Why doesn't search really SEARCH?!

Discussion in 'Windows Vista General Discussion' started by RW, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. RW

    RW Guest

    Running Vista Home Premium on Compaq Presario notebook

    This is my first Vista machine and I find its inability to do a "proper"
    search a stunning shortcoming. Or am I missing some secret setting?

    Scenario- I want to do a search of my entire hard drive for a file. I only
    know the extension so I enter .snf and the results are 1 file found. Wrong!

    First of all, the results don't show me the complete path to the file.
    Instead of displaying C:\Users\owner\Documents, it displays C:\Users\owner.
    That's it. I either have to flail around and manually check all the owner
    folders or right click and look at the file's properties. Why won't Vista
    display the FULL path to the file?

    Secondly, and this is really disappointing, is that I KNOW there are at
    least 70 more .snf files on my C drive that Vista apparently can't locate! !

    I never had this search problem with XP. You ask XP and it tells all.
    Simple. So what gives with Vista?

    Is there some way to make Vista do a COMPLETE search and display ALL found
    files with FULL PATHS?? Isn't this what computers were designed to help us
    RW, Jun 17, 2009
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  2. RW

    Brink Guest

    Hello RW,

    You can disable the Index to have Vista default to doing non-index
    searches for better search results.


    Next, be sure to set your search options to include the same areas
    shown in the tutorial below to have Vista search everywhere.


    This may also help with searching as well.


    You can also add the "Path" column to the search window to have it
    display the full path instead.


    Hope this helps,


    '*MS MVP - Windows Desktop Experience*'
    *There are no dumb questions, just the people that do not ask
    '*::Windows 7 Forums::*' (http://www.sevenforums.com/) *and*
    '*::Vista Forums::*' (http://www.vistax64.com/)
    *Please post feedback to help others.*
    Brink, Jun 17, 2009
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  3. RW

    RW Guest


    You are the man!

    Thanks a million,

    RW, Jun 17, 2009
  4. RW

    RW Guest

    Thanks Propman. The "problem" is now solved!

    RW, Jun 17, 2009
  5. RW

    fatsteve Guest

    I second that! Great info there! Normally I just let it do it's dud
    search first then choose advanced search and select "search non indexed
    items" and finally the search results appear. Works the way it should
    now. :)
    fatsteve, Jun 17, 2009
  6. Like search engines it searches through an index. The classic way of
    searching files is to list the file directories and search through them.
    This was slower and the index method is nicer. However you may still add
    items to your index and then search will be faster.
    James Matthews, Jun 17, 2009
  7. RW

    Brink Guest

    Brink, Jun 17, 2009
  8. RW

    JEWboy Guest

    Yeah it's widely known

    Goto Mythicsoft's website and get either free AgentRansack or FileLocatorPro

    Free things aren't too advanced & AgentRansack developmen tstopped in 2003,
    it's still better than Vista BUT for $40 you would get truly great
    FileLocatorPro used by FBI, CIA, Shipping companies which do a lot of
    packages tracking, Airlines, etc. A great company.

    I am an Electrical Engineer, having NOTHING todo w/MythicSoft in case you
    start imagining I have a stock in the company.... NO, just sharing facts I
    found after being frustrated with Vista's search a month ago when I first
    started using reatrded OS after WIndowsXP....

    Vista search is great in appearance, sleek, find smultimedia files, etc,
    search syntax is the first thing you notice after WinXP; but it fails to
    find special strings WITHIN FILE contents of uncommon files e.g. exe, dll,
    bin, iso, ipt, iam, other CAD formats or arbitrary binary file.
    has nothing todo with my ability to use it, you dont know who I am... too
    long to explain, it was admitted by Microsoft that Search is well.... great
    for multimedia, byut not fo rmy type of technical work.

    SO I got FileLocator Pro, a company xisting since 1980's to fix expand every
    Windows search abilities. since Windows95 thru Windows7.
    JEWboy, Jun 17, 2009
  9. RW

    JEWboy Guest

    All the suggestions WIndows-obsessed man gave you don't work and NOT needed
    to bea heard about here. I knew it all.
    I've been doing computer for longer than you'v ebeen alive!

