Windows 10: Search not including items in external USB drive

  1. Stevekir's Avatar
    Posts : 120
    Windows 10 Home (with Anniversary Aug. 2016)
       23 Aug 2016 #1

    Search not including items in external USB drive


    My Documents folder is on an external USB drive. My C: drive is on an SSD. The Documents folder in the C: drive has been redirected to that folder on the USB drive. When I search (the field to the right of the Start button) for anything that I know is in that docs. folder on the ext. HD, it is not found.

    How can I get the search to find stuff on my ext. HDD?

    Thanks.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. Cliff S's Avatar
    Posts : 13,856
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 14393, Windows 10 Insider Fast Ring, Windows 8.1 Update, Ubuntu
       23 Aug 2016 #2

    Check your Indexing Options in Control Panel and see if the drive/folder is selected:
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  3. Stevekir's Avatar
    Posts : 120
    Windows 10 Home (with Anniversary Aug. 2016)
       25 Aug 2016 #3

    Cliff S said: View Post
    Check your Indexing Options in Control Panel and see if the drive/folder is selected:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks for that.

    My C: drive is an SSD with its Documents, Pictures etc. folders Redirected to the D drive. The D drive (external USB) holds all my Documents, Pictures etc. etc. That works for simple inspections by browsing (that is, I can open my Documents etc. folder (actually empty of course) in the C: drive and see all my Documents, Pictures etc..

    I have been experimenting. As you advised, I selected my C and D drives in Indexing Options (please see attachment). The number of items went up from 72,000 to 141,000. Encouraging.When I search (next to the Start Button) for Aberdeen I get nothing to do with my computer - just web. At the top of its window are three icons: Find results in Apps/...in Documents/... in Web. Pictures, Music or Video are not offered. Documents produces results.

    Still in that window, I press More at the top right and get a list: Search by category: All, Apps, Documents, Folders, Music, Photos, Settings, Videos and Web. (I wonder what "photos" means in this context?) I select Folders and get a list of folders including some in my Documents folder. Again, no Pictures, Music or Video.

    Going back to the main search bar next to the Start button I search for pictures:aberdeen and get a minute proportion of what is in my pictures folder. Also, a message "These results may be incomplete" (this was what I and some others got last week, after the Anniversary Upgrade) when doing any search. It was cured by changing my language settings to be consistent.)

    What a palaver! It is much quicker and more complete to go back to Windows 7 methods and before and search directly in a folder or folders that seem to be the one that might (or might not) hold what I want.

    Cortana is shown by MS to be wonderful. MS says "Type what you're looking for in the search box on the taskbar. You'll get suggestions and answers to your questions, and search results from your PC and the web." Yeah!
    What I want is to be able to search my computer generally, as a whole, for the name of someone mentioned in a letter buried two deep in folders somewhere, anywhere. Can this be done using just the search term in the search bar?

    Thanks.
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  4. Cliff S's Avatar
    Posts : 13,856
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 14393, Windows 10 Insider Fast Ring, Windows 8.1 Update, Ubuntu
       25 Aug 2016 #4

    Oh! It is not recommended to index your whole C: drive.

    First of all, the more things indexed, the slower the search, regardless if you have an SSD or not.
    There is no need to have the thousands of operating system folders,. and millions of files in the index.
    Second you only need user data drives, folders & files, and any mail or browser caches(should already be setup & done by Windows).

    For searching the operating system I use a 3rd part Master File Table(MFT) search tool called UltraSearch.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5.    26 Aug 2016 #5

    What I want is to be able to search my computer generally, as a whole, for the name of someone mentioned in a letter buried two deep in folders somewhere, anywhere. Can this be done using just the search term in the search bar?
    The Cortana search bar, as far as searching your files and folders, is limited to what's indexed. By definition, what you want to find would need to be indexed, including its content. That may also mean you have to check the appropriate box in Properties for that folder(!) - sthg like 'Allow content to be indexed'

    I never use Cortana search for my files and folders.

    As CliffS says, 3rd party tools like that are great- very fast, inclusive, but don't index content (Ok Copernic and Google Desktop search and so on do or did, but that's a different story).

    Now you have an additional problem using an external drive- to be indexed reliably it needs to use the same drive letter each time it's connected. For that I hope you know the trick with Drive Management of allocating it to (say) letter R - well away from any you're likey to use.

    And I agree with you about the difficulty of getting language consistent for search to work.

    Once working as you want (replacement start menu, language ... and free of anniversary edition bugs- and not using Cortana for PC content search)- Win 10's reliable in my experience- but not in that of a significant number in general.

    Have a look at Locate32 - works like Everything, Ultrasearch, but adds option to search through found text file content. (Don't know is ultraseach does that without checking)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. Stevekir's Avatar
    Posts : 120
    Windows 10 Home (with Anniversary Aug. 2016)
       27 Aug 2016 #6

    Cliff S said: View Post
    Oh! It is not recommended to index your whole C: drive.

    First of all, the more things indexed, the slower the search, regardless if you have an SSD or not.
    There is no need to have the thousands of operating system folders,. and millions of files in the index.
    Second you only need user data drives, folders & files, and any mail or browser caches(should already be setup & done by Windows).

    For searching the operating system I use a 3rd part Master File Table(MFT) search tool called UltraSearch.
    Thanks. I have made the changes you mention.

    Using the Search Bar (bottom left) I can find a word in a letter, provided I search for Documents: <searchword>. But it would be as quick to select the documents folder and search directly in it.
    Last edited by Stevekir; 27 Aug 2016 at 12:40.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. Stevekir's Avatar
    Posts : 120
    Windows 10 Home (with Anniversary Aug. 2016)
       30 Aug 2016 #7

    Stevekir said: View Post
    Thanks. I have made the changes you mention.

    Using the Search Bar (bottom left) I can find a word in a letter, provided I search for Documents: <searchword>. But it would be as quick to select the documents folder and search directly in it.
    I was wrong!

    Open File Explorer. Near the top:Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	99015 press A until you see "This PC" at B. This will cause a search of the whole computer, otherwise navigate elsewhere.

    Then, at top right of the window: Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	99016 enter your search term. "Namtu" is a very remote mining town in Burma. My computer has dozens of files, images (with the search term in its file name and in text within Photoshop psd), Excel, Word, within the text of letters, pdf, maps with "live" text (rather than images of text), folder names and their contents, even shortcuts, all containing the word"Namtu". I believe it found all of them.

    Very quick and efficient. No need for Cortana for searches.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 

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