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I need to search a hard drive for a file, but I don't know the name of the file. I only know that the file contains a list of email addresses. (I don't know which email addresses are on the file, I just know that there is a list of email addresses) The file is not necessarily a Word or .txt document. Is there any way that I can find this file? Thanks for the help!

(I have a Windows computer)

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    Related: superuser.com/questions/60173/…
    – ztk
    Aug 4, 2015 at 13:12
  • After the index is rebuilt with file contents, as mentioned in the comment above, you could search something like *@*.com or *@*.* if you do not know the domain.
    – MC10
    Aug 4, 2015 at 13:49
  • Apparently you can't use multiple wildcards in Windows search so something like content: *.com would work if you know it ends in .com. Otherwise, just change the ending.
    – MC10
    Aug 4, 2015 at 14:03

1 Answer 1

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You can use grep for windows (in that answer there are several download options - https://superuser.com/a/301075/321990).

An example command that will match (it will search for a regex match recursively from where it's executed): grep -r -E ".+\@.+\..+" *

The file matched contains this:
ariel@gmail.com
ariel@hello.com
lalala@kuku.com
pipi
nana
anilopo$a8

It will print you the 3 email lines, near the file name. It will look like this:
new/yo.txt:ariel@gmail.com
Where yo.txt is the file containing the strings above, and located under 'new' folder

If you only want the filenames, you can add the -l parameter to grep:
grep -l -r -E ".+\@.+\..+" *
And it will only print:
new/yo.txt

The regular expression I've used is very simple, and likely to find more things, cause it's not accurate. You can search the web for a better regular expression to check email addresses, and change ".+\@.+\..+" with what you've found.

Hope it helps!

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  • Thanks a lot! I've never used this site before, can't believe how fast you get an answer. Aug 4, 2015 at 13:51

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