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How to Improve / Replacement for Windows 7 Search

Posted on 2011-09-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Good Afternoon -

The company I work for has almost 2000 workstations in 4 different, global locations.  A few months ago, we started deploying Windows 7 instead of XP for new hardware deployments, during repairs, or departments at a time.

Overall, it was a great improvement.  There is only one huge issue we are having with Windows 7 - the Search function.  The departments which use this function the most are also usually searching for files on mapped drives - not local ones even though it causes issues too.  We can search for many specific files which will appear with Windows XP - but not appear with Windows 7.  There's nothing crazy about the files, either.

So - given the above, what may I possibly do to "fix" or improve the Windows 7 native search function?  Below are the specs of what we are using as well as a list of what I've tried so far to remedy the situation.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated - Thanks!

Specs:
Workstations:  Windows 7 SP1 x32 Enterprise
Servers: (Ones that hold the file shares in which the Win7 machines are mapped to): Windows 2003, 2008, & 2008 R2

What I've Tried So Far:
- Searching Google & trying a few registry changes
- Ensuring that the sources were indexed (if possible which isn't on mapped drives)
- Tried 3rd party software like Google Desktop

Please Help!  Thanks! - Ben
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Question by:BzowK
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10 Comments
 
LVL 91

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 36894970
Windows Search wants very much to use its indexed search for speed. To get the equivalent functionality, use Windows Explorer to navigate to the top level server folder you are interested in, and then search from the search bar (top right). This will do the same as XP (XP did not index server folders either, so far as I know).

... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:centerv
ID: 36895105
Use Filesearchx
You'll recognize its similarity to PX
Free for non commercial use.

FileSearchEX is the no nonsense file search utility for Windows 7 (and others). It offers the simplified search interface like Windows XP yet in an updated and modern fashion. Unlike other search tools, FileSearchEX works very fast.

http://filesearchex.soft32.com/
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LVL 66

Expert Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 36895275
Built in search is usually sufficient...

Folder Options/Search Tab, and select the option to search All Files and contents in Non Indexes locations ( second radio button at the top)....

Usually helps tremendously...
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Expert Comment

by:Suhas .
ID: 36895365
Windows Desktop search or Google Desktop Search would be the preferred option
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Accepted Solution

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jcimarron earned 500 total points
ID: 36897193
BenKellermann--Consider using Everything Search
http://www.voidtools.com/
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Author Comment

by:BzowK
ID: 36903332
Thanks Guys -

Here are my replies...

thinkpads_user:  THanks, but I've tried way beyond this - Plus I think i remember not being able to index mapped drives

centerv: Thanks - I'm going to give it a shot

johnb6767:  I agree - already tried that, though

suhasbharadwaj:  As mentioned in question, I've already tried both - Thanks

jcimarron:  Thanks.  I agree.  I've used Everything on ALL of my personal computers for a couple of years now.  I love it and it's a great app.  Unfortunatly, I've tried it too and it doesn't index mapped drives - even if you add them to the list manually

Thanks All!
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Author Comment

by:BzowK
ID: 36903351
jcimarron:  Check that & reverse it.  Just read about Everything's ETP server.  Trying to set up now - Thanks!
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LVL 66

Expert Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 36907636
"- Plus I think i remember not being able to index mapped drives"

I think the drives on the remote system need to be indexed as well to be able to do this....

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Author Closing Comment

by:BzowK
ID: 36925498
Okay - I had used Everything's local searching for a couple of years now, but just found out about the other features.  I was able to set it up on each server as a system service, index the folders I wanted, then create an HTTP server with it.

Thanks
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LVL 50

Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 36925964
BenKellermann--You are most welcome!  Are you aware of the various Everything help pages?
http://www.voidtools.com/faq.php
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