Cannot use Advanced Search in Windows 7 without launching options first RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a user who is trying to search the contents of files (documents, excel, etc.) for keywords on a NAS device through Windows 7.  The results are pitiful.  After hours of struggling with it, here are some things I have learned, that may help others. (I still have a problem though).

    First, you want to change your search options to include several different things.  Here are the steps to modify the search options, and what those changes do for you.

    1. Open Computer
    2. Hit the Alt key
    3. Click the Tools Menu (at the top)
    4. Click Folder Options (at the bottom of the list)
    5. Click the Search Tab (at the top)
    6. Check (or Dot) "Always search file names and contents"

                 The reason you check this is because when you search a drive/folder/file that is not indexed on your machine, then Windows search will only return results that have the criteria in the name ONLY.  It will not return any results where the content (content refers to any words or characters that appear in the file) equals your search criteria.

    1. Check the check boxes "use natural language search" and "Don't use the index when searching in file folders..."

                 The reason you select these are because natural language alleviates the need to use the operators.  For example, if you wanted to search content only, you would type content:blah.  Now if you type blah, it knows to search content also. The operators will still work if used, even with natural language checked.  The "Don't use the index..." option allows you to search sub-folders from the top directory.  Yes you read that right.  If you open drive Q (mapped drive) and perform a search within that drive, the search will not return anything within sub-folders under that drive.  Again, this is because the folders are not indexed, thus it only uses the current directory only.  Checking this box will force search to look through the sub-directories also.

    1. Click OK to apply the settings.

    Ok so now that these options are set, I can now perform a search on an unindexed drive and the results that I want are returned.  Until the next time I search.  It's almost as if the search reverts back to original settings.  If you go into the options to verify everything is still checked/dotted, then you will see that they are.  When you close that (click OK) and perform your search again, you will get everything that you wanted.  So it seems that you have to open the Search Options and close it in order for your search to work properly.

    I have seen others state that by accessing the options, you turn the basic search into an advanced search where those properties are applied.  Opening your search defaults to basic until you access the options again, which makes it advanced. I don't know how accurate those statements are, but in a sense they make sense.  Also, when doing a search from Windows Explorer vs opening Microsoft Word > File > Open and then searching, you will get different results as well.  I would think once you click Open, you transfer to an Explorer shell until you locate the file and actually Open it, however, I'm not sure this is the case.

    Any links to Windows already created articles regarding search are not needed as I have read them all.  Please help.

    • Edited by Josh.Adams Monday, April 23, 2012 7:46 PM forgot windows version
    Monday, April 23, 2012 7:45 PM


  • Hi Josh,

    When we search something in Windows Vista/7/2008/2008 R2 search box. There are two ways to search. When an index has been created in local machine, the search will via the Windows search. In non-indexing machine, system will search via Explorer.exe.

    In Windows server 2008/2008 R2, we want to create an index, Windows search service is required. Base on the index, we can search file contents accurately. But Windows search service can’t create an index on a shared folder, It just support local folders, so we can’t use it in a NAS storage.

    In additional, Windows server 2008 has indexing service, it just design for compatible to the applications based on Windows server 2003 indexing service. In Windows search box, We can’t use indexing service at all.


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    • Marked as answer by Nicholas Li Wednesday, May 2, 2012 1:48 AM
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 11:57 AM