and options and if they replace them it with with much more resource intensive alternatives that actually work poorly. I know people are having a field day writing apps to repair the shortcomings of Win7 but honestly they too just eat up additional resources. I've used pretty much every version of Windows since Win2.1 / Windows286 and now I have to say I can't picture myself using Win7. to be honest I think Vista was better by far than Win7. No version of the OS to date has added so little and yet removed much.


    Sadly it's almost become my motto that MS is 2 versions of OS removed from their largest customer base and the don't get it.
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย glacia 18 พฤศจิกายน 2552 17:36
    • ยกเลิกการนำเสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Carey FrischMVP, Moderator 7 กันยายน 2553 21:37
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย rfjason 8 มีนาคม 2554 5:40
    18 พฤศจิกายน 2552 17:35
  • Hello,

    I don't understand what the thought process behind the change to the search feature is. I need to search for files and folders, but now that I've upgraded to Windows 7 I can no longer do so.

    I have a folder called "Business" full of folders and files. As an example I have a folder called "12345_Project_Name". Inside that folder is a file called "12345A_Project_Name_.indd", and a file called "12345B_Project_Name_.indd". I would expect that if I was looking at the contents of "Business" and used the search box to search for "12345" it would return the folder "12345_Project_Name" and the files "12345A_Project_Name_.indd", and "12345B_Project_Name_.indd". Instead it returns no results! In fact if I search for any sub folder by its exact name it also returns no results. The search feature for all intents and purposes no longer works at all for me.
    15 ธันวาคม 2552 21:33
  • Agreed. I'm not going to install a 3rd party program to do a basic file search. Fix it please.
    15 ธันวาคม 2552 21:43
  • Just lately I discovered that I can't search .reg file contents at all, no results found, no matter what I try and configure - Microsoft, it's getting embarassing, please sort your search engine out!

    This is going to lead to another one of those law suits from some big company because they seached their server logs for something critical and Windows 2008 R2 said "nothing found"...
    16 ธันวาคม 2552 4:53
  • hi , well after sever hours trying to work this out ive managed to get mine working perfectly.

    The problem is a permissions one so heres what i did.
    1
    go to my computer and right click your c drive and got properties,
    uncheck the bottom box: allow files on this drive to blah blah.
    click apply and wait for windows to complete the update of your files it mat take a few minutes.

    2
     go to the security tab of the properties window,select your useraccount/name and click advanced.
    click the owners tab ( your account will already appear) click edit
    in the opened window select your account and check the box : replace owner on subcontainers blah blah and click apply and ok
    this aslo will take a few minutes. once done close all windows
    3
    Click your start button/orb and in the search pane type folder options and hit enter,
    click on the search tab
    in the "what to search) field check the bottom box : always search the ames and contents blah blah
    in the "how to search" field check the top two boxes ONLY:
    i:include subfolders in search blah blah and
    find partial matches.
    in the "when searching non indexed locations" field select the top box: include system directories.
    click apply and ok.
    4
    Click your start button/orb and in the search pane type indexing options and hit enter,
    click "modify" and check all items you want to be able to search in and click "ok".
    click "advanced"
    click the file types tab
    check the : index properties and file contents box.
    click the index settings tab,
    click rebuild. clcik ok.
    exit all windows.
    restart your system and give it ten minutes to rebuild the index the search away.
    notes:
    if you still have no results or some results but not all
    5.
    go to my computer and open your c drive select all folders and right click select properties,
    (do not select any hidden folders) check the read only box and click advanced check
    the top option only: chech folder is ready for archiving.

    some of these settings may already be correct on your system if so go through all steps

    Please let me no if this has sorted it for you too.

    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย 3213435765453786 7 มกราคม 2553 23:30
    • ยกเลิกการนำเสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Eric Kolotyluk 11 มกราคม 2553 16:39
    7 มกราคม 2553 23:28
  • hi , well after sever hours trying to work this out ive managed to get mine working perfectly.

    The problem is a permissions one so heres what i did.
    1
    go to my computer and right click your c drive and got properties,
    uncheck the bottom box: allow files on this drive to blah blah.
    click apply and wait for windows to complete the update of your files it mat take a few minutes.

    2
     go to the security tab of the properties window,select your useraccount/name and click advanced.
    click the owners tab ( your account will already appear) click edit
    in the opened window select your account and check the box : replace owner on subcontainers blah blah and click apply and ok
    this aslo will take a few minutes. once done close all windows
    3
    Click your start button/orb and in the search pane type folder options and hit enter,
    click on the search tab
    in the "what to search) field check the bottom box : always search the ames and contents blah blah
    in the "how to search" field check the top two boxes ONLY:
    i:include subfolders in search blah blah and
    find partial matches.
    in the "when searching non indexed locations" field select the top box: include system directories.
    click apply and ok.
    4
    Click your start button/orb and in the search pane type indexing options and hit enter,
    click "modify" and check all items you want to be able to search in and click "ok".
    click "advanced"
    click the file types tab
    check the : index properties and file contents box.
    click the index settings tab,
    click rebuild. clcik ok.
    exit all windows.
    restart your system and give it ten minutes to rebuild the index the search away.
    notes:
    if you still have no results or some results but not all
    5.
    go to my computer and open your c drive select all folders and right click select properties,
    (do not select any hidden folders) check the read only box and click advanced check
    the top option only: chech folder is ready for archiving.

    some of these settings may already be correct on your system if so go through all steps

    Please let me no if this has sorted it for you too.


    First off - following this procedure has seriously destabilized my system! Many of my device drivers have stopped working and I when I try to reinstall them they fail to install. This happened almost immediately after following this procedure.

    I suspect the problem is related to changing ownership of the C: drive (which encountered many problems in the process). I have since tried to revert the change in ownership, but my system is still hosed.

    Finally, after following this procedure it did not solve my problem. Windows still fails to find a specific text string I know to exist in a file.

    I am even more convinced that Microsoft will never figure out how to make indexing and/or search work correctly. The implementation is far too abstruse and complex. Any system with this number of settings in so many different places shows this was not thought through properly. Again - The Macintosh Finder has no problems and Google Desktop works fine too - with no extra configuration or settings to fiddle with.

    Cheers, Eric
    11 มกราคม 2553 17:06
  • Thanks, I wasted 1/2 hour trying to search for how to perform a simple search.  It used to be right-click on the drive / folder and click Search.... turn off the animated character (for good) and I had useful search.  I'm excited that I have the ability to hack Windows to restore the Search functionality.
    20 มกราคม 2553 19:12
  • 1. Well, I have done all of the indexing steps & I still have the search issue.  It appears that since there are only so many "Searchable File Types" that are listed in Windows 7, that are known file types, those are the only files that windows can find.  In my situation, our company constantly creates extensions which windows would not see until 1 of the files are added to file type.  Even after doing this & adding the file type, I am finding that win7 doesn't return results when the data is in a 1 line format & in a file extension that windows doesn't recognize even when I have added it to the list.  Is there a way to bring back the old searching option to allow all files/extensions be found regardless of them being in the file type window?? 

    2. I am also seeing a data drop when viewing the files using wordpad as I do not want MS Word to open data only documents due to formatting & data element separators we use for specific internal formats.  Wordpad used to open any text type format without cutting off the file.  The new Wordpad only lists so many characters in 1 line before the rest of the data is cut off.  Notepad still allows for viewing an entire data string.  

    Any help would be welcomed here.  Thanks. 

    20 มกราคม 2553 20:37
  • Well once again the Microsoft technical "genii" have deomonstrated that they no longer live in the real world. The reply from Mr Li shines a spotlight on their attitude.

    The whole world apart form the little clique in Redmond want simple straightforward systems that work without having to resort to "deep technical" knowledge. I don't expect my users to appreciate how technically wonderful the search function may be or how technically elegant or how extensible. If it doesn't work it is practically useless and a major source of irritation and frustration.

    All we want is a search that works without resorting to indexing options, file types, locations, interfaces etc.., providers "add-in". If I type in a series of cahracters I expect a search function to resolve this instantly, who cares if it is in my c drive, my z drive, whether it is a pdf, a document, a text file or anything else.

    Please wake up Microsoft, remove these technical wonderkind who are more interested in polishing their bits of code than producing real world applications. Put them back in the Lab where they belong and get some real busainess people managing your product line. Have you learnt nothing from Vista?



    3 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 12:05
  • There's really no point wasting time on windows search when 'locate 32' does it so well. I have a 64 bit version of this app and it takes about 30 sec to scan my system (or it can automatically update) and about 0.1 sec to find my files
    3 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 15:29
  • Hmm, I added a thread mentioning continuing problems with searching the Start Menu yesterday and it's been deleted.

    Microsoft really are in denial over their search engine...
    3 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 18:26
  • On what grounds can they go around deleting threads? Did you do a print screen capture to preserve the original? That's a good thing to do, then you can post the orig on a blog post to highlight the admins' censorship.
    3 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 19:18
  • On what grounds can they go around deleting threads?
    I thought you had to be offensive to an individual or something. I don't have a copy of the post but basically it revolved around the fact that we have several items on our Start Menu that seach does not return, or it only returns some when it should find more. I also mentioned the fact (again) that we can't trust file or file content searching as it is so unreliable.

    3 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 20:49
  • I've just bought a laptop which has Windows 7 installed on it. I've been a professional programmer for over 20 years and am seriously fed up that Microsoft have removed what was once an extremely good search facility and left us with one which works incredibly fast but doesn't actually produce any results.

    I'm a java developer and can't seem to search through .java files despite the fact that I've indexed everything about 3 times (which took several hours) and added all the right permissions and stuff and yet it still won't any text strings in my source files.

    It's quite unbelievable that Microsoft have removed what was once a good search function and replaced it with something that isn't even intuitive to use. I've just installed Locate32 and it took about 30 seconds to index my C drive and then immediately found exactly what I was looking for.

    MICROSOFT - PLEASE TAKE NOTE - THE SEARCH FACILITY DOESN'T WORK PROPERLY AND IT'S A SERIOUS PROBLEM - GET IT FIXED ASAP.
    15 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 11:56
  • I'm having the same difficulties of not being able to find files on Windows 7. Can't believe the MS responses here. If typing the name of a file in the current directory in the search box doesn't return that file in the results, the search is broken. To argue otherwise means you haven't understood the purpose of a search. Please fix this.
    20 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 16:48
  • Rob wrote:  "we can't trust file or file content searching"

    That is indeed the problem!

    I too can easily reproduce a problem where a word document with a given phrase in it is completely missed by Windows Search.

    I don't even trust it to find files by name any more.  I try, and it often DOES find filenames, but if I fail to find something I think has half a chance of actually being there, I've been jumping into a CMD window with the DIR command.  Even then, since there's clearly been some magic moved into the file system itself, DIR cannot be trusted as it once could.

    This is a hugely bad trend!

    I have shut indexing off on my system, not only because it makes no sense to pre-index an entire hard drive onto the very same hard drive, but because in this environment of inaccuracy it can't help but make things worse, and finally because there are bona fide bugs with using it (look up "atomic oplock").

    Lo and behold for the very few things searching actually does right (e.g., searching the start menu) it still seems to work okay.

    When did it become acceptable for a search to return anything less than a perfect set of results?  We don't need another web search engine on our desktops, we need a search facility that does a rigorous string search and gets it right EVERY TIME.  It needs reliability we can be confident in - report to the government on tax forms confident - not "maybe, sometimes".

    And this is not new!  This awful trend has been brewing since Vista.

    If you read my posts generally I'm pretty positive about Windows 7 but this problem, along with the utterly boneheaded changes to the Explorer file interface, are worthy of serious criticism.

    Who is running the Windows Search development inside Microsoft with an "Eh, that's close enough" philosophy?  They need to be fired!

    -Noel
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Brian Borg 21 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 3:19
    • ยกเลิกการนำเสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Carey FrischMVP, Moderator 7 กันยายน 2553 21:38
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Arnar O 6 ธันวาคม 2553 9:49
    20 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 22:42
  • "Thanks for the references, but none of them solve my problem or really answer my question."

    That unfortunately sums up the situation. The moderators can't solve what is essentially a broken system. They can post links to what are essentially apologies for the broken system but it doesn't resolve the problem every user of Win 7 is having or is going to have with what should be the most straight forward part of the OS. The pathetic thing about this is that the best answers are coming from people who are pushing third party software to fill these gaps. Everything from Start Menu fixes to Search tools have become the answers to Win 7 shortcomings. While MS hasn't even acknowledged that there are problems. And that's probably the single greatest source of the frustration you're reading here. I would actually buy a copy of Win 7 if tthere were some glimmer of hope coming from MS that in a future update they were going to fix some of these things. Instead what we're seeing are basically "get used to it" and "here's a poorly functioning work-around".


    Although I've given up on the latest version of an OS I've used literally for 20 years I still have some hope that MS can manage to sort this mess out in a service pack. The real problem of course is that they are once more presenting a clueless front. MS... can't you at least say "we're working on it"?
    ------------
    How about this for a fix... Drop back to Vista and use 'advanced search' for searching files and use the standard search for things like launching programs. Vista advanced search lets you check a box to search non-indexed locations, uses the reliable wildcards like *.xxx and doesn't require you to learn a 'search language'. And to those who like the classic start menu like me, it's there also. You don't realize how good Vista was until you try 7. It's like poking yourself in the forehead with a fork... your don't realize how good it felt until you miss and poke yourself in the eye.

    • แก้ไขโดย glacia 22 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 23:01
    22 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 19:55
  • I've found a solution. I search via a UNC Path from an old Windows 2000 Server. It's very slow, but it finds everything :-)
    22 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 20:48
  • Geez, a disk search across the network can't be the best answer.  I suppose an Explorer window from a virtual XP box sporting the old XP search (not the newer XP search, which had already started to degrade into this "fuzzy" madness) might work better.   At least it would be on the same computer, with a rather stronger connection to the disk.  Sure would be nice to be able to start something like that with a right-click on a folder, like in the good ol' days.

    Sigh, I guess yet another personal project by someone to reimplement a search that presents a UI and yields results like the XP search did is in order.

    -Noel
    23 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 0:12
  • Just to reminisce...  Sigh...




    Someone once said, "Make everything as simple as possible - but no simpler."

    -Noel
    23 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 0:21
  • Just to reminisce...  Sigh...
    . . .
    -Noel

    Yeah.  I was using XP earlier.  I had not used it for a while. 

    It reminded me how much I missed the nice, familiar, user friendly explorer, with it's customizable toolbars, etc.
    23 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 4:02
  • I think that the main problem here is that the Microsoft technical architects don't even bother to ask "ordinary mortals" about issues and problems, how could users appreciate the technical beauty and elegance of their solution or even have an opinion since they aren't PHD's in software engineering?

    They have a vision on how functions work which maybe a shining light of technical excellence but is practically useless, it is not even the Apple "form over function" which at least is very nice to look at and contemplate.

    So don't hold your breath for a fix in any future service pack. Which ever idiot...err..sorry technical architect... designed the search functionality is hardly likely to lose face and do a 180 on their functional design. I have had dealings with these sort of people who would argue black is white rather than acknowledge that they could possibly be incorrect.

    Microsoft has got to the point where it is too big and the many of the people who make corporate technical strategic decisions employed within in are more interested in their corporate careers and peer professional standings than in actually how their products are working or precieved (just look at Vista as a shining example of this).  



    IBM went through the same phase in the 70-80 and has never really recovered.


    Shame and very depressing but maybe why Bill Gates jumped out. Recognising the organisation was no longer a dynamic, innovative place but was now full of rigid-thinking staffers whose idea of a product may win obscure prizes for conforming to text book technical techniques but are practically worthless.

