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  Tip: Using XP Search Companion  

If you're running Windows XP, you may have noticed that the Search Companion is practically worthless. If you want to find a file by its name, you can do that. But if you want to search for a file containing particular word or phrase, forget it. It's also terribly slow, even though it's supposed to use some fancy indexing scheme to make searches faster than ever.

For some bizarre reason, Search Companion comes installed in a crippled mode. By default it does not search inside files despite what its use interface and it doesn't using the index. To make it even slower, it opens Zip files and searches them for matching file names.

You can add relatively simple Registry entries to make Search Companion look inside files with different extensions. One obvious choice would be .txt files, although you might want to add others such as .com, .ini, .xml, .frm, .bas, .cls, and .vb files.

DougKnox.com has information on how to:

  • Add Registry entries to let Search Companion look inside files for words and phrases.
  • Download a small VB Script program to create these Registry entries.
  • Download a VB utillity that allows searching within files without modifying the Registry.
  • Download Agent Ransack, a freeware "lite" version of FileLocator Pro, an alternative search utility.

Also go to XPSearch.info to find information on making Search Companion use Index Server to greatly improve its performance.

Hugh Lerwill pointed out a link at Chris's Free Development Tools and says:

XP file search normally skips files (when you search for text within files) if it doesn't recognize the extension, after this registry fix it treats anything it doesn't recognize as a text file (like Win 2000 did)


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