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I believe someone else asked that question in relation to Windows 7 but if I want to search a network drive in Win XP, is there a way to do it without the need to index the files?

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If you right click the mapped/network drive, click properties, then uncheck "allow indexing..." you should be good to go.

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thanks guys will try this this afernoon, –  user148038 Jul 25 '12 at 13:35
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When I need to search a network location I just pop out to a command window and use DIR /S. It does not use the indexes, only searches the file names (not contents) and I have found it to be reasonably fast. The /S switch will search subfolders for you. You can use multiple wildcards if needed to expand or refine your search (* for any number of characters, ? for one character) and it doesn't suffer from issues with trying to include or exclude things like parentheses, the way Windows search does. I also use the /B switch to get a more compact listing (no summaries between subfolders).

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