    I used to be a Microsoft supporter but no longer..

    23 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 14:07
  • Colin, your argument might hold water if there was a way to specify, at PhD level, a search that actually worked.  But it's not that simple.

    I have a Word document within which I have the words "uninterruptable power supply" among many others.  There is no combination of commands (or indexing settings) that will cause Windows Search (in Windows 7) to find that document when I search for power (or any of the other words).  And yes, I've educated myself on the syntax, and I've spent hours on the task.  Even a simple text search (grepWin, the search tool in my text editor, etc.) finds the document immediately, but not Windows search.

    So, not only is there an inscrutable syntax for search where all we really need are two fields ("filename" and "contents"), and there is this implied (and unwanted) "extract just the important stuff into an index" capability, but even with the proper syntax and settings, and searching for plain text words, it simply doesn't work!

    That's worth stating over and over again here to make sure it's well-understood...

    A properly crafted search can easily be shown to miss results.  NOT acceptable.

    There's an old military saying:  "She's fast - I don't care, she blows up in midair!"

    -Noel
    23 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 15:32
  • Colin, your argument might hold water if there was a way to specify, at PhD level, a search that actually worked.  But it's not that simple.
    It's easy however to break a search into two types. Searching for a specific file and searching within a file. Searching within files is never ever going to be foolproof. Before you've nailed down a way to search within a range of file types there exist file types which you never planned for. However a search for a file by name and/or extension should be the simplest thing any desktop search can do. And yet Win 7 falls utterly on its face.

    I've worked in tech fields for 25 years and every company I've worked for I beat the drum to include one type of prototype testing methodology. Put the thing in front of a potential user who knows what they want to do. If someone with a simple goal in mind can not complete that goal without someone telling them how, the design is a failure.

    Example, If someone can't on first approaching a car open the door your design is a failure. If someone can't turn on a device by pushing the on switch your design is a failure. If someone can't type into a search box a file name they want to find and have the computer present them with that file the design is a failure.

    The beauty of the XP search window above is that if you can read you can find any file anywhere on your computer. You can even narrow and filter your search in innumerable ways and no one has to explain how to search. Try that with Windows 7. In fact park in front of Win 7 even someone completely familiar with every other version of Windows ever made (prior to Vista) and they will not be able to find a file. That is not just a failed design. That is an attept to intentionally create a failed design.

    In fact even Vista for all it's bad press and design quirks is so many levels better than 7 at searching for a file that it would be funny if it weren't so sad.

    @Nicholas Li, this is why your answer is not an answer. (Notice how no one has marked it as helpful) We don't need manuals explaining how to configure the car door and websites explaining what narrow situations the door can be opened or overly complex procedures for opening the door... we need someone to put the handle back on the door.

    ---
    As a followup I'm probably the most forgiving person when it comes to this sort of thing. I get it. Sometimes you get so deep in your own design you forget that it isn't intended for you. Sometimes that screwup even makes it out the door. It happens. But in the end you can't ignore the screwup (Toyota). As an engineer you can only try to not make mistakes. But when you inevitably do make one you can't simply tell the customer 'deal with it'. You have to man up and fix it.  Search in Win7 is broken. Your own answer demonstrates that.


    23 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 18:33
  • Geez, a disk search across the network can't be the best answer. 
    I was taking the p155 in case you didn't notice. I'd never seriously suggest this as a workaround :P

    However, my real point was that searching file contents always * worked in Windows 2000. It might have been slow, but you could rely on it to work.

    As we all know, this is not true for Windows 7 or 2008 R2.

    * I'm not talking about fancy file types here. Basically, just text files. These could be log files with various file extensions, VBS or .NET files, .cmd, .bat, etc, etc. The results would always be found as expected. You could trust and rely on it. Then, XP and 2003 came along. I can't remember if XP failed from the start, or after an SP release, but I started to realise back then that both XP and 2003 were failing to find things as expected.
    23 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 19:35
  • Noel, There are ways of specifying how searches work otherwise the programs you mention that do work wouldn't have been designed and programmed.

    That apart and to be fair to Microsoft, the search does work in a sort of fashion on my version of windows 7.

    It will find words and phrases in documents in my Library, but as you point out the worst part of it all is that the interface is utterly rubbish and results are inconsistent, it is slow and very very poor.

    But are the high-ups in MS going to take note...I don't think so...after all they believe their own PR and have in their tiny minds produced the worlds best O/S.

    Its not them that is out of step with the world, but the other way around

    23 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 21:00
  • argh.... same problem here.     The thing I hate the most is that even if it's fixed i'll still doubt that I am receiving the proper results.

    ALL I WANT IS TO BE ABLE TO SEARCH DIRECTORIES BASED ON THE FILE CONTENTS....   I don't want to worry about stuff like "Is my index up to date..."

    grrrrr

    Off to give Locate32 a try.
    23 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 23:10
  • Colin, I think we're in agreement, except for one thing:  With regard to search results there is no such thing as "does work in a sort of fashion".  It either finds everything, every single time (does work), or misses things (does NOT work).  I certainly agree with you that the user interface is about as handy as broccoli on the moon.

    What I meant by "specifying a search" was that there is no way to provide input to Microsoft Search to get it to find certain things.  The problem is that it's missing the data.

    My example from somewhere up in this thread expanded...  Say you have your income for the tax year documented in a bunch of Word files.  Now, say you run Windows Search with a term something like content:Income.  If you would not be willing to trust the results to find every file containing the word "Income" for the purpose of filing your taxes, to allow you to be confident that you would not be under-reporting to the IRS, then the search is an utter failure and useless.

    It may boil down to this:  Microsoft may be thinking, "Gee, the typical non-techie computer user often forgets where he left his file, so let's give him a quick way to occasionally try to find it assuming he only vaguely even remembers he HAD a file and furthermore he's stupid and believes that everything that happens inside the computer is magic anyway".

    We need them to be thinking:  "My butt is going to jail if I don't get this exactly right."

    There's a difference between these philosophies.

    It's clear that at least some part of Microsoft is thinking the right way...  Your computer executes trillions of instructions without crashing.  That implies something's exactly right at some levels - many levels actually.  Why does there have to be a difference at the application level?

    -Noel
    23 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 23:16
  • I literally just conducted the testing MS should have done on this feature. I was talking to a friend who just unboxed a new Dell 780 with Win7 64 on it.  He's been poking around on it most of the day. I told him...

    "hey try out the search function"

    First thing he does right off the bat is type in *.doc. Nothing comes up and he says "WTF?"

    So he pulls up windows explorer and navigates to a folder where he had dumped some files along the way saying "I'm gonna get rid of that stupid 'Favorites' folder if it kills me." (Little does he know). So he copies and pastes a file name into the search box... He stares at the huge white box with the tiny grey letters that say 'no items match your search'. He hits enter a few times because there's no indication the computer did anything at all. He politely critiques the operation by say saying "That is total B*******".

    But undaunted he clicks on the only other thing in the huge white box "see more results"

    This of course takes him to the even more puzzling windows explorer window which again says 'no items match your search'.

    However it again offers the hope of finding the file with the words 'Search again in:'
    Libraries Computer Internet Custom

    So he rolls the dice with 'Computer'

    So for several minutes we watch the green bar of hopelessness. And we wait. And wait. My friend to pass the time breaks into a chorus of "what the ____ is it doing".

    Litterally about 3 minutes into it I reach over to my old laptop with XP on it and type in *.doc . Even given a 3 minute headstart I have found every Doc file on my P5 laptop easily 5 minutes before Win7 running on a quad core computer can finish looking for one file. I say finish looking because it still didn't find the file. Although to be fair it actually never finished. It was easily ten minutes before my friend could no longer stand watching the faux progress bar and the taunting claim that it was still 'Searching...'

    If this is not broken then nothing is or ever has been...


    And by the way what is up with that green progress bar-like thing? It clearly isn't an actual progress bar since it traveled across the window in about 20 seconds and yet the search continued for minutes.


    24 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 0:23
  • Heh, and you like the way it continues into the refresh and stop buttons?  :)

    I'll admit hundreds of gigabytes of disk space is quite a gargantuan amount of storage, but should a filename search - I mean a search for the name of a particular file on the disk, no contents involved - ever take more than a few seconds?  Even without that ridiculous indexing?

    Hi, I'm a PC and I wouldn't take credit for Windows Search being my idea, no way in heck!

    -Noel
    24 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 5:03
  • Since installing locate32 I have never used windows search on win7 64 bit.

    It seems unlikely MS will bother to fix it. What I don't understand is why this issue hasn't been given greater coverage. If it really is this bad, and I believe you, can't you get in touch with prominent tech bloggers to highlight the problem? If not MS are unlikely to do anything because, as we've seen time and time again, they take it too personally to task one of their precious engineers to fix anything.
    24 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 9:09
  • I think MS are in complete denial over this one. They just flick you generic links to settings or say set this or set that or try that.

    As I mentioned above, I had one of my threads removed over-night and all I said was that Start Menu and file content searching was not working as expected...

    24 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 22:35
  • What I don't understand is why this issue hasn't been given greater coverage

    Perhaps it's too complex for anyone prominent to stick their neck out for...  Heck, we tech-savvy guys can barely figure out the interface.  As soon as someone thinks they know how to type proper commands into it, someone brings up the indexing system, and how have you got THAT set?  That scares away all but the most steadfast.

    I have a powerful workstation that's running perfectly.  Everything's clean, and quick.  Not even a warning in the System Event Log.  I've turned off indexing in every manner that I can because it's buggy and the concept is stupid.  Before you say, "whoa, there's your problem right there", note that Windows is supposed to search the files themselves, when you request it, when indexing is turned off.

    Yet my search is broken.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  It simply can't see inside certain files (older Microsoft Word files in my case - if not those, just what are we expected to search?) - without any note whatsoever that some files could not be searched - and so any content search where you want to be sure you've found all occurrences of something is impossible to rely upon.

    Rob, would your lawyers be happy if they searched for some case law they needed and the search system told them, "nope, nothin' like that here", when in fact what they needed was right there in file after file?

    Didn't think so.

    -Noel
    24 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 23:36

  • Rob, would your lawyers be happy if they searched for some case law they needed and the search system told them, "nope, nothin' like that here", when in fact what they needed was right there in file after file?


    That is an interesting question. To get this fixed, it probably will take some huge lawsuit in the States against Microsoft because someone working for a government department searched for a critical string in a plain text or word file and Windows merrily said "no results" when it should have said "sure, here is your file with the search string you specified"...

    And, to answer your question more precisely, I am already getting grief from our lawyers because the Start Menu won't return things that blatently are on the Start Menu, so, yes, they could potentially lose a case and huge amounts of money because they searched for something and Windows said "No".
    25 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 7:44
  • Try disabling indexing, if you haven't already done so.  I've at least achieved consistency (as far as I can tell), if not accuracy.

    -Noel
    25 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 12:35
  • Same problem here, windows 7 search is so unreliable i have stoped using it completly. I have seen the "no results" too many times even though i know i have the file and there is no way to tell if this is because the index isn't up to date or if i have the correct IFilters installed or if there actually is no file matching the result.

    A simple warning when the index is out of date or something instead of the crystal clear "no results" would help alot so you at least know if the result reflects the actual state of the disk.

    Now i always use findstr in the command line if i want to find something inside files with plain text. It takes a bit more time because it uses no index but is quick enough if you just search within a medium sized project-folder or something.
    Use like this: findstr /I /S "searchstring " *.txt
    /I removes case-sensitivity and /S makes the search go into subfolders.
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย tiger582 28 มีนาคม 2554 21:04
    • ยกเลิกการนำเสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย tiger582 28 มีนาคม 2554 21:05
    25 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 17:04
  • Thank you for that, tiomeg.  For all my years experience, I was not aware that Windows included a findstr command.

    However, when you think about it, it's doubly ironic that findstr can find things that Windows Search cannot.

    Hm, in testing it seems pretty weird about displaying its output - it seems to be missing line breaks...  I put a file goose.txt in two different places:  One is in C:\TEMP and the other in C:\TEMP\Test1.  Here's the output:

    C:\TEMP>findstr /i /s "golden" *.txt
    goose.txt:golden eggTest2\goose.txt:golden egg

    And findstr fails to find a text file with Unicode (wide characters) properly - beware of that. 

    C:\TEMP>type goose.txt
    golden egg
    C:\TEMP>type duck.txt
    golden beak
    C:\TEMP>findstr /i "golden" *.txt
    goose.txt:golden egg

    Unicode is a Microsoft invention!!  Thus findstr is yet another Epic FAIL for Microsoft. 

    Do the people working on search programs at Microsoft just not get it?

    I have found the tool grepWin will find data in all these files, though notably it will NOT search inside zip files (not that I personally need that).  It has a GUI interface and is available via Right-click of the mouse.   http://tools.tortoisesvn.net/grepWin

    -Noel
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Noel Carboni 25 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 18:15
    • ยกเลิกการนำเสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Carey FrischMVP, Moderator 7 กันยายน 2553 21:36
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย rfjason 8 มีนาคม 2554 5:40
    25 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 17:39
  • Also note that grepWin displays files within which it could not search.  Now THAT's a complete set of output.

    -Noel

    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Noel Carboni 25 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 18:15
    • ยกเลิกการนำเสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Carey FrischMVP, Moderator 7 กันยายน 2553 21:36
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย rfjason 8 มีนาคม 2554 5:40
    25 กุมภาพันธ์ 2553 18:04
  • Yeah, Windows 7's search function pretty much sucks. 

    I have a folder open, I can actually see a folder called 'XYZ'.  I type in "XYZ" into the search box and it says there are no results.  How is this possible?? 
    1 มีนาคม 2553 3:02
  • I used to use Locate32 but now use Everything (http://www.voidtools.com/; look in the forum for the latest beta). The remarkable thing about Everything is it does realtime updates to its filename index so it is always up to date, uses minimal resources even if running in the background, and finds all files anywhere instantaneously. I don't think it can search in contents, only filenames. I generally use long, descriptive filenames so that I can easily find what I'm looking for, when necessarily, by doing a filename search which is very fast using Everything. (Don't get me started on the issues with long filename support in Windows...)

    The point is, this type of functionality should be baked into Windows 7. Clearly it's possible to very efficiently index all filenames and search for them, so one shouldn't need a third party utility to do this. At the very least Windows should support instant searching of all filenames, with the option to index and search contents of files in specified locations. There is an option to search contents even in non-indexed locations, so the fact this isn't working for people is clearly a serious bug that needs to be rectified.

    I also wholly concur that requiring a search syntax to do any type of advanced search is a major step backwards from Vista. For starters, finding the syntax isn't trivial. I don't know why Microsoft has abandoned the idea of any meaningful context-sensitive help (it seems to be missing from Windows and all the Office apps) but you'd think there'd be some button you can press in the search dialog that would quickly let you pull up a summary of the syntax. Nope. You can click in the explorer help button, which takes you to a relatively useless start screen for Windows Explorer help. Then you can search for "search". If you're lucky find the entry for finding files and folders, from there click on a link to advanced search topics, from which you have to click on a link to a WEB PAGE with an exhaustive list of keywords. Yeah, thanks for the help... Basic search options should be selectable visually, and advanced search syntax, while potentially useful, should at least be fully documented locally and easily accessible.

