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Searching for strings in text files with unusual file extensions

I have a Windows 2000 network - Professional workstations and a file server.  On the server are many .vnl files, which are text files.  My users want to be able to search their network drives for .vnl files containing certain strings.

However, the 'Containing text' feature of Explorer's Search seems to give ambiguous results.  Generally, it will not return any results for .vnl files.  Every once in a while, it will return the correct results.  If I rename that .vnl files to .txt files, the search always works correctly.

It seems to even return different results, depending on the search string.  I have a directory full of Benny Hill .vnl files (basically, transcripts).  If I search for files containing THE, it shows all of the files, which is correct.  However, if I search for files containing BENNY or HILL, I usually get nothing.

Indexing Service is running on the server but not on the workstations.

I've read the following article, but it's referring to Windows XP Professional:


It even states, "In Microsoft Windows 2000 and earlier versions of Windows, all files are searched for the content that you specify."  However, this does not seem to be the case for myself or my users.

I've also tried checking 'Index files with unknown extensions' on the Generation tab of the server's Indexing Service properties.  This did not work either.

Any ideas on what might be causing this?  My .vnl file extension is a bit unusual and seems to be playing a part in this.  Could this be related to searching on a network drive?  Any help would be appreciated.

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1 Solution
Nirmal SharmaSolution ArchitectCommented:
The same article will apply to Windows 2000 also. Let me know if it doesn't work.
I don't like MS's search tools.  I use a utility called AGENT RanSak for all searches from windows based machines.  There is a free download for it as well.  Just wait till you move to XP...XP leaves many files left unsearched even if you tell it to search all files...

Nirmal SharmaSolution ArchitectCommented:

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