|"Now I have almost 600,000 files to sort through. Windows 7 search function hasn't proven useful. I'm looking for pictures and .doc/.docx files."|
The Search function in Computer or Windows Explorer in Vista does not work the same way as it did in XP and previous - the same thing probably applies to Windows 7, since Windows 7 is essentially what Vista should have been in the first place - Vista with the things that annoyed people about Vista removed or made more user friendly.
- The Search function DOES NOT search subfolders by default.
ONE way of making it search in subfolders is....
Start up Computer or Windows Explorer
Click on Organize in the top bar,
then the Search tab,
then select Include subfolders when typing in Search box.
Click on OK at the bottom of the Window
- Another way of making it search in subfolders (for all users) is.....
Click on the Windows 7 (Start) icon bottom left of the main desktop screen.
RIGHT click on the hourglass icon at the end of the Start Search box,
Start Menu tab,
scroll down to Search files and select Search entire index
NOTE that when the drive is on your own computer, you can probably alternatively select Search this user's files - that's what was selected when I enabled searching subfolders using the first method.
Click on OK at the bottom of the window.
- You don't have the option of filtering the results BEFORE you Search, but you do AFTER you have searched for something.
Search for anything in Computer or Windows Explorer..
When the search has finished, scroll to the bottom of the search results, click on Advanced Search - you can search for specific types of files there.
Change the name of what you're searching for if you need to, while you're there.
By default, ALL of your personal files in Vista and probably Windows 7 are saved in the subfolders of C:\Users\(your user name)\....., unless you saved them in a non-default location.
Of course, when you're looking at your drive on another computer, the drive letter will be different, not C.
If you get an Access Denied message when you try to access the files or folders on your drive when it's connected to another computer, you need to Take Ownership of your files on that computer.
Search for something such as: Take Ownership Windows 7
Take Ownership of a File or Folder
"Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2"
"....I have almost 600,000 files to sort through..."
By default, when you have a brand name system, ALL of your files are saved on the partition Windows was installed on, which is usually C (on your own computer).
OR - when you have installed Windows from scratch, by default, Setup selects the entire drive space for the (first) partition Windows will be installed on.
You DO NOT necessary need to install all software that did not come with Windows on the partition Windows was installed on, if you have some other partition to install it on.
In Vista and Windows 7, it has the built in ability to re-size the partition Windows was installed on to a smaller size in Disk Management - you can make another partition on the unallocated space freed up by doing that, and store some of your data on that.
In most cases if you DO NOT select the default Express or similar installation choice and select Custom or similar instead when you install a program yourself, or if you change the default installation location choice so it's installed on the drive letter of a different hard drive partition, the vast majority of the data for that program will be installed on the other partition, and only your personal files for that program will be installed on or stored on the partition Windows was installed on, in the case of Vista and Windows 7, in C:\Users\(your user name)\.......
If you DO have data on another partition, when you need to search for personal files, usually you only need to search on the partition Windows was installed on , unless you have the files in a non-default location that is not on that partition.