    On top of that, there doesn't seem to be any consistency. For instance, I've found when searching the start menu, certain entries will only come up if I use a "*" wildcard, whereas in the Explorer search box, wildcards don't seem to be necessary as all searches are by default substring searches. It's weird and not easily understandable. Whether it's a bug or a consequence of a design choice, it should be fixed.
    1 มีนาคม 2553 20:42
  • I also mis Windows XP search as well.  But in Win7, enabling search file content is very easy.   You don't need to enable indexing (As a gamer, I have never liked turning on indexing for my hard drives).  You do the following.  Open file explorer:

    Press Alt button --> go to tools --> Folder options --> search tab --> Here select, "Always search file names and content (this might take several minutes).

    Press okay.  Now your searches will work for file content like the good ol days of XP.

    :) :) :)

    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย xhyena 9 มีนาคม 2553 4:45
    • ยกเลิกการนำเสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Carey FrischMVP, Moderator 7 กันยายน 2553 21:37
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย rfjason 8 มีนาคม 2554 5:40
    9 มีนาคม 2553 4:45
  • Sorry, xhyena, that's just too simplistic.

    We can disable indexing - a very good idea, though in reality it takes more than just the setting that you listed.  It takes disabling the indexing service.

    However I have found (as illustrated just a few posts above) that Windows Search 4 (i.e., the search in Windows 7) still does not (and cannot) find some basic things (Unicode strings, contents of older Word files, etc.), so no, it's not at all like the good ol days of XP.  

    -Noel
    9 มีนาคม 2553 9:12
  • Geez, you ACTUALLY TRIED THIS !!!!!!!!!!!!
    9 มีนาคม 2553 12:40
  • Not only that, after flicking you the generic links, they no longer even pretend to be interested in resolving you problem.
    9 มีนาคม 2553 12:42
  • I also mis Windows XP search as well.  But in Win7, enabling search file content is very easy.   You don't need to enable indexing (As a gamer, I have never liked turning on indexing for my hard drives).  You do the following.  Open file explorer:

    Press Alt button --> go to tools --> Folder options --> search tab --> Here select, "Always search file names and content (this might take several minutes).

    Press okay.  Now your searches will work for file content like the good ol days of XP.

    :) :) :)

    This absolutely does not solve the problem or even remotely work. I have a webserver (not a very busy one) it has 416 logfiles, the biggest is 750KB. Remember that these are plain text, none of that fancy word formatting. Windows 7 search ins unable to find the word "test" in any of these files. I fire up XP Mode and it finds 5 files with the word in them.
    I am beginning to regret moving from OpenBSD to Windows.
    9 มีนาคม 2553 12:48
  • All,

    I've had quite a frustrating time with Win 7 searching as well.  After quite a bit of "searching", a found that the SYSTEM account was not given any permissions on the folder I was attempting to search.  After giving this account permissions and re-indexing the machine, the problem was fixed.  I was actually finding information inside of Word documents!  I'm not sure if this would help anyone...I was almost ready to drop kick Windows 7.

    11 เมษายน 2553 0:07
  • Hi,

    I just want to share with you that maybe the search in windows 7 seems to be fixed, actually there is no issue I thingk. When you navigate to the Indexing Options and when you klick on "Advanced" and after that "File Types" Tab, you have to select "Inex Properties and File Contents", BUT for every single file format, that means that when you klick on some file you have to change the "Inex Properties and File Contents" option and after that for another file format this oprion have to be changed again.

     

    Best Regards!

    13 เมษายน 2553 8:04
  • It's a nice idea, George, but unfortunately not right.  With or without indexing, and WITH the [ ] Allow this file to have contents indexed in addition to file properties attribute SET, there are some files that will simply not match, even when the data being sought is in there as plain words.

    A favorite example of mine is an older Word document, circa 1990.  It's a favorite because it's EXACTLY the kind of document you might want to search to dredge up an old bit of information that you know you have but don't remember the specifics for.

    And Windows Search simply won't find it, though it's still perfectly readable with Microsoft Word.

    Other folks are reporting problems with plain text in log files, and they're easily reproduced.  Try this:  Use a text editor to insert the string "This is plain text in a log file" into a file called FindMe.log.  Now search the folder that file is in for the word plain.  Chances are you will not turn up FindMe.log.

    If not a Word file or a log file, then what are we expected to search?

    It only takes one example of where the tool does not work to show any reasonable person that the facility is utterly useless, because you CANNOT thereafter make a decision with any confidence based on the results.

    -Noel

    13 เมษายน 2553 13:16
  • I completely agree with Noel. I work in a law firm. Our lawyers do not understand search settings or have any interest in what an indexer is or does. They just enter a search term and simply expect the results to be true.

    If there are no results, they firmly believe that is the case and will respond to their client accordingly.

    We in IT almost daily search various (almost exclusively text based) log files on servers for business critical problems and failures. We can no longer trust the results that Microsoft provide us.

    As with Noel, I have many simple examples of search failures.

    Microsoft, is it going to take a major law suite in the States from someone before you fix this?

    As I have mentioned many times before, file content searches in text files (regardless of file extension) always worked way back with Windows 2000 and probably NT 4.0. Yes, it was slow, but if you entered a search string and it existed it was found.

    This broke somewhere around XP and 2003. It has never been reliable since.

    21 เมษายน 2553 19:40
  • Rob: Please sign me up for any class action law suite against Microsoft ;-)

    I figure Microsoft owe me thousands of dollars in lost productivity and undeserved stress.

    Cheers, Eric

    21 เมษายน 2553 20:02
  • Here is an example of one failure on a fresh Windows 7 PC with default search and indexing settings:

    Open a Command Prompt
    MD C:\Rhubarb
    CD C:\Rhubarb
    echo Rangitoto > example.spam

    Open an Explorer window on C:\Rhubarb and search for "Rangi". Nothing is found.

    Back to the Command Prompt
    echo Rangitoto > example.txt

    Search from Explorer for "Rangi" again. Example.txt is found.

    Now, go to Control Panel indexing options (and remember that this new location is not indexed). Click Advanced -> File Types and add spam as a file type and be sure to select "Index Properties and File Contents".

    Now, go back to your Explorer window and perform the search. Both files are now found.

    Here, I am searching a non-indexed location. I don't care about indexing settings. To perform a simple plain text search, regardless of file extension, in a non-indexed location I should not have to add the file extension to my indexing options.

    • แก้ไขโดย Rob.Ford 12 กันยายน 2553 20:30
    21 เมษายน 2553 20:06
  • I really think Noel and Rob have hit on the central critical problem with Windows search

    By default, any search results you get from windows search are meaningless because you will never know what the search missed. In particular when the search returns nothing it is natural for the user to expect that no file matches the search criteria, but nothing could be further from the truth. The key issue here is the search results only match Microsoft's search criteria, and those search criteria bear no resemblance the user's search criteria.

    The second critical problem with Windows search is that Microsoft, for some bizarre reason, expect every user of search to have a PhD in Computing Science, with a specialty in "Microsoft Search" and that it is the user's responsibility to understand and properly configure the abstruse and complex indexing and search settings. I know this to be true because I have MSc in Computing Science with a specialty in Data Base Theory, and I cannot figure out how to make it work for the most simple cases. Dam, I knew I should have invested that extra year in school for that PhD.

    Cheers, Eric

    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Brian Borg 22 เมษายน 2553 23:12
    • ยกเลิกการนำเสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Carey FrischMVP, Moderator 7 กันยายน 2553 21:37
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย rfjason 8 มีนาคม 2554 5:41
    22 เมษายน 2553 14:49
  • I figure Microsoft owe me thousands of dollars in lost productivity and undeserved stress. 
    Eric, very funny, I think that are a lot of us around the World who would agree with this :-)
    23 เมษายน 2553 3:43
  • I figure Microsoft owe me thousands of dollars in lost productivity and undeserved stress. 
    Eric, very funny, I think that are a lot of us around the World who would agree with this :-)


    Yep, I'm one of them. I've burned countless hours on Windows Search. It is completely unreliable. Right now on THIS Windows 7 machine I can't even to get the thing to look like its searching let alone return some sort of dubious result set. For the record I have indexing turned OFF since that thing grinds groove into your hard disk. (I regularly work late at night and I guess M$ assume you're in bed by that time and won't notice, but that's when it goes bezerk). Irrespective of the index being off, search should work. I don't mind if it takes 30 minutes; I just want a complete and through search result that I can rely on.

    Here's a post I made more than 2 years ago on the topic (this time with Vista). If anything it has gotten worse.

    http://www.keyongtech.com/3015574-is-posting-broken-as-vista

    Wayne.


    Wayne H
    23 เมษายน 2553 10:24
  • Actually I'm going to elaborate on my current specific issue with Windows 7 search (not withstanding all the other problems), but right now I can't search libraries.

    When I open my Music Library for example (that contains 2 locations... complicated I know), the little box at top right says Search Music. So I type a keyword into that little box and nothing happens other than the little magnifying glass icon turns to an X. No search is initated, period. If I use my wife's Vista 7 laptop, however, and do the same thing, it works fine. "Works" in the sense that cogs are visibly turning and some kind of result set is returned. The result set even looks partially believable although I have not fully tested it. I can search the machine sitting right in front of me better if I go and search using my wife's laptop on a wireless connection. This is what I call a cool feature.

    So, as I said in my first post, right now I can't even get Windows Search to look like its searching, at least not from any library folder. If, however, I go to My Computer and search there, it initiates a search (it at least looks like its doing something). So what is the problem with my libraries. Why won't it search there yet my wife's machine will? They're both Win 7 64-bit. They're both Dell machines. What am I missing? Again, the "it just works" dream is a million miles away.

    Finally, if I try to search from the start menu, and click "See more results" (because I'd like to see more than 0 results), nothing happens. This time I do literally mean nothing. I've heard a rumor this is supposed to open up a search form, but not for me. No way. I didn't yet try this one on my wife's laptop although on my Vista desktop if I type something there I see the word "Searching..." (at least some visual feedback indicating I'm not completely being ignored) I I can hear the disk grind (indexing off on that machine too!). When the search is done, I get feedback again, and when I click "Search Everywhere" something happens. My Windows 7 box is a steaming pile...

    Any ideas on either of these?

     


    Wayne H
    23 เมษายน 2553 10:46
  • If there are no results to display, the Start Menu search "See More Results" link won't give you anything.  It *may* pop open what looks like a blank Explorer window VERY briefly, so what you're seeing is probably "normal" (in a sense).

    Wayne, what you're experiencing in general, with Windows Search not working or even looking like it's TRYING to work, is pretty typical.  It seems to have to do with the indexing being messed up.  This turkey has multiple problems.

    I delved into this in great detail and found that utterly disabling indexing (i.e., turning off the Windows Search service entirely) got me to where Windows Search will actually appear to DO things when I tell it to search, but at that point I found that it doesn't actually find everything that's there - just repeatedly so.

    At this point, unless someone finds some magic settings that make it find more things, it's clear that there is no way to make Windows Search actually work - when "work" is defined to mean "consistently find all occurrences of what you're searching for".

    Hard to believe I'm actually having to define what "work" means.

    -Noel

     

    P.S., If I were being paid my normal contracting rate for investigating this Windows Search problem alone I'd be up to about $4,000.00 at this point.

    23 เมษายน 2553 12:46
  • Hi Noel,

    It doesn't matter what I type in the start menu search, "See More Results" doesn't ever do anything, at least not on *this* Win 7 box. As I said my wife's Win 7 box seems better.

    I also have the Windows Search service turned off (the first thing I do now on any new Windows system, including my wife's) but for some reason it still won't look like its searching from the start menu nor in Windows 7 libraries.

    Anyway I know how to work around that... and get some kind of results!

    I've been using X1 for years, but only the free version that they had out for a while (5.6.3). I run it on an XP VPC with Office 2003 (since it doesn't support Office 2007). Actually I can't live without it. I'm beginning to think I should just buy the latest version of that and be done. :-)

    Thanks for the information.

    Wayne.


    Wayne H
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย ChasFL 27 เมษายน 2553 1:23
    24 เมษายน 2553 2:24
  • I have had this Windows 7 Search and index problem for a week now. I have tried every suggestion on these forums every which way to Sunday and none of them have worked.

    I caught one poster in one forum who said he uninstalled McAfee, reindexed, the index finally indexed 'all' his checked files he had for indexing, and then he reinstalled McAfee and everything was fixed.

    I finally tried that suggestion and it worked. I found out later that McAfee had released an automatic update that treated a Windows 7 system file as a virus, hence corrupting the Search function and the indexing.

    I hope this helps anyone who has had this Windows 7 Search problem and has McAfee Anti-Virus. It's been a royal pia but it's finally back to normal now.

    Charles

    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย ChasFL 27 เมษายน 2553 1:32
    • แก้ไขโดย ChasFL 30 เมษายน 2553 16:11
    27 เมษายน 2553 1:32
  • Other users are reporting problems with McAfee as well.

    My advice:  Remove McAfee entirely and get a better quality antivirus solution.  PAY for the good stuff.  I personally have had great results with Avast 5 Pro.

    -Noel

    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Rukaya 30 เมษายน 2553 13:46
    • ยกเลิกการนำเสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Carey FrischMVP, Moderator 7 กันยายน 2553 21:37
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย rfjason 8 มีนาคม 2554 5:41
    27 เมษายน 2553 14:07
  • Other users are reporting problems with McAfee as well.

    My advice:  Remove McAfee entirely and get a better quality antivirus solution.  PAY for the good stuff.  I personally have had great results with Avast 5 Pro.

    -Noel


    I am not so much concerned with McAfee's quality control issues as with their involvement in worldwide internet filtering and censorship.

    Can you see how filtering is related to index and search services?

    27 เมษายน 2553 17:03
  • I tried numerous solutions to this stupid Windows 7 search problem.  I even, like a sheep, followed the "well, f*ck you, just create a new account and deal with it" solution, despite the fact it seemed infuriatingly ridiculous to have to effectively put duct tape on a crack.

    After creating the new user account, I began to feel sort of a dignity-shred happening and I simply could not complete their little "solution."  I wasn't about to start trying to import email and bookmarks, etc. when THEY SHOULD SIMPLY FIX THEIR SH*T!!!

    So, I went back to my old user account and in a very resigned frame of mind felt, "well, I'll do this stupid 'rebuild the index' thing and see what happens...if it doesn't work, then f*ck it." 

    Well, it just so happens to have worked for me.  The index was rebuilt and my search capabilities are restored.  I didn't jack with the registry or anything so fancy and technical.  Who knew Windows 7 came with a built-in fetish for desperation (fishnet stocking cover for CPU only $49.95 more)?

    Obviously I'm not going to present this as the solution to everyone, as I'm sure this is just some random bit of luck or karmic return for that kitten I saved a long time ago.  But, it's worth a try to anyone who is having vivid fantasies about doing bad things to Bill Gates.

    Best of luck.

    Michelle

    29 เมษายน 2553 15:39
  • UPDATE:   After re-indexing my drive, and restarting McAfee, I found that all of my hard work became undone (so hard to sit at a desk and stare at the monitor).  Search failed again once McAfee was reactivated.  So, McAfee is gone like the wind now, replaced by AVG (until I come to my senses and find something better). 

    A side note:  After I restarted McAfee and search failed, I tried rebuilding the index yet again.  I saw maybe 50 files indexed before I was told that the indexing had completed.  Upon removing McAfee, everything indexed perfectly. 

    From what I'm hearing, I'm better off without McAfee anyway.  But I must say, I'm not too thrilled with AVG and their affinity for all things yahoo.  [rant] NO, I don't want to use yahoo search and NO, I don't want the stupid spywarelicious (adding this to urban dictionary soon) yahoo toolbar. [/rant] [deep breath] [/deep breath]

    Anyhooooo...

