I'm running Windows XP Professional, and ever since the last service pack I've had a searching problem.

When I want to search a network drive, I get the following message:

This folder is not indexed. To search this directory plase use Search Companion or add this directory to your index via options.

Basically, I have two questions. Is there some way that I can use the indexed search where appropriate and then have it switch over to the Search Companion automatically?

Second, how does a programmer look at this code and think this is a good idea? I realize that this question is rhetorical. However, I must enter my search string into one search, receive the error, and then click "Search Companion" to bring up the new search window. This window doesn't even take the defaults from the previous one so I have to specify the search string and drive again.

  • Programmers should never be allowed to question UI decisions. That's the primary source for bad UI. That being said, this sounds like a programmer decision to me anyway. – Joey Sep 8 '09 at 18:13
  • run find in Cygwin instead. it doesn't care if the drive is networked or not. (doesn't answer the question so i'll just drop it here in the suggestion box.) – quack quixote Oct 14 '09 at 0:38
  • Or use locate for an indexed search. – Rob Oct 27 '11 at 17:06

Microsoft has improved file search to the point of being too user-friendly to use.
I don't use it for non-indexed searches, but rather the Agent Ransack Freeware, which keeps the history of all past searches and can even do contents search.
I'm aware that this doesn't directly address your question, but using Agent Ransack will solve your problem.

  • You mean unimproved, and user-unfriendly right? – AaronLS Aug 20 '10 at 21:32

Have you tried Agent Ransack? I started using it when we still used XP because it I couldn't find anything using the search on XP. I use it a lot now even on Windows 7 because I can specify a folder like system folders, which Windows doesn't do by default.

Oh and it's free as well!

enter image description here


It reports the fact that the folder isn't indexed before you start the search.

Admittedly it's in the bottom right corner of the dialog below all the input boxes, and as your focus is at the top left where the input box is you might not notice it straight away.

However, this isn't really a solution as you still have to open the old "Search Companion" to perform the search.


I found the solution:

Add a key called:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\DS\ShowStartSearchBand

Make sure the value is 0 and you are set.

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