Windows File Search

How in the %@%&* hell do I tell Windows (Windows XP 5.1.2600) to stop looking inside .zip (or .rar, or other compressed archives) files when I ask it to locate a particular file?

Well, this isn’t quite what you asked, but windows xp search sucks anyway. Try Agent Ransack on for size. I couldn’t live without it now.

If you want it to do full-content-search for ANY kind of file but zip or rar, you might still have to get creative with your search term. But I’m not quite sure what you need… can you tell if it was searching the ZIP file for a key term like ‘lager’… or was it unpacking the zip file and searching through its contents?? (Windows search isn’t able to unpack RAR files from what I’ve heard, though it does unpack zips.)

It’s looking inside zip file for the specified string. I’m not sure how it is attempting to find the string. While I’m pretty sure it’s not unpacking the zip file to search, I do think it is looking all the info in the .zip file rather than just a list of file names. It is just too damned slow to be searching a “table of contents.”

Anyway, thanks for the lead. I’ll check it out.

You can completely disable Windows XP’s native .zip support - that should do the trick, but it’s not pretty.

In theory, you should be able to set up a couple of shortcut icons to enable and disable native .zip support, in case you need to turn it on again.

Awesome. Thanks much. How the hell MS fucked up the file search so badly is a topic for another forum. But I really like this comment from the guy in the link you gave me:

“Chris comments: found that the way windowsXP treats zips like folders was the stupidest thing ever, so of course I wanted it gone right away.”

Gotta argee with that.

…windows xp search sucks anyway.

I agree. Not only is the UI annoying and wordy, the searching is out-and-out broken - it will sometimes fail to find the file you’re looking for, even when given the exact filename of an existing file.

I think Windows XP searching is improved by using TweakUI (scroll down a bit) to select the “Use classic search in explorer” option in the Explorer section. This causes searches to use the old Windows 2000 interface. No animated characters, no wordy multi-level “friendly” menus.

You can also change some aspects of searching with the Indexing Service. When enabled, searches can be accelerated dramatically. When disabled, they seem to work more reliably. You can choose your poison and select what directories get indexed through the Computer Management control panel.

I’ve no doubt that third-party tools like Agent Ransack can improve on this even further, but even the built-in stuff can be made to work better than it does out-of-the-box.

slight hijack. I originally went out and found agent ransack not because of the zip thing or anything else, but because I work with ASP source files a lot. Some :confused: :mad: :eek: at microsoft set up the windows file search with a routine so that the search-inside for ASP source files will only look through text that is outside of all the code blocks. That sort of thing might make sense for HTML files, where the majority of users would be interested in searching for text that would actually come up if they opened the file, not keywords hidden in META tags or whatever. Maybe even for graphic designers.

But the majority of people who’d be searching through ASP source files, I dare to say, would actually be wanting to look at the friggin’ source code!! And microsoft search just completely skips over it. I mean… it’s plain text in there, guys. Not too hard to search. And you’re the company who came up with it in the first place!!!

I’m sorry… I tend to rant and rave once I get onto this topic. (sighs.)