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What’s the fastest desktop search tools you’ve used on Windows?

Is there a Windows program to efficiently search for files that does not wear down the disks?

Minimum functional requirements:

  • Search for names of files and folders

  • Search with modification date, before/after. Ideally in a range.

  • Search with file size, smaller/larger. Ideally in a range.

  • Manual control of file/folder indexing

By efficient I mean it keeps a list of all files and folders (file/folder name, size, modification date, creation date) without the need to scan the disks for every search. And by not wearing down the disks I mean it should not try to keep the list of files updated. I am fine with doing this manually. I don't want constant disk activity on my system.

I have a lot files of my system and I am looking for a tool to efficiently search for files. I am currently using FreeCommander's search facility. It is very powerful and much better than Windows XP's. But it does not cache anything.

I want complete manual control over when the list of files is updated and do not want to use the built-in search Windows.

Platform: Windows XP Professional x64 bit Edition.

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marked as duplicate by Mehper C. Palavuzlar, Diago Mar 10 '10 at 11:37

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
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I would like to have reopened this question. I have 4 very specific requirements, I am not looking for a list of alternatives to Windows' search. –  Peter Mortensen Mar 10 '10 at 15:04

2 Answers 2

Everything

It's by far the most efficient search tool I know

You couldn't stop the database auto-update actually (it will be implemented), but it's blazing fast because it use the NTFS USN journal... And there's a special version of the tool with update disabled there

(Personally I launch it at startup, and let it monitor changes, it's lightweight enough...)

alt text

Pros:

Quick file indexing
Locate files and folders by name instantly.
Clean and simple user interface
Small installation file
Minimal resource usage
Share files with others easily
Real-time updating
More...

Cons:

Works only with NTFS drive 
Need administrative privileges, so need to deal with uac...
Doesn't search content   
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Thanks. I have read through the FAQ now. Indexing can be controlled by simply quitting Everything. But can it use modification date and file size in the search? –  Peter Mortensen Mar 10 '10 at 9:40
    
Yes it can. Incredible tool that it is. –  outsideblasts Mar 10 '10 at 9:41
    
@outsideblasts, @fluxtendu: can you give a hint on how to use modification date and file size in the search? I have downloaded and run Everything, but can't find the place to set these options. –  Peter Mortensen Mar 10 '10 at 10:08
    
I don't think it's possible to search by filesize. But for changed files look at this post: forum.voidtools.com/… (and maybe you will need a beta or alpha version) –  fluxtendu Mar 10 '10 at 10:35

I use to use agent ransack. Ugly as a Win95 program, but low on RAM and damn efficient !

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The first search through my 2.5 million files with Agent Ransack took 52 minutes. I think it is significantly slower than with FreeCommander, but I have to confirm it. I searched for files larger than 300 MB that were modified after 2009-07-10 (73 matches). –  Peter Mortensen Mar 10 '10 at 19:59
    
The duration of subsequent searches was about 1 minute. But I think this was caused by caching by the RAM rich 64 bit version of Windows I tested it on. After a restart of the computer the search time was back to about 50 minutes. –  Peter Mortensen Mar 11 '10 at 10:59
    
@Riduidel: is there some setting I can change to make it more efficient? I used the 2010 Beta version, 64 bit version. –  Peter Mortensen Mar 11 '10 at 11:00
    
Well, I don't know, I must confess I never use it on such huge volumes. –  Riduidel Mar 11 '10 at 16:51

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