There are a number of reasons to be annoyed by the search built into Explorer. The chief problem is that it will not match files as expected. Many of these problems are handled by other search utilities such as Agent Ransack from http://www.mythicsoft.com
Problem: The indexer service runs in the background, is a CPU hog.
Problem: If the indexer service is on, it will not find recently added files, and will report files that have been recently deleted.
Fix: Disable indexing service. Find | Change Preferences.
Problem: The search continually refreshes, every time a file is folder is updated. Try leaving it running while moving a few hundred files. Performance is terrible.
Problem: When searching for text in a file, XP Search will
not look in unregistered files. E.g. it will not find a word in *.bak file.
Fix: Use Agent Ransack or make a change to your registry.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
Problem: The “All or part of name” does not accept multiple criteria, e.g. *.vb, *.cs. Space separated words are treated as alternate patterns Examples:
Pattern base ext
Matches base ext
Wild cards ? and * are treated per the original DOS rules. ‘?’ matches any single character. * matches 0 or more of any characters. ‘.’ only matches itself. ‘*’
These made sense when names were 8+3, but this is no longer true.
It is not clear how the card matching is done. Vb matches vb
anywhere in the filename. *.vb looks like it might match only extensions, but
it will match .vb.bak too.
Fix: Agent Ransack allows regular expression and “DOS” wildcard searching on file names.
Problem: The criteria for searching for text is limited, and inconsistent
Fix: Agent Ransack offers string or Regular Expressions matching on content.
Problem: Search does not show what it matched in the
Fix: Use Agent Ransack.
Problem: Search will search inside of zip files, returning names that may be inaccessible. When a file within a zip files is returned by XP, it looks like a normal file, but most file operations fail, with no explanation.
Fix: Use Agent Ransack or unregister the zip file handler:
regsvr32 /u C:\WINDOWS\system32\zipfldr.dll
Note this also disables XP automatically browsing into zip folders, which I don’t like any way. If you need file compression, enable compression on the folder or volume.
Agent Ransack is a free search tool, which addresses these issues. http://www.mythicsoft.com/agentransack/download.aspx It includes wizards for building regular expressions. Can easily save and load search rules.
HandyRegistrySettingsInstaller allows you to set a number of simple and useful registry settings, includes and installer. (Tested on XP only.)
zipfolderoff.cmd my utilities for not searching zip files:
regsvr32 -u %windir%\system32\zipfldr.dll
Updated 2/24/2009 10:59:53 PM