Improve Windows XP's search facility
One of the handiest features of Windows since Win 95 was its built-in ability to find files based on a portion of their name, size, creation date, or verbal content. With Windows XP, though, the windows search facility seems to have lost its mechanical mind- routinely overlooking files that, as often is the case with us, may be precisely the ones you're looking for.
It requires being up to date on your XP service packs, but there's a deeply buried setting in the labyrinthine structure of the XP menus that can restore at least some of the former glory of the Windows search facility.
Making the adjustment sounds a lot more complicated than it really is- just follow along with the instructions and, before long, you'll be finding files that seemed to have been misplaced forever, lost in the nethermost regions of your hard drive.
1. From the Windows XP desktop, click START, then SEARCH. Look for a menu item to CHANGE PREFERENCES. Depending on your screen resolution, you may have to do some scrolling in the menu pane to spot it.
2. Click it, then click WITH INDEXING SERVICE (yes, we know you've it turned off so your whole system isn't sucked down by its attempt to emulate the server farm at Google, but that's okay. The indexing service doesn't have to run for this to work).
3. Find and click CHANGE INDEXING SERVICE SETTINGS. This will bring up a window.
4. Right-click on the top-most folder icon, then select PROPERTIES from the resultant context menu. That action will call forth from the innards of the beast the foreground dialogue window shown above.
5. Put a checkmark next to where it says INDEX FILES WITH UNKNOWN EXTENSIONS. From that point, OKAY and CLOSE your way back to the surface, and you're done.
In the future, that ridiculous little dog will be a lot more thorough digging through the rubbish heap we call a file system, finding items it had simply overlooked before. We don't guarantee all this will find your misplaced files, but it's sure been a big help for us.
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