    Michelle

    30 เมษายน 2553 13:45
  • UPDATE:   After re-indexing my drive, and restarting McAfee, I found that all of my hard work became undone (so hard to sit at a desk and stare at the monitor).  Search failed again once McAfee was reactivated.  So, McAfee is gone like the wind now, replaced by AVG (until I come to my senses and find something better). 

    A side note:  After I restarted McAfee and search failed, I tried rebuilding the index yet again.  I saw maybe 50 files indexed before I was told that the indexing had completed.  Upon removing McAfee, everything indexed perfectly. 

    From what I'm hearing, I'm better off without McAfee anyway.  But I must say, I'm not too thrilled with AVG and their affinity for all things yahoo.  [rant] NO, I don't want to use yahoo search and NO, I don't want the stupid spywarelicious (adding this to urban dictionary soon) yahoo toolbar. [/rant] [deep breath] [/deep breath]

    Anyhooooo...

    Michelle


    Michelle,

    I had tried shutting off McAfee (turning off the firewall) but that did nothing regarding the trouble I was having trying to reindex. It wasn't until I completely 'uninstalled' McAfee that I was able to rebuild the index. Then I re-installed McAfee after I rebuilt the index and so far so good, no Search-index issues since then. If you wish to continue your McAfee Account when you re-install it after you re-index, it automatically picks up your account where you left off.

    I was only 3 months into a 1 years subscribtion to McAfee so I didn't feel like I just wanted to throw it out after I had just paid for it, but I'll know what to do next time if the Search functions starts tripping up on me again. Plus I didn't like Google Desktop that I was using until I fixed Win 7 Search. I was ranting like you for almost a week trying to fix the Search and index, trying every suggestion mentioned in these forums, but unistalling McAfee was the only one that worked for me.

    Hope that helps. Charles

    30 เมษายน 2553 16:08
  • Oh, I finally found that problem!

    I once thought that there was some problem in my machine.

    That searching problem has bothered me for a long time since I switched from XP to 7. In xp, everything works fine but in 7, the windows search is really sucks. As simple as typing '*.*' in the search box for a specific folder, it can give me "no results" WTF?

    I knew that this problem exists in vista, and I once hoped that this will be fixed in 7, but to no avail.

    That simple search function can be done by locate32, goolge desktop search, why can't M$ ?

    When will they solve this problem? Win 8, Win 9?

    5 พฤษภาคม 2553 14:31
  • After all,

     

    Try search this way:

     

    Example :

    *.sql select

    Search engine em explorer will show match text

     

    []s

    Roger S.

    23 พฤษภาคม 2553 2:56
  • Thank you ArcticBloom, "Locate32" is the anwer to my long frustration!!! Too bad I cannot give my 200 dollars to the makers of Locate 32 instead of giving them to Microsoft.

     

    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Rasmus1967 10 มิถุนายน 2553 22:50
    10 มิถุนายน 2553 22:50
  • I had tried shutting off McAfee (turning off the firewall) but that did nothing regarding the trouble I was having trying to reindex. It wasn't until I completely 'uninstalled' McAfee that I was able to rebuild the index. Then I re-installed McAfee after I rebuilt the index and so far so good, no Search-index issues since then.
    This solution also worked for me.  I am on a Dell 1558 Core i5 running W7, one week old.  From day one, my Windows Search did not index properly and the search fnction did not return files.  Dell support could not help me.  I tried absolutely every other solution I could find, including updates to all software, clean installs, security authorisations, you name it.  I finally uninstalled McAfee and restarted the machine.  When I rebuilt the index it took a few minutes, but the search function worked perfectly, all files and content I search for was returned.  I later reinstalled McAfee (via the Dell site) and now Windows Search is working as it should.
    15 มิถุนายน 2553 19:25
  • Agree!

    To simplify complications is the first essential of success - -George Earle Buckle

    And while MSFT developers all slap themselves on the back for the very "smart" complication they have created I am off to the Apple store tomorrow. They can ignore the problem, and I will happily return the favor to them.

    Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped. -Elbert Hubbard

    27 มิถุนายน 2553 23:56
  • http://support.microsoft.com/gp/windows_search
    29 มิถุนายน 2553 3:52
  • I think it does not work. Search in Windows XP it worked very well, Vista was a little more limited (or harder to get around), and Windows 7 quite useless.

     

    I think I have to copy my file contents that I wanted to do a contents search (of all .txt files) to an external hard drive, and attach it to either a vista computer or an XP.

     

    I can't believe Microsoft can continue to dream of ways to make their computers more and more worthless.

     

    "SEARCH", one of the most beneficial uses of computing power. It allows you to "get stuff" real fast. Like, rather than opening one file at a time and looking for a word that I need to look up (product names if you're curious), I have the computer quickly FIND them, and then I don't have to open up each and every file, which could take me a days, to find the product I need.

     

     

    30 มิถุนายน 2553 2:11
  • I figured something out. Somehow I got a window that allowed me to check various file names and how I wanted those files searched. Within that window, I checked to search contents in .txt files. But I still didn't get the results I needed. That was a fluke, and I'm not sure how I found that detailed window at the moment (new at 7).

     

    Then I went back to search options and changed a couple things. First I said "always search file names and contents (this might take several minutes)". And it still didn't work.

     

    I then checked off "Don't use the index when searching in file folders for system files (searches might take longer).

     

    I am unsure why that last checked item worked. In the meantime (buggy), I initiated a search, and had the computer actually return a "Laptop not found" error. When I tried to diagnose it, it couldn't (I'm working on my laptop. I think perhaps turning off the indexing.

     

    So I just did it again, and IT WORKED! It searched file contents and returned the files that contained the text I was looking for.

     

     

    30 มิถุนายน 2553 2:19
  • Here's how you change the options I was talking about. In Control Panel, under indexing options: Click on advanced. Click on file types. There you can select how files with different extensions are searched, as index properties only, or as index properties and "FILE CONTENTS."

     

    However, just changing that wasn't enough in my case, I still had to get rid of indexing. I'm not going to look to hard, I'm just happy that it worked.

     

    Next time it might not. That is, if I have "permission" next time to search my own files.

     

    Permissions is just another sore spot, and has been since Vista!

    30 มิถุนายน 2553 3:10
  • So, in my opinion, Microsoft need to separate the indexing and the search options. Indexing settings should not affect searching unless you actually set the "don't search contents in non-indexed" options maybe.


     

    I agree with Rob.  Searching should not be dependent upon Indexing settings. 

    I don't enable Indexing because of the additional CPU and disk overhead.   I miss not being able to easily search the contents of files. 

    MS has made a big deal about Indexing, but is it worth the overhead?  How often do users search the file system?   Maybe once a week...  And usually the user knows what folder to search which narrows down the search.  Even searching thru a couple thousand files is blazing fast with modern Hard Drives.  

    14 กรกฎาคม 2553 22:45
  • I think it's obvious that Windows search is busted from the excellent dialog that is present in this thread.

    I just want to bring up one more way that Windows Search is broken that hasn't been touched upon.

    I completely disagree with this typing of files - that should be something you could specify to REDUCE the set of results should that be what you require, but not as a basic part of search.

    So here's a "for instance".  Windows thinks files with an extension of ".vhd" are "Virtual Machine Hard Drive Images" and that's true if you have Virtual PC installed.  But I also have Altera Quartus II installed, and ".vhd" is the extension used for VHDL files.

    In the Windows universe, only one application can claim a file extension!  What a preposterous assumption!  And in this case incorrect, because I have two sets of files with the same extension on them, yet they are two distinct types!

    So then you have Windows search that tacks onto this flawed thinking and makes it worse by not searching in ".vhd" files because they are hard disk images and we'd never want to search the contents of those!

    And, some people are focused on speed and perhaps categorizing files by type and only doing searches that make sense for that file type, you can make searching faster, but that's just wrong IMHO.  I don't care about speed, I care about accuracy.  The old search (XP) wasn't perfect, but it was closer than what we have now.

    So is it better to have a fast search that can't find anything because it incorrectly categorizes things and refuses to search in things it doesn't know about, or would it be better if it just did a full text search and took a bit longer, but always returned the right thing?  I would pick the latter.

    Would I complain if they then made optimizations for files that could be absolutely be identified as having a certain type?  Only if it didn't return incorrect or incomplete results!

    The point I'm trying to make is... fine, you want to give me tools, great, just start with a full text search, and give me tools to whittle down the results as I see fit!

    28 กรกฎาคม 2553 3:17
  • I've noticed that folder searching for file names works or doesn't work, depending on in which folder you are searching.

    I'm a Windows 7 user. When I search for filenames within Drivers it works.

    Intel - OK

    Program Files - OK

    Program Data - OK

    Windows - OK

    Users - NOT OK

    Another observation - If I search for a filename within the Users folder or subfolders, it is not found. While this search window is open, if I go to Control Panel - Indexing options - Advanced  - File types and select the other option for Index Properties Only or Index Properties and File Content, the search results suddenly appear. (I may have to swap back to the other choice before they appear.) Now if I do another search on the same folder it doesn't work until I change the indexing option again, and it works only for one search.

    Not a solution, but it may inspitre others to come up with a solution.

     

    Good luck!

     

    29 กรกฎาคม 2553 14:51
  • After all these years I just can't take it any more. I'm buying my first Mac.
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Shane818 5 สิงหาคม 2553 14:14
    29 กรกฎาคม 2553 18:03
  • i found an easy fix it worked for me might work for you 

     

    make sure all your folder settings are the default setting before you start by running regedit, navigate to "HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows Search" and set "SetupCompletedSuccessfully = 0"

     

    reboot

     

    you have to have indexing service on and windows search on :D

     

    go to you indexing option in control panel hit modify uncheck your local drive and notice users is still checked within the drive 

     

    try to uncheck as much as you can hit ok

     

    then hit advanced files tab check properties and content

     

    scroll threw the file types that are listed add what you need i had to add allot of video formats among other things

     

    5 สิงหาคม 2553 14:29
  • Microsoft:

    Fix Windows Search by throwing it out and redesigning it. 

    Buy Stefan's grepWin or something that actually works and start over with that.

    Do it.

    Delay Windows 7 SP1 if you have to but DO IT!

    -Noel

    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Brian Borg 7 สิงหาคม 2553 18:41
    • ยกเลิกการนำเสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Carey FrischMVP, Moderator 7 กันยายน 2553 21:38
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย rfjason 8 มีนาคม 2554 5:41
    6 สิงหาคม 2553 0:20
  • I 2nd Noel's statement
    11 สิงหาคม 2553 2:11
  • What's wrong with you guys? The Windows Explorer search works great in Windows 7. All you have to know is the exact file name and exactly where it is.

    Bing, on the other hand, is a pain in the ____.

    (I'm amazed that the MS R&D guys find their way to work everyday.)


    Jokester at large
    13 สิงหาคม 2553 21:06
  • I have nothing new to say except I want to add my name to the chorus of disapproval for windows anti-search.

    I've scanned through the posts and I think I suffer many of the same problems.

    - I can search a folder containing one file and it won't find it!

    - I can search for a content string and when I look in one of the result files it ain't there!

    I assumed this was caused by the index being slow to update or corrupted, so I disabled it ( it was a resource pig anyway). No difference. :(  Maybe its still searching the old index? so reenable indexing, configure to index no folders, rebuild the index, then disable indexing. No difference :(

    I am accustomed to googling the entire internet and getting results in milliseconds with little or no conscious effort.  I expect the same when I search my modest little PC.

    @Noel - you are my hero of the day.


    Dick Page
    23 สิงหาคม 2553 10:14
  • I too have been driven to the point of exhaustion trying to "fix" the Windows 7 64bit, search.  It worked when I first received my new Dell 1558 laptop over a month ago.  Exactly when it failed, I can't tell as I was transferring data files from two other PC's I had been using.  I worked for hours with Dell Tech Support to absolutely no avail.  Their only answer was to reinstall Windows 7 and "see what happens".  I even paid for MIcrosoft support, after several sessions over two weeks, they threw their hands up.  I caught a note from a forum that McAfee was the culprit.  So I worked with McAfee support and while he was connected to my laptop, I showed him that Windows search could not find files (names or text within files) in the directory I was looking at, never mind elsewhere on the PC.  I uninstalled McAfee, reindexed and all was working perfectly.  McAfee tech support insisted that I reinstall their product to prove the problem returned.  I reinstalled, the problem returned, I showed it to him and he had no answer.  I've since removed McAfee and I am as happy as a clam.  I've installed Microsoft Security Essentials and all the search features are working perfectly for filenames and imbedded text.  I have five other Dell PCs (family) with the same issue.  Studio 1550 Windows 7 32b, Studio 1555 Windows 7 32b, and two OPtiples 780 with Windows 7 32b,

    Note: prior to removing MCAfee the indexer would stop after 1,500 files and say "indexing complete"  after removing McAfee it ran right up to 24,000 files in about a half hour.  All file search functions work perfectly.

    I know the solution for my remaining PC's

    Hope this helps someone

    24 สิงหาคม 2553 17:44
  • Hey Al,

    I was the person who found out it was McAfee that was tripping up the Windows 7 search and index and put it in the forum. Since I had only purchased McAfee some months before and had a 1 year subscription, I hated giving that up so I reinstalled McAfee after an unistall and reindex. That was a few months ago. It would search OK for a while after that but I noticed some little trip ups like if I searched for a graphic by a word, but the word was only part of the name the folder the graphic was in (not the part of the name of the graphic itself) it would find it, but if I clicked on the graphic within the search results window to view it, the whole folders worth of pictures were all of a sudden depleted from the Search results. I've had to go through the unistall McAfee-reindex-reinstall Mcafee scenario about 2 or 3 times since I originally did because it did eventually trip up the index again to a point that it was the only way to get it back to normal again.

    I did recently get a real bad virus that even McAfee couldn't find (a re-direct web search bug called Alureon rootkit) but I found a anti-virus that found a whole bunch of bugs on my PC, including that one, in a way that no other anti-virus I had could even hold a candle to. It's called Emsisoft Anti-Malware. Free for the first 30 days, I'm still on the free trial, but after it runs over the 30 days, if I get another bug, I'll spring the $30-40 for it. It really dug everything thing out of there. I was trying to get rid of that bug for 2 solid days before I found Emsisoft Anti-Malware through some forum suggestion, but that's what finally took care of it.

    Hope that helps....Charles

    24 สิงหาคม 2553 18:13
  • Charles,

    Sorry I did not properly give you the credit.  It was your message I read on this forum.  Since I had been all over the web searching for a solution, when I drafted my text, I did not remember the source.  It is very disappointing that many many hourse were wasted and $59.00 to microsoft and everyone left me dangling.  I can't believe the techies are totally unaware of this issue.  Thanks for the "Emissoft" tip.  I'll look into it.  Thanks for your thread earlier.  When I read it, the "light came on" and you were spot on with your diagnosis.

     

    Al

    24 สิงหาคม 2553 18:46
  • Hey Al,

    Your welcome. no sweat on the credit, I'm like you, I'm usually too focused and frustrated by then on solving the problem, but I'm always glad to share how I solved it afterward if it can help someone else since it was usually someone else's effort who was kind enough to post their solution that finally helped me solve my issue.

    Just one of those computer things I've found over the years, meaning that the cause of an issue can sometimes come from something else that would normally seem to have nothing to do with it, which ends up costing a lot of hours, $$ and aggravation to solve it.

    Yeah, it is too bad about the company techies who are supposed to be on top of this who don't seem to know, or refuse to admit, that it is their product that is tripping up something that supposedly would seem unrelated to the problem, but ends up being the exact cause of the problem like this one was.

