windows search tool with report features

I need a free windows based search tool that can search specific folders and produce a csv report of where it found the files within those folders plus options to export the search hits. Any recommendations. The windows search doesnt seem to have any report features
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pma111Asked:
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
I'm a huge fan of NirSoft's (free!) utilities, which I've been using for many years:
http://www.nirsoft.net/

One of them is SearchMyFiles:
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/search_my_files.html

Scroll to the bottom of the page at the above URL for the download links. Note that there are both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. It is a no-install/stand-alone executable — just unzip the file and run the EXE.

When you run it, you'll see this Search Options dialog:

search options
Set your Base Folder, tick the Find Files box, untick Find Folders, and set whatever other parameters you want, such as the Modified Time Range. If you'd like to see who owns the files, click the Options menu and tick Retrieve File Owner.

Also, notice the check-box that says "Scan Subfolders in the following depth:". To get all subfolders, select the "Unlimited" depth option, as shown in the screenshot above.

You have total control over the columns in the report via the View menu, then Choose Columns. Here's the column header of what the report looks like with all columns selected:

report header
You may sort by any column, and you may save the report as an HTML file (via the View menu). Although it is not a CSV, it loads perfectly into Excel:

report in excel
I like doing this as it provides total control over sorting and formatting. Regards, Joe
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pma111Author Commented:
Many thanks, can this search both file name and contents for key words? As some of the free tools seem to only be searching file names for your search term.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Yes. Notice this drop-down, allowing you to select "File Contains..." or "File Doesn't Contain":

file contains
The "Contains" param may be Text or Binary:

contains type
You may make the search case sensitive or insensitive and even search for multiple values (comma delimited):

contains text options
Regards, Joe
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pma111Author Commented:
Cheers joe of your searching for a phrase ie consecutive words such as "experts exchange" does it support that type of search
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
If you enter:

experts exchange

in the text search box, that's what it will look for — that exact phrase. It's a free download that should take less than a minute to download and unzip (no installation needed). Then you can put it through its paces — test it thoroughly to see if it can do what you're looking for. I expect that a half-hour (or less) of experimentation should determine if it's the right tool for you. Regards, Joe
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
How is it working for you? Any issues? Cheers, Joe
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pma111Author Commented:
Sorry will try first thing and feedback (10pm here)
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
No rush — just wanted to make sure that you weren't running into problems. Your 9am is my 3am, so if you post first thing in your morning, it will take me a while to reply. :)  Cheers, Joe
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pma111Author Commented:
looks really useful. The only 2 things I noticed where its not all that obvious when a search has finished. And also how you do searches whereby say you wanted to search for pma as a word on its own, the searches I had were also flagging up pma111, pma123 etc. I only want where pma is on its own in a phrase.
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pma111Author Commented:
And I couldnt figure out if you could do multiple statements, i.e. search all files which contain "this word" but dont contain "XYZ".
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pma111Author Commented:
And also still not convinced it is actually searching for files based on file name, just file content. I put a phrase i.e. pma111 sample document in  a search, there is a file in the directory called pmal111 sample document.docx and it didnt find it?! I need something to search both filename and file content
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
9:30am here...just getting through morning email...will reply as soon as possible.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> not all that obvious when a search has finished

While it is searching, in the upper left of the SearchMyFiles windows (not the Search Options windows), the File/Edit/View/Options/Help menu turns into the word Stop (which is clickable and will stop the search). When it is finished searching, the word Stop goes away and the File/Edit/View/Options/Help menu comes back.

> And also how you do searches whereby say you wanted to search for pma as a word on its own, the searches I had were also flagging up pma111, pma123 etc. I only want where pma is on its own in a phrase.

Can't do it. You would like a "Find whole words only" option. You would also need to define what makes it "a word on its own" (to use your language) — does a comma terminate it? or a period? question mark? hyphen? slash? or is a blank the only character that terminates "a word on its own"? In any case, that feature doesn't exist in the product.

> And I couldnt figure out if you could do multiple statements, i.e. search all files which contain "this word" but dont contain "XYZ".

Can't do it. You're limited to one "File Contains" or "File Doesn't Contain" parameter.

> And also still not convinced it is actually searching for files based on file name, just file content. I put a phrase i.e. pma111 sample document in a search, there is a file in the directory called pmal111 sample document.docx and it didnt find it?! I need something to search both filename and file content

The "File Contains" option searches only for content inside the files, not in the file names. For searching file names, use the "Files Wildcard" option (you can see it in the Search Options dialog screenshot that I posted above). You can do both together, so the "Files Wildcard" option could be <pma*.*> and the "File Contains" option could be "pma". Of course, you may want to find <pma*.*> files that do not have "pma" in their contents and, likewise, you may want to find files that do not have "pma" in the file names but do have "pma" in the contents. In cases like this, and even more complex ones, you could do multiple searches and combine the HTML reports using Excel. It's not perfect, but pretty good for a free utility. Personally, search is incredibly important to me, so I use dtSearch, which is an awesome search tool, but costs $199. Regards, Joe
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