One thing that I really miss about Windows XP is the searching.

Every time I need to search for a file, it never works with Windows 7. This is even if the file exists.

For example in the search box on the top right I will type: Windows XP Professional-0.vmdk, but it will find 0 matches.

Then I type *.vmdk, and that also finds no matches.

Then I type *.* and it brings a bunch of results including vmdk files.

What can I do?

Edit: I have indexing for .vmdk on. And I also added indexing for every folder on the c:\ drive. This is a common problem for me, not just with this .vmdk file search.

  • I love searching on windows 7. I have to work on an xp machine and miss the autosearch from the windows character every day my .02 – rerun Mar 4 '10 at 2:49
  • Strange that *.vmdk wont find any results though :( – SearchingIsAnnoying Mar 4 '10 at 7:34
  • @rerun: You must really like having 0 results then, because I find that it never finds what I'm looking for. And it never tells me the truth. – SearchingIsAnnoying Mar 4 '10 at 7:52
  • There's definitely something wrong with your index, because I haven't had a single such problem yet. I don't know if there is a way to purge the index and rebuild it, but if there is, you should try it. – Sasha Chedygov Mar 4 '10 at 8:08
  • Promote to Everything and ease your pain: voidtools.com – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Mar 4 '10 at 8:19

Promote to Everything and ease your pain: voidtools.com

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  • I would up vote you but I don't have enough rep – SearchingIsAnnoying Mar 4 '10 at 15:30
  • Now you have ;) – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Mar 4 '10 at 15:31
  • 1
    +1. But even better is, ""Everything" version" forum.voidtools.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=592. (And until a newer version comes, there is NOTHING better.) – therube May 28 '11 at 3:19

Have you checked to make sure file indexing is turned on?

The built-in search feature in Windows 7 is significantly better than the horrible search options in Windows XP. Instead of installing a third-party program like Google Desktop to search for files on inside files on your computer, you can now do it with easily from Windows 7.

For example, let’s say your a programmer or web developer and you want to be able to search your code files like .aspx, .html, .java, .php, etc. With Windows 7, you can configure the search indexer to not only index any file you want, but also to index the file contents.

By default, the Search Indexer in Windows 7 indexes the most common locations where your files would be stored, i.e. all libraries, everything in your User folder, and e-mail. If this is not enough, you can add or remove index location really easily.

That means you can tell Windows 7 to index and return results from files and folder on network drives or external hard drives. To get started , click on Start, then type in search into the search box.

Indexing Options

This will bring up the Indexing Options dialog. At the top, you’ll see the total number of items that have currently been indexed on your computer. Below that, you will see a list of all the locations that have been included for indexing.

Search Indexing

To add a new location to the index, click on the Modify button. Any network drive or external hard drive will show up in the list of possible locations. You can check off any drive or folder that you would like to include in the index.

Search Inside Files

Depending on how many files and folders are in a location, it could take some time for search indexer to index everything. If you have noticed that certain files are not being indexed by search indexer even though they are included in the search locations, you may have to add the file type.

You can do this by clicking on the Advanced button on the main Indexing Options screen. Then click on the File Types tab.


If the file extension is not in the list, go ahead and add it at the bottom. Then select it and choose whether you want to index just the properties or the properties and the file contents. If you know the file contains only text, make sure to select the second radio button.

You can also click on Index Settings to modify some of the settings for the Search Indexer.

Index Settings

Here you can choose to index encrypted files and other options like treating similar words with diacritics as different words. If you are having problems with Windows search or something has become corrupted, you can rebuild the index by clicking the Rebuild button.

Lastly, you can completely move the search index to another disk or partition. If you have a faster hard drive that the OS is not running on, it might be a good idea to move it so that it performs faster.

Overall, the new search features in Windows 7 are greatly enhanced and let you customize most of the search options. Enjoy!

  • where do I check that? Is there a way to turn it on globally for the whole computer? – SearchingIsAnnoying Mar 4 '10 at 1:01
  • Check the link. – Josh K Mar 4 '10 at 1:18
  • I turned on the filetypes for .vmdk, and I added all locations to the search location. Yet Windows is still 100% sure when i do a search for *.vmdk that there are 0 results. :( – SearchingIsAnnoying Mar 4 '10 at 7:48
  • I also tried .vmdk and vmdk. Windows proclaims: There are 0 results. Windows XP would find the results each and every time. – SearchingIsAnnoying Mar 4 '10 at 7:49
  • Please just add this information to your post instead of only linking to it – Ivo Flipse Mar 4 '10 at 9:34

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