    Charles

    25 สิงหาคม 2553 11:56
  • Hi All,

    I just want to let you know that even do am still running Windows XP (sp2 x86 fr-ca) and I have the exact same problem! (e.g. the search does not work)

    Am also running.... McAfee

    Congratulation for your heroic effort!

    Pierre


    replace yaah by spamgourmet in the domain name of my eMail
    25 สิงหาคม 2553 14:28
  • I just want to let you know that even do am still running Windows XP (sp2 x86 fr-ca) and I have the exact same problem! (e.g. the search does not work)

    I've mentioned on here somewhere that content searching (and I'm just talking plain text files here, nothing exotic) stopped being reliable after Windows 2000. So, yes, you're correct, it didn't work correctly in XP or Vista, either. I can't remember now if vanila XP had this broken or if an SP broke it, but it's never worked since and Microsoft won't admit to the problem.
    26 สิงหาคม 2553 20:29
  • I believe it went wonky DURING the reign of XP about the time the right click Search (which I pictured way up above) was replaced by the new user interface based on indexing.  There was a way to tweak XP to get that simple, direct search back, though I've long forgotten it.

    Indexing everything on a hard drive so you can find it faster is just plain stupid! 

    Think about it... Either not everything will be findable, or you will end up with a whole hard drive worth of index data.  Neither of these things nor anything in between is reasonable.

    -Noel

    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Brian Borg 27 สิงหาคม 2553 2:57
    • ยกเลิกการนำเสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Carey FrischMVP, Moderator 7 กันยายน 2553 21:38
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย rfjason 8 มีนาคม 2554 5:41
    26 สิงหาคม 2553 21:02
  • A bit of a history – Last MS OS in which Search worked “from the box” was Win2k.

    WinXP had introduced something called Search Assistant (set of the helpers which were intended for their dedicated file types). I may not be correct on the name of the “Assistant” but base idea was to produce set of search extension dlls each for its own class of files to make search looking only through what MS considered meaningful part of the file. Say for DOC files all the service parts will be ignored and only text portion will be searched. As you remember, that turned whole world against MS – indeed you have to be stupid to assume that every company will provide search assistant dll for the filetypes they introduce. So MS turned back and provided workaround on how to switch back to plain txt search dll for ALL THE FILES WHICH ARE NOT ASSOCIATED WITH OTHER HELPERS. And that “plain txt search dll” happens to be just simple “grep” function.

     

    Funny thing to note here is that after above mentioned adjustment Search was still failing for the files like DOC because they were still associated with their helper. So you can find “Letter to aunt Petunia” but you cannot find signature of a macro-virus attached to that DOC file... How nice hah?

     

    Then came Vista – slow, cumbersome OS... I realized that it’s not worth my time and dropped OS completely staying with XP. Needless to mention that unreliable search function it has...

     

    Now Win7 – still same concept if you do not have search helper associated with the filetype it will not be found. Is it so difficult to understand that since we are no longer following DOS style 8.3 filenames file can be named “at will” and can look like “its_time_for_MS_to_start_thinkimg.before_its_too_late”?

    Perfectly legitimate filename... I think now I have to go and develop new search helper for *. before_its_too_late files. Now what if application or script leaves track of logs with extensions like .0001, .0002, .0003, etc? What if you need to scan Server logs? What... What... ... ...

     

    Above story didn’t teach MS anything – they still cannot comprehend the fact that computers are used by the people who sometimes are more demanding (due to their professional or personal needs) then even MS staff. I just wonder how many of MS programmers are using MS Explorer Search to find piece of assembly code in their projects...

     

    I guess it’s enough. The only point which I want to make is: Microsoft, if you have re-invented the wheel, before making it available to the public, make sure it is round not square or triangle!  

     

     

    28 สิงหาคม 2553 14:52
  • You might want to try these instructions here. I found them useful when I ran to this 'search problem' created by Microsoft!

    http://computing-tips.net/Find_file_Windows_7/

    • แก้ไขโดย DatcoNet 10 กันยายน 2553 7:15 spellings
    6 กันยายน 2553 10:12
  • Nice of you to try to help, DatcoNet, but you'll find - sooner or later - that even if you get the syntax right Windows Search just doesn't work right.

    I sense this "Windows Search" BS is some kind of response to Apple's indexed search in OSX.  I don't know if the folks who use Macs can actually find everything they want - frankly I don't care.  Generally they're computer dummies and probably can't even tell. 

    What I *do* care about is actually being able to rely on my own Windows workstation's results.

    Nowadays I occasionally try to find partial filenames with Windows Search because the Search box is convenient.  About 2 out of 3 times I actually do find the file I'm looking for.  But about 1 out of 3 times I have to try another mechanism (e.g., grepWin) as Windows Search simply doesn't find the file - EVEN BY NAME - that I ultimately do find.

    Microsoft is now rumored to be delaying Windows 7 SP1 until early next year.  Can we hope upon hope that they are actually taking my advice above and are revamping Windows Search so that it actually works?

    I wonder if there's a way to get Steve Ballmer to read this thread...

    -Noel

    7 กันยายน 2553 17:19
  • Good points, Noel, especially the second one.

    I don't know why they aren't planning to release it until next year.  It seems to work fine.  But then it doesn't really fix any of these things.  It just collects a lot of updates and hotfixes and adds a few features.

    See:  Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Beta Q&A, and http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/ff384134.aspx.

    I just looked at the Notable Changes document.  The only significant fix for previous behaviour is to “Restore previous folders at logon”.

     

    7 กันยายน 2553 22:54
  • OK, the instructions at http://computing-tips.net/Find_file_Windows_7/ were actually helpful. I was unaware of the content: parameter. What is really frustrating is this is the first time I have encountered it. I have gone through lots of online help and Google searches, and this is the first time I knew of it.

    As far as I am concerned this is "secret knowledge" because this is the first I have heard of it. The GUI does nothing useful to lead you to this. One of the most important rules of User Interface Design is that fundamental features should be easy to discover, and this feature is anything but easy to discover.

    I tested the content: parameter and is seems to do what I need. But I still don't trust that it works correctly as this is the first time I've used it, and so many other things have gone wrong with search in Windows 7.

    Cheers, Eric

    10 กันยายน 2553 0:38
  • Nice of you to try to help, DatcoNet, but you'll find - sooner or later - that even if you get the syntax right Windows Search just doesn't work right.

    I sense this "Windows Search" BS is some kind of response to Apple's indexed search in OSX.  I don't know if the folks who use Macs can actually find everything they want - frankly I don't care.  Generally they're computer dummies and probably can't even tell. 

    What I *do* care about is actually being able to rely on my own Windows workstation's results.

    Nowadays I occasionally try to find partial filenames with Windows Search because the Search box is convenient.  About 2 out of 3 times I actually do find the file I'm looking for.  But about 1 out of 3 times I have to try another mechanism (e.g., grepWin) as Windows Search simply doesn't find the file - EVEN BY NAME - that I ultimately do find.

    Microsoft is now rumored to be delaying Windows 7 SP1 until early next year.  Can we hope upon hope that they are actually taking my advice above and are revamping Windows Search so that it actually works?

    I wonder if there's a way to get Steve Ballmer to read this thread...

    -Noel

    I totally agree with you Noel on this - something is definately wrong with Windows 7 in many aspects. Search does not work well - Its no where near perfect
    10 กันยายน 2553 7:11
  • Thats right Eric. I just started using Windows 7 the other day and I couldn't beleive that I could not actually search for a file in this OS! After googleing and asking friends, I was given that link and I was able to get somewhere. I don't find it easy in anyway. But guyz, from Windows XP to Windows 7? its like from Mansion to a shack!
    • แก้ไขโดย DatcoNet 10 กันยายน 2553 7:14 spellings
    10 กันยายน 2553 7:14
  • You might want to try these instructions here. I found them useful when I ran to this 'search problem' created by Microsoft!

    http://computing-tips.net/Find_file_Windows_7/


    This wildcard search is for XP 

    Miguel Fra / Falcon ITS
    Computer & Network Support, Miami, FL
    Visit our Knowledgebase Sharepoint Site

    11 กันยายน 2553 16:12
  • Actually Noel, you bring up a good point about OSX. I don't know a lot about MAC's and I have not used them extensively. However, I do notice that a lot of people that use MAC's don't know or care about what under the hood, they just use it. This "Dummification" of the OS has served Apple well, user are less likely to mess something up if they don't have access to it. Looks like Vista and Win 7 have restricted access to many files in an attempt to harden the OS, and it's worked. Hoever, the tech community may perceive it as a negative.

    XP gives you a lot more liberties and control over your hardware, the OS, files and programs that run on it. That price for freedom has given XP some grief because people and malware do make changes all the time to important files that are easily accessed and they later have no idea how it happened, how they got the viruses, why the o/s is unstable, etc;  they delete stuff, modify, nove and the result is a reformat.

    With that said, maybe MS couldconsider the next OS to be split into two versions: Consumer and Geek edition. This way, this way the OS is more accomodating to the technical level of the end user.

     


    Miguel Fra / Falcon ITS
    Computer & Network Support, Miami, FL
    Visit our Knowledgebase Sharepoint Site

    11 กันยายน 2553 19:52
  •  A QUICK TEST DRIVE OF THE BING! SEARCH ENGINE IS PROOF ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE THAT MICROSOFT DOES INDEED KNOW HOW TO "JUST SEARCH".   THE ISSUE HERE IS THAT IN THE FOLDER OPTIONS IN THE CONTROL PANEL, YOU HAVE NOT ELECTED TO SHOW ALL FILES, UNHIDE SYSTEM AND CRITICAL FILES, AND UNHIDE KNOWN FILE EXTENSIONS... SO SEARCH CANNOT "SEE" ALL OF THE FILES ON YOUR COMPUTER ANY MORE THAN YOU CAN.
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย NTauthority T.Welch 12 กันยายน 2553 8:25
    12 กันยายน 2553 8:25
  •  A QUICK TEST DRIVE OF THE BING! SEARCH ENGINE IS PROOF ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE THAT MICROSOFT DOES INDEED KNOW HOW TO "JUST SEARCH".   THE ISSUE HERE IS THAT IN THE FOLDER OPTIONS IN THE CONTROL PANEL, YOU HAVE NOT ELECTED TO SHOW ALL FILES, UNHIDE SYSTEM AND CRITICAL FILES, AND UNHIDE KNOWN FILE EXTENSIONS... SO SEARCH CANNOT "SEE" ALL OF THE FILES ON YOUR COMPUTER ANY MORE THAN YOU CAN.


    Wow, you got all that out of a quick test drive of a product completely unrelated to Windows Search.  Now actually drive WINDOWS SEARCH around the block, or better yet cross-country.  After the third time it leaves you stranded on a country road, you won't be quite so quick to discount the man-years of effort that have been wasted on this, as evidenced by all the posts above.

    I'm sure there are bright engineers at Microsoft who know how to search.  But Microsoft doesn't seem interested in providing a "search" function at all.  The real problem is that I don't think they really know what they want to provide.  Perhaps you're supposed to just think about a video you want to watch or music you want to hear, type in a few random characters, and it pops up some suggestions.  That's singularly unhelpful for people who want to unambiguously and definitively locate a particular piece (or pieces) of information with which to do real work.

    It's an operating system, not the internet.

    But the masses want to do nothing but play with their computers, and to them finding stuff on their computer is akin to finding stuff on the internet.  It's all just magic  to them anyway; they won't even know it doesn't work.

    I agree 150% with the suggestion above that there needs to be a real difference in the "home" and "professional" versions of Windows.  But it seems Microsoft just isn't up to providing us with that level of complexity.  I've always thought that the Microsoft employees, in having to use Windows to develop new versions of Windows, would keep it geeky enough to get work done.  But even that seems to be falling by the wayside.  Sadly, this probably says we can expect less and less from Windows in the future.

    -Noel

     

    P.S., I have to say that your apparent lack of mastery of a computer keyboard really doesn't evoke a sense of trust in what you're saying, NTAuthority.

    12 กันยายน 2553 17:16
  • Here's another example of a search problem. We have three things our our Start Menu with the word "update" in them:

    AD Update Tool
    Regional & District Plan Updates
    Update Telephone Details

    If I search, via the Start Menu for the word "update" I see the first two, but not the last one, even though it clearly starts with "update". If I search for "update t" I then I see the first item only. If I search for "update te" I finally see the missing item.

    Our users are forever logging calls saying things are missing from the Start Menu when all that's going on is that Windows is showing inconsistent or incorrect results...

     

     

    12 กันยายน 2553 22:58
  • Wow this is still being discussed? It's broken that should be the end of it. They should fix it.  I understand there are a lot of people who are shocked by all these "things" in these folders all over their computer and just want them to go away so they can find that Britney song they downloaded but had no idea what to do when that window popped up offering them a choice of folders to put Britney in so they closed their eyes and hit OK. I get that they're trying to get from point A to point B fast but it 'get's lost' way too often before arriving. I get that MS has probably been told by many timid newbies that options scare them but this very basic feature isn't working.

    One of the biggest problems is they left the non-timid users with very few options... very un-Microsoft-like.  If timid newbie can't find Britney they'll D/L it again. But if I want to see where a program installed a library because it put it in a place Win7 can't find it doesn't help to reinstall it.

    I could even live with the current situation if users were able to switch to a more thorough if slower search option. I would happily trade speed for thorough. And while the Start Menu search box was an interesting idea it doesn't work well as a search tool... again one box no options.

    Personally I think they should have split search into 2 separate apps. Keep the start menu box as an App Launcher. But that's it and all it does.

    Then have another fully functional and option packed search app with easy selectable options like "search non-indexed places", "Search hidden/system folders", "Search network drives" and let me set those options as my default so I don't have to select them every time but if I want to turn them off & on they're right there in the app window not buried in some preferences deep in the bowels of control panel.

    I don't know... maybe I'm talking crazy for wanting a fully functional search app... now where did I put Britney....

    22 กันยายน 2553 18:25
  • Rob!

    You had three things with the word Update in them and it found the first one.

    Just because it was being generous it even told you about a second one.  That was awfully nice of it!!

    But nooooo, you can't just be satisified with that - already clearly above and beyond the call of duty!  You want a THIRD one!

    Just be happy it found Update and use it already!  And if it doesn't update your telephone details, just run it again until it does.  What's the matter with you?

    Ever see the film Idiocracy?  Only problem is that it's not going to take until the year 2505 at this rate.

    -Noel

    23 กันยายน 2553 0:55
  • Noel, yes, silly me, I was actually expecting it to work :P
    24 กันยายน 2553 3:17
  • Here's that worked for me.

     

    1.  Open My Computer

    2.  Press 'Alt' to display menu

    3.  Tools -> Folder Options

    4.  Search Tab

    5.  Make sure "Always Search file names and content..."

     

    It probably doesn't use the index but atleast search works :)  

     

    Enjoy!

    2 ตุลาคม 2553 13:20
  • It's amazing how many people start out believing they have it working.

    -Noel

    3 ตุลาคม 2553 1:23
  • I see there is at least one complaint in the Office 2010 forums stating that Outlook 2010 is not finding text in indexed emails.

    Strange, that.

    6 ตุลาคม 2553 0:27
  • I see this thread has been going on for over a year.  Incredible!  I am a systems engineer, like many of the posters here, with more than 20 years experience, and I have been trying for two days to make sense of the search feature in Windows 7.

    All I want to do is find the file that contains a particular text string somewhere on my system.  The text string I'm looking for is a 16-digit hexadecimal error code, and I am certain this text string appears in only one file on my system.  But the file could be anywhere on my C drive, hidden and system files included.

