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Windows XP: Searching Multiple Certain Folder

July 28, 2011 at 15:48:35
Specs: Windows XP

How can Windows XP search multiple, certain folders at once?

For example, if you have a folder with 10 subfolders, is there a way to search for a file in subfolders 1, 3, 4, 7, and 10? Without having to do sperate searches in each folder.

Brief reason: my job has a ftp server and part of my responsibility is to go through the new uploads and get a certain file, open it, manually copy some of the information and then rename and resave that file on the physical hard drive.

Earlier in the week, over 3,000 new subfolders where uploaded to a folder containing at least 3,000 previous ones. I only want search to find the certain file from the "new" 3,000 folders without having the "old" files added into the results.

Could I go through each and every 3,000 folders for the one file, copy/paste? Yes, but I'm lazy and trying to look good. Any help would be appreciated! (Also, please keep in mind that this is my work computer/network I'm talking about. I can't just go download a new search tool without at least trying to make Windows work)


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#1
July 28, 2011 at 16:32:09

Windows searchs in all subfolders of a drive or a folder you started the search in by default.
You don't need to search in each subfolder.

"For example, if you have a folder with 10 subfolders, is there a way to search for a file in subfolders 1, 3, 4, 7, and 10?"

There's no way I know of of doing that in Windows itself, but you could make a batch file that would do that for a specfic situation (I know very little about batch files) , or a third party program you install in Windows may be able to do that.

"Earlier in the week, over 3,000 new subfolders where uploaded to a folder containing at least 3,000 previous ones. I only want search to find the certain file from the "new" 3,000 folders without having the "old" files added into the results.

If you set View to Details in the top bar of My Computer or Windows Explorer, you can sort the folders or files by their date in ascending or descending order by clicking on Date Modified at the top of the Date Modified column.

When you select Search in XP in My Computer or Windows Explorer, you can select
Change preferences
Change files and folders search behavior
Choose Standard or Advanced
If you choose Advanced, you can choose When was it modified ?
The folder or file's Date Modified date

When you change the contents of a file, it's Date Modified date becomes the date you modified it on, of course.


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#2
July 28, 2011 at 17:00:34

"Windows searchs in all subfolders of a drive or a folder you started the search in by default.
You don't need to search in each subfolder."

True, and useful the first time I accessed the main folder. However, I need to be able to... not search? specific subfolders - otherwise I'll end up with 500 unneeded entries in the results. If there's a way to 'not search' specific subfolders, I'd happily take that.

"There's no way I know of of doing that in Windows itself, but you could make a batch file that would do that for a specfic situation (I know very little about batch files) , or a third party program you install in Windows may be able to do that."

I don't know anything really about batch files and I would honestly go with the third party program if it were my own personal computer. I'm trying to not be the annoying Gen. Y'er who just downloads stuff at work.

"If you set View to Details in the top bar of My Computer or Windows Explorer, you can sort the folders or files by their date in ascending or descending older by clicking on Date Modified at the top of the Date Modified column."

Useful and the solution that I'm using at this very moment, but utterly inefficient.

I suppose an easier way to imagine this is to pretend that you have a massive datebase of thousands of folders, each with a maximum of 10 types of files in it. However, not all entries have all 10 files. Some do, but most only have 6 or 3 or even 1. And even if the entry has that magical file type 6 that you need, it might be the wrong version of the Type 6.

The easiest solution would be to just do a search for the File Type 6, but new entries are added every day. Eventually, you'll be coming across the same Type 6's that you've already eliminated... and possibly missing the special Type 6's that you need to find.

If that made any sense or helped explain a bit better... :/


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#3
July 28, 2011 at 17:04:35

I have added more to the end of response 1.

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Related Solutions

#4
July 28, 2011 at 17:16:48

"If you choose Advanced, you can choose When was it modified ?
The folder or file's Date Modified date

When you change the contents of a file, it's Date Modified date becomes the date you modified it on, of course."

True and I attempted to do this search. The problem I'm running into is that the files that are put into the subfolders where created before the folder. One example, (of the wrong "Type 6" that I'm looking for) was made 6/30/2010, but the right "Type 6's" seem to have the date range of 6/26/2011 - Present. A Type 6 is a Type 6, I have to manually verify that its a right Type 6 based on the information inside - not just on the date. Believe me, that would be easier...

...unless there's an option to search within folders created within a certain date range? (I.E. Search folders if made 1/1/11 - 2/1/11) If so, then I must be missing it and would be all ears for any advice you could give.


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#5
July 28, 2011 at 18:44:06

"When you select Search in XP, you can select
Change preferences
Change files and folders search behavior
Choose Standard or Advanced
If you choose Advanced, you can choose When was it modified ?"

The folder's or file's date.

"the files that are put into the sub folders where created before the folder "

Since you would be searching within the sub folders, that doesn't matter - it will find the files that have whatever date you specify.

"...unless there's an option to search within folders created within a certain date range?"

When you choose
When was it modified ?
you have 5 choices, the last of which is a customizable date range, for one of three types of dates - Date Modified, or two other dates you see when you RIGHT click on a file or folder and look at it's Properties.
Enter whatever date range you want to in the same format as the default dates.
If you want to search for folders or files that are using one date, you enter the same date in both boxes

The abilty to search for files or folders that have a date within a date range or that have a certain date has been in Windows since Win 95, but you have to dig around to find it in 2000 and XP - it may be in Vista and Windows 7 too, somewhere.
.........

"I have to manually verify that its a right Type 6 based on the information inside - not just on the date"

If the "right" Type 6 file has text or characters that are within the file that are always the same and unique, that's easy.

You can search for files or folders with a certain date range or a specific date that contain "A word or phrase in the file" that are whatever characters.

The ability to search for characters within a file in Windows has also been there in Windows since at least Win 95.


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