Windows desktop searches

There are several good features in Vista, but you might want to stay away from it until the first Service Pack arrives next year (stability and driver issues being the main concern). Luckily, it is possible to stay within Windows XP and still derive benefits from most of the advanced features bundled with Vista. One of them is the improved search functionality, which is a crucial utility in these days of overflowing inboxes and hundreds of files in tens of different project timelines. For some time I have been a happy user of Google Desktop Search (GDS), which brings the power of Google search into your laptop or PC. But the problem has been that GDS stopped indexing my files, producing severely truncated results. Deleting and reindexing did not change the situation; I am not sure if there is some max file size which GDS index file can reach — I have tens of thousands of files in my daily use, so I need a desktop search capable of indexing them all. Luckily, Microsoft has now released their Windows Desktop Search also for Win XP systems as a free upgrade, and it seems to work fine. There are also many other add-ons you might consider to make your trusty old WinXP system to go still that extra mile. One of the best guides to this is: http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/winvista_xp_apps.asp.

Author: frans

Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, esp. Digital Culture and Game Studies in the University of Tampere, Finland.

2 thoughts on “Windows desktop searches”

  1. The most obvious downsides of WDS are that it does not search from within Thunderbird or Gmail mailboxes like GDS does, and it is also rather slow at least in my Thinkpad T43 (2Gb memory).

  2. Oh dear, WDS 3.01 was actually so-oo slo-oooow that I had to remove it, and live again without any sort of desktop search in my laptop. WDS took over so many processes that it actually started to paralyse the entire operating system, created stability issues and actually crashed the entire OS couple of times. Not good.

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