    This should be a simple search, but it is practically impossible in Windows 7.  I tried a few test cases, looking for a text string in a few different file types.  I created these test files and their contents, so I know they exist, but Windows 7 cannot find them.  I tried adjusting many of the settings mentioned in this thread, but to no avail.  All of this is absolutely insane!  Everyone agrees that Windows XP had a nice, comprehensive search feature that everyone knew how to use, and most importantly, it worked!

    Rather than spend any more time trying to figure this out, I decided to look beyond Windows 7 for a solution.  I really don't like to use third party software if I can avoid it.  I know there are many other search utilities out there, but what I really need is good old Windows XP.

    I actually have a dual-boot setup, so I can boot Windows XP and perform my search, and then reboot into Windows 7 after I have my results.  But this is rather cumbersome and time-consuming, so I continued looking for an alternative.  Then I stumbled upon Windows Virtual PC, which allows me to run a virtual session in Windows XP Mode.  Here is the link:

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/

    To my surprise, the virtual XP window works great!  And I have the ability to use the Windows XP search feature without having to reboot.  The Windows Virtual PC seems to use very little resources and requires only 2gb of disk space to install.  Very cool!

    This is work-around to be sure, and does NOT address the actual problem in Windows 7 that Microsoft apparently wants to ignore.  But it should enable almost all of you to be on your way, using a search feature that simply works, which is the bottom line after all.  I hope this information helps some of you, especially those who have stuck with this thread for over a year.

    Cynthia H. in Florida

    20 พฤศจิกายน 2553 15:26
  • Hi Cynthia1444, I'm glad you got it working via XP but in my opinion, searching was broken in XP, too. This has been a very long and hard struggle and it didn't start with Windows 7.

    22 พฤศจิกายน 2553 1:13
  • Actually Noel, you bring up a good point about OSX. I don't know a lot about MAC's and I have not used them extensively. However, I do notice that a lot of people that use MAC's don't know or care about what under the hood, they just use it. This "Dummification" of the OS has served Apple well, user are less likely to mess something up if they don't have access to it. Looks like Vista and Win 7 have restricted access to many files in an attempt to harden the OS, and it's worked. Hoever, the tech community may perceive it as a negative.

    XP gives you a lot more liberties and control over your hardware, the OS, files and programs that run on it. That price for freedom has given XP some grief because people and malware do make changes all the time to important files that are easily accessed and they later have no idea how it happened, how they got the viruses, why the o/s is unstable, etc;  they delete stuff, modify, nove and the result is a reformat.

    With that said, maybe MS couldconsider the next OS to be split into two versions: Consumer and Geek edition. This way, this way the OS is more accomodating to the technical level of the end user.

     

     


     

    Miguel Fra / Falcon ITS
    Computer & Network Support , Miami, FL
    Visit our Knowledgebase Sharepoint Site

    I realize that this is a Windows-centric forum, so I'll try not to sound too Pro-Mac, but I can tell you that Spotlight Search on OS X just works.  It can be either very simple or very complex.  Prior to Spotlight, searching for files on OS X was tedious at best.  I used GREP in the Terminal to do searches.  Spotlight is an impressive bit of code.  I make my living supporting users in a Windows only environment, but I have to wonder how much more productive they'd be in some areas if we switched to OS X or Ubuntu.  I personally think that things have been going downhill for Microsoft since W2k SP4.  I do think that quite a few pro-Windows people are still thinking of the Mac OS as pre-OS X, which was impressive in 1984, but a bit dated by 1998.  I believe that most Mac OS X users are at the extreme ends of experience levels - either the super-uber-smart techies or the dumb-as-a-stump users.  Windows users are more evenly distributed.  The OS X techies LOVE UNIX and the dumb-as-a-stump users can't even spell 'UNIX' but they don't need to because OS X fixes it for them.
    7 ธันวาคม 2553 18:38
  • @Falcon, you seem to make the assumption that OS X has been "dummified" and is consequently "dumb," or that maybe OS X users are perhaps "dumb." You further seem to imply that because they do not know or care about what's under the hood, that makes them dumb.

    Another perspective could be that because they are more interested in getting their work done, actually being productive, and not messing around under the hood means they are actually smart. I mean, if your job required that you use your car every day, would you deliberately buy a car that requires you to mess around under the hood on a regular basis?

    On your other point "Looks like Vista and Win 7 have restricted access to many files in an attempt to harden the OS, and it's worked." You don't seem to offer any empirical evidence that Vista and Windows 7 are any more secure than OS X. Furthermore, I cannot see any persuasive argument for how making "search" worse makes security better. After all, search is about "finding" files, not changing them. I can't imagine how malware can compromise system security because of the search API, unless Microsoft have done something incredibly stupid in the API.

    On the issue of making the OS more accommodating to the technical level of the end user - I assure you I have been writing software for almost 40 years, I'm extremely knowledgeable about operating systems and user interfaces - and I still can't figure out how to get search to work for me in Windows 7 - which is the reason I started this discussion.

    I don't use OS X that often, but I certainly respect people's reasons for choosing to use it.


    Eric Kolotyluk - software developer, music DJ, swing dancer
    8 ธันวาคม 2553 3:22
  • would you deliberately buy a car that requires you to mess around under the hood on a regular basis?

    A computer cannot be likened to a car.  It might be more apt to compare it to the realm of all vehicles.  Some are for off-road use, some are for racing, some are for commuting, etc.

    As one quite interested in getting work done myself, I expect both my car and my computer to just work.

    Now, with more than a year's experience with Windows 7 I can say that I have been able to successfully "mess around under the hood" with Windows 7 and tweak it to be the system I NEED to be able to get a LOT of work done with virtually no fuss.  And I don't need to "mess around under the hood" regularly.  This has arguably been my most productive and least troublesome year in computing ever - save for maybe the good ol' days before PCs entirely.

    In the case of searching, I've been able to find tools - notably FREE ones - that do exactly what I need.  They're even fairly well integrated - though not as completely so as the Windows Search box on every Explorer window.  So at this point the fact that Windows Search is garbage is pretty much moot.  I've learned to work around it.

    I think what concerns me most about Windows isn't that there are parts - e.g., Explorer in general - that are done extremely poorly.  It's that the realm of these things seems to be expanding - a very bad trend to be sure.  Thankfully, the kernel of Windows is still solid, and there are still a lot of really great things about it.

    What we must do is not allow Microsoft to "get away with" making more and more of these great things into mediocre things, as they have done with Windows Search.

    -Noel

    19 ธันวาคม 2553 20:00
  • What we must do is not allow Microsoft to "get away with" making more and more of these great things into mediocre things, as they have done with Windows Search.

    -Noel

    I whole-heartily agree with Noel on this point. Unfortunately I have found no way to get Microsoft's attention on the big things. Sure I can point out little bugs and annoying quirks to them, and they have replied to me and even fixed some of the little things.

    But for the big things like search, there seems to be no vehicle to engage Microsoft - they are deaf, dumb and blind.

    When I first started investigating this problem I was amused to find someone had already started a forum discussion on this very topic, but that the discussion had been closed. Consequently I started a new discussion with the same title, and appended "- continued." I had hope that perhaps someone in Microsoft might monitor some of these forum discussion and maybe interject some interesting insight into this one, but that has clearly not happened.

    However, the feedback in this discussion has gone far beyond my wildest dreams, and I am simply amazed at some of the dialog I have read here. Clearly I am not imagining that there are problems with Windows Search and I do not feel so alone anymore that it is simply my incompetence in dealing with Windows.


    Eric Kolotyluk - software developer, music DJ, swing dancer
    19 ธันวาคม 2553 20:49
  • I think keeping threads like this one alive is about as big an engagement with Microsoft as we can wage. 

    23,796 views by the public, on their own forum, should concern them.

    They might feel as though Windows 7 IS successful, but I hear XP is still running on more computers than Windows 7.  That might not have been the case if Microsoft had done a better job with things like Explorer and Windows Search. 

    I remember way back when we found, with the then-new XP, that we could actually expect really big operations (like copies of massive sets of files or searches across a network) to complete successfully, and we could trust the results.  That opened up a whole new realm of computing and pushed productivity up.  There are reasons corporate IT organizations aren't moving wholesale to Windows 7.

    -Noel

    20 ธันวาคม 2553 14:35
  • @Falcon, you seem to ... imply that because they do not know or care about what's under the hood, that makes them dumb.

     

    .. offer any empirical evidence that Vista and Windows 7 are any more secure than OS X.

    Please do not intepret it this way, this is not at all what I meant and I apologize to anybody who may have taken it wrongly. By dummification, I mean "simplified", which is probably a term I should have used instead. The simplification process make make things easier and/or more secure at the expense of eliminating technical gadgetry.


    Miguel Fra / Falcon ITS
    Computer & Network Support, Miami, FL
    Visit our Knowledgebase Sharepoint Site

    21 ธันวาคม 2553 3:43
  • @Falcon, 

     You don't seem to offer any empirical evidence that Vista and Windows 7 are any more secure than OS X.


    Eric Kolotyluk - software developer, music DJ, swing dancer


    Vista and 7 are more secure than XP, without a doubt. From the bulletins I receive from CERT, I see that OSX, WIN and Unix all have what appear to be equal number of vulnarabilities. Apps like Flash, Acrobat, Firefox, etc. also all have flaws. Security  policy has to strike a balance between functionality and and the level of security you want to achieve and it must be done based on the needs of the user.

    Miguel Fra / Falcon ITS
    Computer & Network Support, Miami, FL
    Visit our Knowledgebase Sharepoint Site

    21 ธันวาคม 2553 3:52
  • @Falcon, 

    Furthermore, I cannot see any persuasive argument for how making "search" worse makes security better. After all, search is about "finding" files, not changing them. I can't imagine how malware can compromise system security because of the search API, unless Microsoft have done something incredibly stupid in the API.

    Eric,

    I don't know the answer. I do know that Search will not search for (or omit) certain types of file extensions (this is by design). It's may also be possible that certain files are not viewable by the search service because those files may have special permissions or be located in a folder that the search service cannot crawl due to permissions. That's how security can affect search. But again, I have not done extensive research on this so I can only make guesses such as the ones stated above.

    I am not disagreeing with you guys. As developers you have justified reasons to prefer a classic search over search 4.0. On the other hand, the same people harping on and on about the subject makes this post seem like a hatefest and lowers its ability to raise the right eyebrows and be taken as serious, objective, professional feedback.


    Miguel Fra / Falcon ITS
    Computer & Network Support, Miami, FL
    Visit our Knowledgebase Sharepoint Site

    21 ธันวาคม 2553 4:03
  • For anyone like me who stumbles across this thread, and is disheartened to see so many others having problems with Windows 7 search and no remedy in sight, just download Agent Ransack (http://www.mythicsoft.com/agentransack) and all your troubles will go away.

    Agent Ransack is a fantastic search utility. It's free, easy to use, and most importantly (unlike Windows 7 search) it just works.

    No one else has mentioned it on this thread so I thought some others might find it useful.

    25 ธันวาคม 2553 10:37
  • the same people harping on and on about the subject makes this post seem like a hatefest and lowers its ability to raise the right eyebrows and be taken as serious, objective, professional feedback.

    I'll assume you're talking about me for one.

    This abomination of a feature needs to be harped upon.

    Anything less is akin to agreeing with the rest of the sheep about "the Emporer's new clothes".

    -Noel

    28 ธันวาคม 2553 5:38
  • For anyone like me who stumbles across this thread, and is disheartened to see so many others having problems with Windows 7 search and no remedy in sight, just download Agent Ransack (http://www.mythicsoft.com/agentransack) and all your troubles will go away.

    Agent Ransack is a fantastic search utility. It's free, easy to use, and most importantly (unlike Windows 7 search) it just works.

    No one else has mentioned it on this thread so I thought some others might find it useful.


    DAVE!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!

    After turning on Windows Service I still cannot search file contents. How in the world something so easy should be such a struggle?

    The link you posted was perfect. The app installed in seconds, and I found the contents in the files I was looking for.  Now I am going to uninstall the Windows 2008 R2 worthless search service.

    8 มกราคม 2554 11:47
  • Hi, I've been struggling with the Windows 7 Search option and I've found the following thing, you can tell me if this helps:

    I would like to find the string "Autocad" in plain text files in my Documents folder.

    I do a search for "cad" instead of "Autocad" - because I am lazy..

    The search engine gives me things like "...dans le cadre de...", "...Logiciel: Cadarp...", but there is no hint of "Autocad" anywhere.

    It seems that the search engine is looking for something like this [^a-z]cad.

    I created a text file with this line: "auto_cad autocad auto\cad". When I search for "cad" I have two hits in my file (first and third auto*cad).

    Anyone has an idea how to fix this?

    Thanks,

    Eric

    11 มกราคม 2554 6:16
  • i cannot express my anger with microsoft at the continuing degradation of previously boilerplate functions. How on earth in the year 2011 can microsoft's operating system have such a bad search situation. dont TELL me about libraries and the convoluted setup. Tell me why microsoft cannot get something as basic as search to work.

    How can the biggest software company of them all, (by far) continue to put out such bad products? from the pc to the phone, everything they make is a wet kiss to corporations and a middle finger to consumers. i just bought my first mac and im not in love with it either, but at least i can find things.

    17 มกราคม 2554 16:48
  • i just downloaded agent ransack in between these messages and it works GREAT.  That i have to go outside the OS to find something which should be so basic is infuriating. and MS wonders why people are so angrywith it as a corporation.

    and there we have the problem with microsoft- the actual people who buy the actual products dont quickly forget such abuses. i dont care if they put outthe second coming of jesus himself in the next product cycle, as far as i can tell they cant even handle a good search, why would i take the chance? one more consumer utterly done with microsoft.

    17 มกราคม 2554 16:52
  • Wow, this thead was started in October 2009 and no answer to the file content search problem

    I have the same issue with Windows 2008 R2, just wondering if anyone does have this working?

    My Windows 7 desktop does search inside the contents fine however.

    I prefer not to use a tool like ransack, as it adds to training and support matters.

    16 กุมภาพันธ์ 2554 21:13
  • Hi,

    I have enabled in Windows 2008 R2 the "Windows Search Service" Role, now i am able to search inside contents of a file.

    So open Server Manager -> Roles -> Add Roles ->Windows Search Service


    After the installation, create a test document and type some text into a document.

    In a windows explorer folder, type in the search box "content:Example"

    This should have the search result with your test document

    So now i can search in file content

    cheers

    17 กุมภาพันธ์ 2554 1:39
  • Ian, have you also tried searching various folders in the file system. For example, I find that often search will not find results for files and folders in the C:\Program Files folder, or other system folders - even when I used content:

    Cheers, Eric


    Eric Kolotyluk - software developer, music DJ, swing dancer
    17 กุมภาพันธ์ 2554 2:03
  • Iv placed a txt file with content inside C:\Program Files\Citrix

    Then did a search under C:\Program Files\ and it returned the result.

    I did the search with and without the "Include system directories" tickbox, both worked

    fortunately for me, our users wont be searching system file folders

     

    17 กุมภาพันธ์ 2554 2:33
  • Cool!

    That did not work for me.

    I wonder if it has anything to do with the difference between Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 7 Ultimate?

    Cheers, Eric


    Eric Kolotyluk - software developer, music DJ, swing dancer
    17 กุมภาพันธ์ 2554 3:08
  • I cannot speak to Windows Search in WinServer 2008 R2 but I can share that I another user suffering from the inability of Win7 Search to find documents containing specified contents. I can say today that I noticed that after rebuilding my search index yet again that as soon as I opened a Word document, the Item Indexed count increased by one and that the contents of that file would then be accessable by Windows Search.

    So is one of the possible issues to a better Windows Search experiance simply finding the solution to make indexing do what it needs to do for exisitng files without having to open them?

