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Microsoft Windows OS (XP/NT/Vista/Windows 7/8/9/10) Forum

Windows Search 4
Not a bad idea

 12:13 pm on Apr 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Recently noticed during MS update that an optional Windows Search 4 was available. I, of course, looked at WW first to see what the buzz might be. Didn't find much. Did a little research, found that it is an actual (optional) upgrade to the Windows operating system, does not phone home, and is free (to validated Win systems).

Creates an index of drive and mapped network drives, based on either group policy or network permissions. Updates on the fly (after index is created). Provides a desktop (task bar) search box. Is VERY quick and provides a preview of found files. Index size is approximately 10% of the content. Can be less if you turn off some functions (indexing content of text files for example). Index is obfuscated and can be encrypted via Bit Locker if desired.

All pros.

Only con is the time it takes to index the available resources... my system has over 1,000,000 files and I have some external drives I move on and off... will index those as well. Remote sources need to have Windows Search installed and index created to be useful over the network. Can index on-line sources. Can index MS OFFICE docs etc, including Outlook emails. Indexer will back off while using the computer with NO slowdown for the user... but really kills the indexer to a crawl. Regains speed when detects system idle.

For XP SP2 and up (separate version for XP64), Vista, Server 2008.

This is a significant upgrade in capability of the built in search function for XP users. Vista already has a similar indexed search, though this is an upgrade for them as well.

So... if you have a lot of files, a lot of emails, docs, html, etc (over 200 file types are automatically indexed, other types can be added) you might find this useful.

Does allow administrator set up across networks, group policy, all the bells and whistles.

Essential? No. Useful? For me it is.



 5:39 am on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

I haven't tried this on any of my XP machines, but I think I will. I love the integrated search in Vista. It's such a huge time saver. Other desktop search add-ons for XP have been cumbersome. If this works as seamlessly as Vista's search then I'll be sold.


 6:46 am on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

I like it. You still have the original XP "search companion" as an option from the Vista styled Windows Search screen so you lose nothing either way.


 12:50 am on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Vista search never returns .php files in the list of results... which is useless when you're looking for particular code snippets.

You can edit the list of filetypes that are indexed to overcome that. There's some odd omissions from the default list though.

Robert Charlton

 6:24 am on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Is it reasonably configurable? ...ie, can I decide what file extensions not to index and on what partition to put the data?

And is it reasonably well behaved? I uninstalled Google Desktop because it was beginning to get intrusive... doing things like rearranging the icons on my carefully arranged desktop.


 10:08 am on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

"Yes" is the answer to all your questions


 3:13 pm on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I like it, except for the Seach Web feature which points to the useless Live.com. Unless that is configurable...


 5:26 am on May 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Search the Web option uses whatever your default browser uses. Pops up FF for me with my default SE of the day (whatever I've set the browser to at the time).


 12:03 pm on May 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

tangor - thanks. I never even tried the function figuring it would be Live.com.


 6:52 pm on May 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Okay... my first post on this was April 29. This reply is May 14. While everything I said above is accurate, there is a usage problem that killed this product for me:

Adding new file types: rebuild index took the same time as the original index.
Remove file type: rebuild index took the same time as the original index.

On my system, with the number of files indexed, that takes about 16 hours. If I was USING the computer during rebuild it took several DAYS because background indexing is SO gentle to avoid impact to the active session work.

Sorry... Can't have that delay each time there's a change to what is indexed... and that the index was not "updated" when searches were necessary during the rebuild.

Good news: Uninstalls beautifully!

AMD dual core 64, 4 gb ram, xp 64 pro, really fast 2tb drives (total), and just 10,000 shy of one million files I call it a million. Might not be the most recent big dog hardware/software on the block, but is not a little mutt. The regular search companion does a little better TIME WISE when I need to do that kind of searching. Most of the time I have an idea where to look.

I can see this app working well for those that do not have a lot of turn over files or additions of new file types, or who do not work at the rate that I do.

Your mileage may vary.

As advertised, it is a good product. In the work place there are some maintenance issues, in my opinion.

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