Search hard drive for files containing ... ?


C

Cal Learner

I was wanting to search my temporary files (on my hard drive) for
files that contained a particular word. I knew how to do it in XP,
but I couldn't figure it out in Vista.

I want to search from a starting point, and include sub-folders from
that point. For a single folder I guess could use find (or a grep
utility I brought over from my old computer). I want to recurse from
a given place (or maybe my whole hard drive). In the Vista Search, I
found "Advanced", but no content/containing box.

I entered "content search" and "search content" without the quotes
into the Vista HelpAndSupport box: thirty responses, but none
relevant to searching for a file on the hard drive with a given
content.

How do I search for files on my computer containing a particular
word or string?
 
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C

Cal Learner

Just type the word or phrase into the search box, and sit back and wait.
Desktop Search will look for files starting with your string, or files
containing the string (provided there is an ifilter for that file type).
and it will only search indexed folders, unless you tell it otherwise in the
advanced search.

Here's a link to reference for advanced queries...
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/desktopsearch/addresources/advanced.mspx

Thanks.

Looking at that link, it says System Requirements:
Windows XP SP2
Windows Server 2003 SP1
All x64-bit versions of Windows XP
All versions of Windows Server 2003

I infer that Desktop Search must be already included Vista, and that
document pre-dates Vista. In the same area I also saw
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/desktopsearch/technicalresources/advquery.mspx


To invoke Desktop Search, is that the unlabeled box just above the
start button that says "Start search" in gray? I thought of it like
the old start->Run box with some added magic features. I had avoided
that box for the most part thinking it might feed data to an
external server. Are those searches limited to my own machine?

I had previously used that box to launch commands that I knew the
name of. I did try that for a content search based on your
suggestion, and it quickly came back with a small subset of files
including ones that did not have the search term as part of the
filename. Perhaps it only searches files that are in the folders set
up to be indexed or those of particular file types. The "personalize
it" tab of the URL you provided would suggest that. I had actually
gotten into this trying to figure out what were the temporary IE 7
files that were involved in a particular operation. Since I don't
know the extension for that case, I could not seek out a handler.
Maybe it is a *.tmp file for I know.

Interestingly, typing "desktop search" into that box turned up
nothing.

So, to re-iterate,

1. Is that the little box in the start menu and not the thing you
get when you click search? In other words, how do you start a
content search? By "content" I mean strings. I think I don't mean
meta-data.

2. Does it (or can it) limit searches to my own computer?

3. Are these searches only for things in folders that are "indexed"?
I had turned off a lot of indexing because I kept thinking my
computer had been take over when I heard the hard drive continually
active.

4. Are these searches limited to particular file extensions? A video
help file I watched seemed to imply that too. I wish the Windows
help was more simple: to do zzz, click xxx and type yyy. There is
some of that, but not for this topic.

Thanks again.
 
C

Cal Learner

Let me try a more straight-forward question: is "desktop search"
the little box in the start menu, or is it the thing you get when
you click search?
 
C

Cal Learner

Just type the word or phrase into the search box, and sit back and wait.
Desktop Search will look for files starting with your string, or files
containing the string (provided there is an ifilter for that file type).
and it will only search indexed folders, unless you tell it otherwise in the
advanced search.

Oooh! I also found Start->ControlPanel->Search which includes an
AwaysSearchFilenamesAndContents.

I suspect this is for the Start box where one where you don't
actually click Search to access. The one where you click Search lets
you specify where to search, but does not do content.
 
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R

Roque Hernández Durán

Aparently the "search by content" function is not properly working on Windows
Vista (it used to work really fine on previous Windows versions).

Note: I own Vista Ultimate 64-bits.
 
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