     

    25 กุมภาพันธ์ 2554 0:57
  • Have you tried disabling indexing altogether?  That does seem to increase the probability that Windows Search will find something that exists, but that probability still doesn't seem to be approaching anywhere near 100%.

    When I want to be sure I use a 3rd party search tool.

    -Noel

    25 กุมภาพันธ์ 2554 3:20
  • My answer was to go to Control Panel > Programs and Features > Turn Windows Features On or Off > [x] Indexing Service, [ ] Windows Search > Restart.

    Windows 7 was Microsoft's last chance to win me back as a customer. But the day I realized I had to engage in a long series of hacks to get basic searching to work was the day I realized it was time to switch to something, ANYTHING, other than Windows.

    8 มีนาคม 2554 5:39
  • I had to engage in a long series of hacks to get basic searching to work

    And that's even a misnomer, because you never actually did get basic searching to work.

    But don't give up on Windows.  There are free 3rd party search tools that are scary good.

    -Noel

    8 มีนาคม 2554 18:42
  • I just love that this thread is still so popular...

    ...just the other day I was searching some aspx files on 2008 R2 and "computer said no"

    8 มีนาคม 2554 19:08
  • Alright Guys i have the answer! after trawling the internet i found a solution,  run "regedit"  then navigate to Computer/Hkey_currentuser/software/microsoft/windows/currentversion/explorer/advanced then go to Start_searchfiles, then double click and change the value to 1.  this instantly fixed the problem :)
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย BabaBebop 16 มีนาคม 2554 19:59
    9 มีนาคม 2554 4:22
  • Microsoft:

    Fix Windows Search by throwing it out and redesigning it. 

    Buy Stefan's grepWin or something that actually works and start over with that.

    Do it.

    Delay Windows 7 SP1 if you have to but DO IT!

    -Noel


    Wow thank you guys for keeping after MS on this, I was just trying to search a term I know I have in several Excel files, with no results. I went troubleshoot search and indexing under he cont panel Indexing options. Checked the "Files do not appear in search results" option and got "The troubleshooting couldn't identify the problem" So I guess I don't have one ??? Strange how MS only replied to this thread one time, what piece of software do we need to buy from them to get search to work again??? I will go try the grepWin  see if that works for me. Keep after them guys!!!

    Tom

     

    13 มีนาคม 2554 12:43
  • Microsoft could of easily responded and posted a soultion but of course they didn't. I just figured out an actual working solution.

    For Windows 7

    Tools

    Folder options

    Search

    What to search = Check the second box

    How to search = Check all four boxes

    Optional

    Check all 2 boxes for zip and what not .

    After stressing out over this bs i actually got files to show up imagine that, i am actually happy over somthing i could do so easily in windows 95.  Almost what 10-13 years later we get stoneaged because of greedy people at microsoft makeing things more difficult so you can use there tech support line.

    But yea this solution was easy hope this helps other people with the same problem.

    14 มีนาคม 2554 17:30
  • It doesn't matter what options you select, it will never work reliably. Just yesterday I was searching for *.png and the results were found. Later, in the same explorer window, it kept saying nothing was found. I had to close that window and open a new one on the same location and suddenly all the files were found again.

    And, as I keep saying, I've not trusted Windows to search for anything (especially file contents) since sometime during the life of XP, so this is nothing new.

    14 มีนาคม 2554 18:26
  • It might also depend on what patch you have to, it seems to work for me before it wasn't finding anything atleast now it appears to work.
    14 มีนาคม 2554 18:48
  • I would have to agree with this post. I would much rather have more control over how and where my searching is taking place. I am familiar with the operation of a computer and have used the search feature in previous versions of windows (98, 2000 and XP) and found them quite sufficient. The new search seems to cripple the user's ability to refine a search.
    16 มีนาคม 2554 2:48
  • I couldn't agree with you more.  I have spent HOURS wasted of my life trying to figure this out.  I even went so far as to paste and copy the "advanced search criteria" into my onenote only to come to the same conclusion... it shouldn't work like that and it should work in the search field when I hit the windows key... NOT after I run a windows-F search.  How the F did Microsoft mess up what is supposed to be the simplest thing.  Macs and the SW I use called "Everything" do it right, but I don't like having to do an extra step to do what should be the most basic thing in Windows 7.  Shows what happens at some large companies when the folks at the top (marketing and heads of engineering) can't figure out the most basic product requirements.  SO FRUSTRATING I could pull my hair out.  I really can't wait till the mobile ecosystem renders the old windows useless.  Too many years of my life wasted dealing with windows... forced to use it at work.  I pray the folks who did the x-box can take over at Microsoft - they seem to be the only one who know what's going on.. and weren't they an acquisition?

    16 มีนาคม 2554 12:12
  • Did anyone try this too with luck? :  I had to search for the same key name as it wasn't in that directory.

    http://www.overclock.net/windows/671193-broken-windows-7-search-bar-fix.html

    16 มีนาคม 2554 12:35
  • The only way to solve all Win7 search problems is to use a third-party search...
    This page contains a list of third-party software, and some information videos:

    http://www.facefoot.se

    I've migrated to Win7 a couple of months ago, and after many hours of struggle with the Win7 search i gave up and installed a third-party search instead.


    17 มีนาคม 2554 23:40
  • I have read thru this thread with much interest. I also have spent time reading other threads and related matter from other sites. I have some interest since I am spending some time developing a little app that uses the WindowsSearch API 4.0 as a base. Fortunately it is a hobby app rather than something with wider distribution. For me, WinSearch actually works - to the limits discussed below.
    Given all that, I can contribute a bit to this thread.

    1. For content searching, there must be a "PersistentHandler" defined in the registry for the file types of interest. This problem goes back to XP - SP2 I believe. I understand the reason, but still... I recall getting a little script that allowed me to assign the "plain-text" handler to all those many file types that I wanted in the index that did not have one assigned by default. I have not had to use that script in Win7 or Vista since MS fixed the lack for those file types of interest to me. Of course I do not name my logfiles Log.000, Log.001 ... any more. At least on my Win7 Ultimate, .log does have a persistenthandler - the "plain-text" one.
      
    2. The Content Indexer has some quirks. It includes NO punctuation - a problem when looking for "C:\" for example. It will find "C:\Temp", but that is because it is really indexing "C  Temp".
    The Index does not support searching for "*cad". It will support "Auto*". In fact, you do not need the wildcard for suffixes, which is the only place it allows them ... "Auto" works just fine to find "AutoCad".
    The plain text scanner is stupid about line breaks. Given a .txt file containing the string "Twenty-crlfFive, it will find only the Twenty when given a search for Twenty-Five. Note that the "-" is not indexed and crlf seems to be treated as one or two spaces. What lives in the Index is "Twenty  Five" note the two (three?) spaces between the two words.

    3. This prefix type of search extends beyond Content. Try searching C:\ for notepad.exe. At least it finds the real one first. Probably uses the PATH in a somewhat intelligent way.

    4. The WinExplorer search box's biggest flaw is that you have to use AQS to limit the meaning of what you type. Just typing "notepad" will also find all text files which contain the text "notepad". Vista at least had the Advanced dialog box to specify that what you really wanted was files named "notepad" This is not helped by the near total lack of documentation on how to specify that constraint.

    5. I suspect that any Search utility, including WinSearch, will not index the full content of very large plaintext files. With most, if you dig a bit, you will find some cut off point. I believe I read that WinSeach does the first 10KB. Others will go to 1MB. Of course if there is a smart PersistentHandler, the content of very large data files can also be content indexed - mp3s for example - WinSearch does that, I don't know about the others.
    6. From this thread, some version of McAfee broke the index. I do not know if this has been fixed, and, at least some people might not know to rebuild the index once it is broken.

    For the average "home user", WinSearch is pretty much OK - unless they had McAfee installed or unless they had old Word files for which there wasn't a smart enough PersistentHandler.
    For the technically savvy person there is very little good documentation available showing how to tune it up for your needs.
    Lingering question: If you have not unchecked the "Hide known extensions" box will the Indexer even see the extensions?

    18 มีนาคม 2554 4:18
  • That's very good information, Hardway.  Thankfully you haven't hit index corruption yet.

    Unfortunately, most of the things you listed in your numbered paragraphs make Windows Search something completely different entirely than a Search, and THAT is the root of the problem here.

    I know this new millenium is the time of people mangling up the English language (my son used "ZA" in scrabble the other day and survived the challenge), but Microsoft simply does not get to redefine what "Search" means into this piece of mush.  There is still need for a REAL search!  Thankfully 3rd parties have responded with very good tools.

    Details matter!

    Windows Search strikes me as someone's pet project in Microsoft to counter the Google Desktop search, which was also a nightmare (but for other reasons).  How is it no one in management even thought to ask the question "Should we be doing this?"

    With your knowledge of the API, would it be possible to create an entirely new 3rd party piece of software to the search box in Explorer?  I'll bet something like that could sell millions of copies.

    -Noel

    18 มีนาคม 2554 11:14
  • For solving this problem, you can refer to this article:

    http://www.cnblogs.com/CCJVL/archive/2011/03/24/1993815.html

    24 มีนาคม 2554 8:32
  • With your knowledge of the API, would it be possible to create an entirely new 3rd party piece of software to the search box in Explorer?  I'll bet something like that could sell millions of copies.


    I'd buy it, I don't want to use 3rd party tools, I just want to type into the search box in Explorer and have it 100% reliably show me the results, and if it says "no reuslts" I want to be able to trust it.

    Windows 7 Search is a total joke and it's exactly the same on Server 2008 R2 as well.

    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Elvis Godzilla 30 มีนาคม 2554 16:40
    • ยกเลิกการนำเสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Elvis Godzilla 30 มีนาคม 2554 16:41
    29 มีนาคม 2554 19:24
  • I don't read Chinese...
    30 มีนาคม 2554 17:05
  • Tragically I almost broke my computer with the "Unchecking" "Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed...", but I cancelled it.

    In a pinch I use good old Norton File Manager v.95.0.b!  It is even faster than the old Windows XP Pro "Search Companion" puppy in advanced mode.

    Dear Microsoft,

      Please bring back the puppy "Search Compananion".

    T.y.

    30 มีนาคม 2554 17:09
    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Elvis Godzilla 30 มีนาคม 2554 17:34
    30 มีนาคม 2554 17:27
  • I

     

    I could not agree more.  the current windows search functionality is worse than none.  It fails to find files that I know are there, and randomly returns a single program file when what I am trying search for is content in data files, or returns no hits for content I know exists. 

    I an entirely uninterested in learning MSFT's search query syntax. Everyone else seems to be able to make searches work.  Now you've taken away the old explorer window, and if i try to open two windows with the same folder, you;ve decided I just want to see the old one. making manual searches or comparisons harder too.  Thanks.

      A further agree with a poster down further, it;s been broken since XP, the old puppy dog things, as stupid looking as it looked, at least worked with a degree of predictability and reliability that continues to elude Microsoft.

     

     

    13 พฤษภาคม 2554 16:02
  • You have threee pages of material on how to search.  How big is the google search manual?  oh yeah, there ISN"T one.  guess who wins? 
    13 พฤษภาคม 2554 16:03
  • OK, first off I am not anywhere as tech savvy as most of you but still after reading all this and many other forums on "Windows 7 search - does not return file contents - continued"...

    I have this exact issue like everyone else. My question is this:

    I have 2 machines, one with Windows 7 Professional, the other (just purchased) Windows 7 Home Premium.

    OK, my "Professional" has the above stated issue. It will find contents of lets say the older Excel file .xls of any file I have but will not find the contents of the newer Excel files .xlsx

    On my Home Premium Machine the "search" will find the contents of everything, both file types???


    All "Folder Options" settings on both machines are identical default settings:

    -What to Search: top box checked

    -How to Search: top 2 boxes checked

    -When searching non-indexed locations: top box checked

     

    So one machine works perfect, the other does not?...

    I am not expecting an answer except why one works and the other does not? Same files, same everything on both machines???

    It can't be that big of a fix?

     

    Microsoft or anybody, please, have an easy fix for all this...

     

    4 มิถุนายน 2554 20:30
  •  

    (I tried searching for old tax files in Win7, found this thread. I wrote the essay below last week for other(many) reasons. It's all of a piece,  folks) 

    f Microsoft were run by people secretly trying to ruin it these last 10 years, how would they have behaved?

    Imagine they’re in the pay of Apple, but they cant just outright kill the firm; what to do?

    Abandon the most popular (and productive) programming language in the world, VB6, for a frustrating monstrosity, VB.NET, and tell the world its object oriented progress; after all OO is the fad of the moment. Ignore tens of thousands of users signing petitions pleading with you not to do it. When its clear years later VB.NET is a failure don’t bother to re-support VB6.

    Ship a bloated, slow, buggy, operating system with a bit of flash; pretend you’re trying to compete with the Macintosh GUI.  When it fails release it again with a new name. No one can work productively with them; users look to Apple and Linux; you’re succeeding.

    Take the most well known office software in the world and rip out its menus, replacing them with cartoons. Don’t give users a choice to turn on the menus they know by heart. Produce a “help” system for your software that reads like white papers, never answering functional needs. Leave that up to forums and 3<sup style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px;">rd</sup> party help sites.

    Build a phone OS that’s buggy and needs to be rebooted constantly. After you’ve lost too much market share to compete, waste money by doing it again.

    Instead of making your core products better, waste more money and prestige by competing in markets you can’t succeed in. Put out a music player to compete with Apple’s.  Put out a web oriented animation system to compete with Flash. Put out a web design tool to compete with Dreamweaver. Of course they all fail; good job.

    Manufacture all software to appear to work, so that casual users and investment  analysts think you’ve turned the corner, but make sure that deeper flaws stop professionals from being able to work with the products. Never responsibly admit to these flaws (which would document the problems and help users) ; the general public and your defenders will think you’re worried over liability. Users will waste days trying to get apps to work. Eventually no professional will touch your new products.

    Ruin the productivity of the sole remaining desktop database, Access,  with pointless changes to an efficient  design / menu system in place for years; pretend you’re trying to appeal to a wider audience. Buy out its only competitor and then cease supporting it.

    Pretend you’re competing on the web. Ship the most mediocre browsers you can. Make your web portal look like a cheap Sunday ad circular. With great fanfare and expense launch a search engine, but make sure at first it has very limited page returns.

    Offer a free trial of  your flagship database server to encourage market share, but keep the install bugs that have been known of for  two and a half years; this will discourage the majority of potential adopters. Don’t even draw attention to the solution; this will create days of lost time as people hunt around Google for the answer. Keep the install time at half a day.(don’t tell your users MYSQL downloads and  installs in 20 minutes)   Make the ODBC connectivity process a frustrating PITA. Don’t tell anyone it’s easier to connect Access to a MYSQL backend than to SQL Server. Design the backup and recover processes to be overly complex to the point of dysfunctional.

    Hope most users never hear of or see the engineering beauty and efficiency  of  Ubuntu LINUX

    Buy last years hot VoIP firm at many times its market value.

    For 10 years I shook my head, trying to understand; stupidity? Incompetence? Hubris? Incredible management failure protected by the Windows income stream ?  A complete lack of concern for user productivity ? All of them together?

    I then came onto Windows 7 (Version 6.1.7600; how odd) explorer and I wanted to move up one directory; of course the interface had been altered so the functions were all hidden and  the brand recognition elements  that had been there for years and that other firms die for were missing; it was typically frustrating but I hunted around for it.  Like the gas cap release lever on a foreign car, it was there somewhere. Somewhere.  No, it wasn’t.

