Thursday, 20 June 2019

How to find any file in seconds (no Indexing needed)!

How many times a day do you spend ages looking for a file that you know is on a drive in your system somewhere, but you just can't remember where you put it?

Well, SwiftSearch (use latest version which is currently v7.5) is a portable, standalone Windows program on SourceForge that will find your file(s) in seconds as long as it is on an NTFS volume. It does this by directly accessing the $MFT (directory) on each NTFS volume in your system and it's really quick!

I use this utility about 20 times every day and have it pinned to my taskbar!

You can also reveal any duplicate files on your system and sort files by date, etc. It is much faster than using Explorer!

It does NOT run in the background to index the drives. You just run it when you want to search all your NTFS volumes for files. You can use wildcards and even regular expressions to search for filenames (it does not search file contents).

Because I use SwiftSearch, I can turn off the Windows Explorer filesystem search indexing which means that Windows runs faster too!

Tip: If the contents of the hard disk changes, you must press F5 to rescan the $MFT of the target drive and then re-execute the search.

There is a 32-bit only version and a 64-bit only version, but in addition there is a SwiftSearch.exe version which is a 32+64-bit dual version. Copy these to your E2B drive to keep them handy.

Finding and backing-up a users important files

I am sure you have all had the scenario where you need to find and copy all a users important .docx or .jpg files, etc. onto an external drive before reformatting and re-installing Windows due to a corrupt or badly infected installation. Unfortunately the user has no idea where the files were stored or the exact name of the files and so you have to hunt for them - but you cannot boot to Windows to do it!

Well, I just boot from my E2B drive to WinPE, such as BobOmb's WinPE or StrelecPE, and run SwiftSearch on the target internal hard disk to find say *.jpg or *a_string*.docx and it will find all matching files in just a second or two - it really is that quick! Then I just select them and use right-click to copy and paste them to an empty folder on my large E2B drive for restoration later on. You can sort the columns by name, size, path or date too.

Make sure you have the latest version for use with WinPE as some previous versions had issues.

Note: Old 32-bit versions don't run under WinPE (they crash with a memory reference error before GUI is displayed). This should be fixed in version 7.5.

Note: Sometimes SwiftSearch does not seem to like the X: drive when running under WinPE, so you may need to alter the target from (All drives) to a specific hard disk volume before executing the search. v.7.4.3 fixes this issue.

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