Content Searching on your PC

As a software developer and card carrying nerd I have (between my laptop and storage attached to my router) about 7TB of storage. Yeah, but I really need it! The problem is how do I find anything. There are several answers to this depending on how you define ‘find’. If what you are looking for is a function of the properties of the file or directory itself, name, size, date, type, etc. there are at least three quick and easy, and by the way free answers. The first and oldest is a program called ‘Everything’. No, really, Everything from VoidTools. It only works on NTFS drives or remote drives with folder indexing (they tell you how). It does not automatically index your drive, you run the index occasionally. On my laptop with 1.5TB internal storage this takes 10 – 15 seconds. Once the index is built searching is effectively instantaneous.

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Image: CalixTech News

The next entry in this group is HDDB available to download from MajorGeeks and other sites. This operates in a manner similar to Everything, with some additional bells and whistles. Indexing is slightly slower, sorting is slightly faster, YMMV. It is my go to tool. There is no author website. The third tool is NeoSearch from KoshyJohn from microsoft. Same deal. This one gives an instant list as soon as you start typing and a comprehensive list when you hit enter.

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Image: CalixTech News

The next level of search is content searching. This can be quick if you are searching ASCII text files or slow if you are searching PDF or Microsoft Office files.The free tool that I use used to be called Agent Ransack. but the company, MythicSoft went on to produce a great commercial program called File Locator Pro. So, they have re-branded the freeware cousin as File Locator Lite. The free proggy will search a lot of things, The paid one will search many more. The upside of this is that you can find stuff when you cant remember where you put it. The downside is that these searches are a LOT slower than indexed searches.

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Louis Blaine
Louis Blaine

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