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I am running Windows 7 and have a couple of external hard drives attached via USB. The external hard drives are configured to spin down when not used for a while.

The downside of this is that when I push the "Start" button and then start typing in the "Search Programs and files" input Windows takes forever to find the program. For example, if I type "Note" it can take several seconds before "Notepad" appears as a choice.

One option is to disable the sleep function on the external hard drives, but if I don't want to do that are there are other options? Is there a way to tell Windows to ignore these other drives when doing its search?

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Great question, Windows is so stupid when it comes to hardware. Windows explorer suffers from similar issues when drives are asleep, and I assume this search box is part of windows explorer. –  Moab May 16 '12 at 3:10
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Most use 3rd party search tools like "everything".....voidtools.com –  Moab May 16 '12 at 3:14

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