    This astonishing absence led me, eventually,  to this realization; MS is not being run by fools; it’s being run by people who are trying, and succeeding, at something.

    Am I kidding ?   Have I read too much Jonathan Swift ? Remember Occam’s Razor; let yourself take the idea seriously for a moment and think about it…really, what else could explain it  all?

    Arthur Heyman

    http://networkscc.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/if-microsoft-were-run-by-people-trying-to-ruin-it/

     

    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Brian Borg 7 มิถุนายน 2554 3:08
    7 มิถุนายน 2554 2:50
  • Unfortunately, they're making billions of dollars, so "ruin" isn't exactly the right word.

    -Noel

    7 มิถุนายน 2554 19:39
  • Hello,

    No, I don't think there is a great conspiracy. I think that clever minds are opting for other employers that foster a better corporate culture for their bright, creative minds. MS has to look past degrees and pedigrees and think outside the box. One employer famously posted a job ad by displaying a complex, linear equation on a billboard in silicon valley and asked anybody who knew the answer to call a phone number. Surprise! It was Google looking for bright, creative, inquisitive minds. If the internal culture adapts, MS could become the innovators rather than the copycats.

    Also, MS is not incompetent. They make a LOT of very good software. When you make so many diverse product, not every one can be a best of breed. Also, they have the lion's share of the market and are very good at protecting it. I do think they need to begin looking at adapting in order to keep up with newer business models.

    Also, as the cloud will chip away at it's core products, MS should educate end users about the benefits of the distributed computing model. After all, thanks to MS and others, the distributed model allowed small businesses to afford servers and networks. People forget that prior to that, you had to cough up a lot of money to buy a mainframe or a mini. The cloud is just a reversal back to the good old mainframe days where data and apps were centralized and people used dumb terminals. Ha! you were locked in to vendors and paid recurring fees up the wazoo. Once cloud operators get you locked in and the market is ripe, expect the same.

     



    Miguel Fra / Falcon IT Services
    Computer & Network Support, Miami, FL
    Visit our Knowledgebase and Support Sharepoint Site





    8 มิถุนายน 2554 13:47
  •  Tools -> Folder Option -> Search Tab does not do crap!   But I do have a Registry Key that fixes all your problems:

    Go to Reg key: "HKLKM\SOFTWARE\CurrentControlset\Control\youare\notactually\readingthis\areyou\"  And update the key called "ThisIsWhatYouGetWhenYouOutSourceJobs!!!"  and restart your computer and it should work fine now ;)  Cheers

    Good luck!

     

     

    9 มิถุนายน 2554 10:11
  • Go to Reg key: "HKLKM\SOFTWARE\CurrentControlset\Control\youare\notactually\readingthis\areyou\"  And update the key called "ThisIsWhatYouGetWhenYouOutSourceJobs!!!"  and restart your computer and it should work fine now ;)  Cheers

    Good luck!

    It doesn't work.
    LOL :-P 

    --
    Elwood
    AmigaOS 4.1 user
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AmigaOS_4
    19 กรกฎาคม 2554 17:11
  • This worked for me.

     

    From a folder window in Windows 7:

     

    Tools -> Folder options -> Search tab, click the checkbox "Don't use index when searcing...."

     

    This actually forces Windows to do a search.

    21 กรกฎาคม 2554 17:38
  • This is really ridiculous. A huge operating system such as Windows 7 is not capable of doing a simple search.  I use searching file contents a lot in programming to find function definitions and stuffs, but now Win 7 cannot do that!! What amazes me more is that after this long time since this issue was reported, they haven't done anything to fix it!

     

    Anyone who can come up with a solution for this deserves a noble prize.

     

    For the moment, the best third-party search tool that I have found is AstroGrep! Has a very simple design with great features, and does the job perfectly.

     

     


    5 สิงหาคม 2554 13:38
  • Still doesn't work with Service Pack 1, either. Can't trust it. Won't trust it. Don't trust it.
    7 สิงหาคม 2554 20:03
  • What's scary is that it appears to be working "as designed", which says BAD things about Microsoft's ability and desire to design good software, not to mention probably explains why Windows Search doesn't get any better in new versions.  :(

    It's one thing to have software that's reasonably designed but just not delivering proper results - that's a BUG.  What's happened with Windows Search is MUCH WORSE, sadly...  It's scary to think there are managers and development teams somewhere in Microsoft who are patting themselves on the back and thinking "we did a good job on that".

    I have a growing suspicion that people in the software industry are more and more thinking that the kind of crap being done in a Google-style "fuzzy" web search is being viewed as proper and sufficient for the future of computer searching.  Now, to further muddy the ability to differentiate between the two, the marketing folks have stepped in to blur the distinction ("to the cloud!").  This is NOT a good trend.

    Marketing people really need to be kept away from software design.

    All software designers need to realize that the ultimate result of not demanding 100% accurate results from computer operations is that someday you'll press the pedals or turn the steering wheel of your car and it will just do something different and drive you off a cliff - or worse.  THAT's going to be a lot of fun.  NOT.

    -Noel

    7 สิงหาคม 2554 20:26
  • Marketing people really need to be kept away from software design.

    That probably explains the disaster that is Internet Explorer 9 and why I can't make my Inbox, Drafts, Sent Items and Deleted Items in Outlook 2010 appear with the rest of my folders :P
    7 สิงหาคม 2554 21:43
  • I started this discussion back in 2009-10-28 because I was having problems and was looking for answers, and someone locked the original discussion that someone else started.

    I have since given up being active in this discussion because I realize there are no solutions except to install a third party search tool that 'just works'

    I still continue to read other people's contributions because so many of them are so amusing, and I can also relate to pain, frustration and incredulity that many of you have expressed. I have often held back what I really think of Microsoft, because being that blunt seems inappropriate when Microsoft is hosing this discussion.

    I really wish there were some other forum somewhere were we could really say what we feel about Microsoft - and commiserate, but I have not found that place yet.

    Cheers, Eric 


    Eric Kolotyluk - software developer, music DJ, swing dancer
    7 สิงหาคม 2554 23:11
  • All hail Sir Eric, creator of The Thread :P

    Actually, I'm surprised they haven't locked this one, they've locked or deleted many others that slag off their attempt at a search engine. Probably they know we'll just keep starting new ones and this one is so old now that people are less likely to see it...

    7 สิงหาคม 2554 23:30
  • Ha ha ha ha

    Why am I thinking of Men in Black :-)


    Eric Kolotyluk - software developer, music DJ, swing dancer
    8 สิงหาคม 2554 3:36
  • Yes, thank you Eric for seeding the ground for all the comments here.

    I for one see no problem in telling it like it is here...

    I'm not normally too critical - generally I try to find usable workarounds to system problems rather than rant, and of course I've found such workarounds to Windows Search - but this particular issue bothers me particularly greatly because Microsoft (and Google) seem to be actually trying to change the definition of the term "Search".  If they succeed, we're basically screwed!

    Trouble is, their proposed definition is lacking fundamental usefulness for anyone who requires accuracy and confidence in results

    Somewhere (probably up-thread here) I once asked the question, "would you trust Windows Search to turn up all your tax documentation in the case of an IRS audit" (i.e., when your neck is really on the line)?  If you can't truthfully answer yes then the search isn't worth a damn!

    -Noel


    8 สิงหาคม 2554 15:04
  • "would you trust Windows Search to turn up all your tax documentation in the case of an IRS audit"

    I wouldn't trust it to find a simple every day word in a plain text file, let alone something like this. It won't even find some things on the Start Menu sometimes and how hard can that be to get right?

     


    8 สิงหาคม 2554 20:39
  • Funduc-Search and Replace

    http://www.funduc.com/

    Renee

    13 สิงหาคม 2554 16:07
  • I have no problems with Windows Search. I never use it.

    Renee

    • เสนอเป็นคำตอบโดย Brian Borg 21 กันยายน 2554 1:19
    13 สิงหาคม 2554 16:09
  • Noel,

    Could I get you email address? I think I have something interesting..

    Renee


    13 สิงหาคม 2554 16:12
  • I'm pretty easy to find online, Renee.  Feel free to contact me through my business eMail.

    -Noel

    13 สิงหาคม 2554 23:11
  • I too have spent many hours fighting with Windows 7 search. I honestly can't believe how badly this has been implemented. Search is one of those things that absolutely must "just work". It should be fast, accurate, and be seamlessly integrated into the OS with no need to configure anything.

    I have found two free workarounds to the Windows 7 search disaster and I figured I would share them here in the hope that someone else will find them useful as well.

    The first is "Everything", a completely free search program for instantly finding file names. There is no "pro version" and no advertising. It's one of those great little programs that "just works". Can be found here: http://www.voidtools.com/

    "Everything" however does not search file contents, only file names. I spent a lot of time looking for something that would search file contents, ideally being free, fast, and not being full of advertising. I found my answer with "FileLocator Lite". It's been around for about 10 years and comes in both 32bit and 64 bit versions. There is a "pro" version but the lite version is ad-free and available for commercial use.  It works a lot like the old WinXP search except faster and easier to use. Can be found here: http://www.mythicsoft.com/page.aspx?page=download&type=filelocatorlite

    Hopefully Microsoft fixes the native search one of these days...

    18 กันยายน 2554 5:43
  • Wow, great thread! I recently found myself on a Win 7 box on my (relatively) new job. I needed to search for a string in the contents of various mixed file types and of course, the Win 7 folder search did not work. I tried searching for a string that I knew to be in some of the files - "system shutdown" - but no dice. I tried the various settings and configuration changes suggested in this thread but to no avail. I tried a few of the third party tools. I found grepWin and locate32 did not work for me and Everything does not search file contents for a string - WAH wah :-(. Thankfully, someone in this thread posted about a tool called Agent Ransack. I downloaded it and got it running fairly quickly and easily. Lo and behold, it works!!! It actually finds contents within files within a folder and that folder's sub-folders!! And it even works across mixed file types, such as .doc, .docx, .pdf and .txt. Yes!! FINALLY!!! A big thanks to the guy who posted about Agent Ransack.  Here's the link just for completeness:

    http://www.mythicsoft.com/agentransack

    And the tool is FREE!! Note, I am in no way affiliated w/ the tool or mythicsoft. I will say however that Mythic Soft ROCKS!!! The tool is great and is also very configurable and pretty intuitive to use - at least for me. I would actually pay out of my own pocket for that tool.

    Cheers,

    Johnny

    7 ตุลาคม 2554 18:05
  • Id recommend a Search and Replace by Funduc. I've used the same version since WIN 95 and is ever fast' These days it's free. I like it because it not algorithmic like MS. If you're interested, Google Funduc.

    Renee


    "MODERN PROGRAMMING is deficient in elementary ways BECAUSE of problems INTRODUCED by MODERN PROGRAMMING." Me
    7 ตุลาคม 2554 18:51
  • Just a suggestions, Notepad++ (opensource free download) has a find in files option that allows you to search file contents from for a folder (including subfolders)
    12 ตุลาคม 2554 10:46
  • Windows 7 search is killing me. 

    Every month or so, I laboriously change my search settings to index the contents of the source and binary files that I need to search.  After an hour of reindexing the 400,000 files on my drive, I can search what I need.

    And a month or so later, I run the same search (which Windows helpfully remembers in the dropdown), and there are no results.  I check the settings, and the Radio button for "Index Properties and File Contents" has been reset again.

    I'm a lifelong Windows programmer, I know what the hell I'm doing. 

    Why can't Microsoft figure out how to do searching?

    25 ตุลาคม 2554 12:14
  • Microsoft clearly aren't interested in providing a deterministic search function, but something else entirely.  They once HAD a deterministic search, back in XP.  That was changed, and has been getting worse ever since.  Apparently they are enamored with Google-like "fuzzy" operations, to which they would like to redefine the word "search".  The central theme is that Microsoft is clearly growing less and less interested in providing a serious operating system, and more interested instead in making toys for idle use - such as pads and phones.  Likely all the really smart folks there have already retired rich.

    It's sickening, really, for people who have built careers in software around Windows.

    Jay, go download and try out a free tool called grepWin by Stephan Kung (it's an open source project, so you can even look through it and verify it contains no malware).  Right-click on a folder, choose grepWin..., fill in a few parameters, and it will do a deterministic search, and if what you're looking for is on the disk it WILL find it.  It's not based on indexing, which grows out of date and misses things.

    In any event, your best bet is to turn indexing off entirely.  That alone can actually help make your Windows Search results more accurate, since it reverts to searching the system when you ask it to, rather than relying on a flawed database.

    -Noel

    25 ตุลาคม 2554 16:14
  • "Trouble is, their proposed definition is lacking fundamental usefulness for anyone who requires accuracy and confidence in results. "

    You can say that again!

    Microsoft worries about "what sells" to boneheads not what works.

    Renee


    "MODERN PROGRAMMING is deficient in elementary ways BECAUSE of problems INTRODUCED by MODERN PROGRAMMING." Me
    25 ตุลาคม 2554 21:29
  • @Noel - Thanks for the tip regarding grepWin, this is a really useful tool

    26 ตุลาคม 2554 20:19
  • I've never been able to get Windoze Search to work.

    I still say that Funduc is great and it doesn't use any unix bs.

    Renee


    "MODERN PROGRAMMING is deficient in elementary ways BECAUSE of problems INTRODUCED by MODERN PROGRAMMING." Me
    27 ตุลาคม 2554 2:34
  • Renee, regular expressions aren't bs or evil.  Not everything anyone who ever worked on Unix did was bad.  And with grepWin you need not actually USE a regular expression.  Just click "Text Search" and "Text match" and leave it set that way.

    -Noel

    27 ตุลาคม 2554 18:48
  • Neil,

    I think ALL things from the Unix world are evil, even C. I'm an OS developer from DEC! Anything with "grep" in it is also evil.

    I use Funduc's Search and Replace "Search.exe" to do my searching. It's unbelievably fast. I'm sure it's in C++. :(

    Renee


    "MODERN PROGRAMMING is deficient in elementary ways BECAUSE of problems INTRODUCED by MODERN PROGRAMMING." Me
    • แก้ไขโดย Renee Culver 27 ตุลาคม 2554 22:50
    27 ตุลาคม 2554 22:46
  • I have tried literally for 10 HOURS to get the search inside file contents to work! I have searched all over the internet trying to get windows 7 search to work without using 3rd party programs. Now I've concluded that it is definitely broken and the best thing for you to do is just download a 3rd party program. My advice to someone trying to fix win7 search is to not even attempt to get the search function working, you will only end up very frustrated. Every time I hear someone say click the checkbox that says "Always search file names and contents" in the search tab in the folder options window, my blood boils. Please do NOT give any advice on how to fix this problem unless you know it actually fixes the problem. Most of my time was wasted by following "fixes" to this problem. The problem with windows 7 search is not only that it doesn't work, it's that there really is no search option GUI to make searching easier. This reminds me of what a complete disaster windows smartphones have been. If there is indeed a solution to this, it is probably too complicated for the average user to implement. After downloading a 3rd party app, I got what I was looking for in under a minute.
    19 พฤศจิกายน 2554 9:20
  • Two years, and not even a patch. I agree with this Thread. Except, which 3rd party search tool works the best for a Production 2008 R2 Server??? (I REALLY wish I would NOT have upgraded to any new Microsoft products after 2003/XP - Not to say they were perfect, just that failure/production ratio was better.)
    • แก้ไขโดย GoatRider 28 พฤศจิกายน 2554 22:15 Spelling
    28 พฤศจิกายน 2554 21:29
  • It will never be fixed.  As a matter of fact, Microsoft is damn proud of that too.
    30 พฤศจิกายน 2554 0:40