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We need to search 2 computers for about 50 search terms. We are searching the local computers as well as 6 mapped network drives and finding it very slow because we are restricted to using Windows XP's built-in search tool without indexing (Search Companion, not Windows Search 4.0).

Are there methods to improve the performance of Windows XP's built-in search tool without indexing?

Alternatively we would be interested in a fast search tool that meets the above criteria and that can be installed without making changes outside the installation folder and without making changes to the registry. Perhaps a single executable.

We do not know what type of documents are on the system, so we'd like something that can interpret as many file types as possible.

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migrated from Jul 2 '11 at 9:10

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

I work with the poster. Unfortunately, we can't access the servers; these computers belong to a client of a client. We don't even want to install something on the workstation. Iw grepWin faster than XP's Search Companion? – II1 Jul 1 '11 at 22:51

One suggestion would be to search the network shares on the server that is sharing them, if possible. This way the client isn't downloading every single file in order to inspect it.

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grepWin is an excellent free alternative to Windows built-in search:

You can install it on any machine, then copy the single executable to where you actually need to use it.

Also, if disabling the built-in Zip file support is an option, you may want to test this. I believe the built-in search searches inside zip files if it is enabled. The command to do that on Windows XP:

regsvr32 /u %systemroot%\system32\zipfldr.dll

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