Thursday, 5 September 2013

FAST! Windows NTFS file search of your entire system in a few seconds! - SwiftSearch

SwiftSearch requires Admin privileges, however, it is VERY FAST!
You can use regular expressions or use a search pattern like t*.xl??  to find Excel files beginning with t or T. On my 250GB nearly full C: volume it did this search in about 1 second (after reading the NTFS file table on the first search, which took about 5 seconds)!
Not only is it fast, but it actually finds the files I am looking for (even if it is a hidden or system file) unlike the next-to-useless Win 7 search engine! Finally you can disable the resource hungry and delay-causing Windows Search Service and no need for an enormous index file either. Shame MS couldn't do this!
SwiftSearch is a standalone executable and therefore is a portable application - it ran fine under a vanilla Windows 7 PE environment too. This means it could be very useful for booting a system to WinPE from a USB drive and then quickly using SwiftSearch to find and copy an important file (or all .doc files?) onto your USB drive. Unfortunately you can only select and copy one file at a time in the search results (no Ctrl+A function) but at least right-click works as expected on individual files. Maybe this will be improved soon?
See here for a forum thread on SwiftSearch and comments from the author of SwiftSearch about hidden (previously undocumented) features:
  • F5 - re-index target volume (use this if you have copied files to the same volume since you launched SwiftSearch)
  • Ctrl+Search = find all files included deleted files (right-click on result to see file number) - combined with DiskBuddy's ability to read the MFT, that should be enough to tell you where a file is located on the disk.
  • Shift+Search = display all NTFS attributes
  • ESC - minimise to System Tray (re-indexes every 15 minutes)