    Vista search simply fails to find rare, esoteric type of targets. I can
    find pioctures, oK fine, go play in the next sandbox. I am searching
    technical stuff - drawings, CAD models, binaries, executables - for strings
    enbedded in them, WIndowsXP could do tha twith a registry patch or no patch
    in SP2 (alredy included), but Vista can't!
    So if you find things with Vista, I assure you coul dbe other thigns it
    didn't show you.

    NCan't be trusted for mission-critical searches like criminal suspects,
    shipments, spacecraft data, etc.
    That's where FileLocator Pro works.
    JEWboy, Jun 17, 2009
  10. RW

    +Bob+ Guest

    Search engines like Google have to visit over 50 million distributed
    servers on a world wide network of unknown proportions and collect
    hundreds of millions of pages of content, then provide a tool that
    will allow users to quickly search through them. A search database
    (index) is not only warranted, it's required.

    On your own computer you have a dedicated processor searching a known
    set of drives (rarely more than 2). Unless you spend gobs of your time
    searching every day, an index is totally unnecessary. Real time
    searching is more accurate and doesn't waste system time indexing
    content you'll never need to look at.

    Add to that the fact that Vista's search tool has a convoluted, overly
    complex interface that only works properly when you study its "hidden"
    features, and that it specifically excludes certain file types and
    folders that MS decided you didn't need to search (all without
    exposure to the user)... and you have Vista's absolute worst

    +Bob+, Jun 17, 2009
  11. RW

    +Bob+ Guest

    Exactly. I need a search tool that finds files without exception.
    +Bob+, Jun 17, 2009
  12. RW

    fatsteve Guest

    Sums it all up right there.
    fatsteve, Jun 17, 2009
  13. RW

    JEWboy Guest

    funny thing... when i see your name, i read 1st word of your post, literally
    ONE word, then switch to another thread. So you wsste efforts, pal
    JEWboy, Jun 18, 2009
  14. This is my first Vista machine and I find its inability to do a "proper"

    I am glad to hear you are as baffled by Search as I am. I'm afraid I've give
    up on it, and instead:

    1. Open the DOS box (command prompt)
    2. Type "CD \" to get to the root of the drive
    3. Type "DIR <file> /S | MORE" where <file> is the file I am looking for,
    such as "mumble*.exe". The answers come back a screen at a time.

    Crude, granted, but it works for me.

    I think this is a case of too many Microsoft programmers without enough to

    Paul A. Crable, Jun 18, 2009
  15. RW

    +Bob+ Guest

    You seem to know an awful lot about Taco Bell. You must be the one who
    really works there.
    +Bob+, Jun 18, 2009
  16. RW

    Eric Guest

    Yes, if you want it to work a certain way, you should RTFM.
    You can operate the latest devices (iPhone?) without reading a manual, but
    you're likely to have trouble figuring out how to do certain things.
    You can't just jump from WinXP to Vista and expect to know everything. MS
    rewrote the book. For example menus are hidden by default on all sorts of
    windows now..
    Eric, Jun 18, 2009
  17. RW

    +Bob+ Guest

    When you have to pull out the manual to use a friggin search tool that
    worked just fine for everyone way back in Win2K, something is wrong
    (and it's not the user).
    +Bob+, Jun 19, 2009
  18. RW

    Eric Guest

    It searches, doesn't it? You don't HAVE to pull out the manual to get it to
    search the way you want it to, you could play around with it until you find
    the option if you have a brain. It just lets you know up front what you
    need to do to make everything work exactly the way you expect it to work if
    you read the manual first. Do you buy a new toaster and complain the toast
    doesn't come out perfect golden brown because you didn't read the manual or
    check it for options and you didn't bother to adjust the darkness setting?
    Do you buy a new cell phone and complain the default ringtone is different
    than your old phone?
    Eric, Jun 19, 2009
  19. RW

    Eric Guest

    Many things in Vista are hidden. Many Vista included apps don't have menu
    bars by default. If you read the manual maybe you can find a way to unhide
    Eric, Jun 19, 2009
  20. RW

    Eric Guest

    Strange, I wrote replies to this thread 3-4 hours ago and they're not
    showing. They are showing in my Sent Items folder, and replies I made after
    them in other threads are showing.
    Eric, Jun 19, 2009
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