why windows desktop search sucks ass

windows desktop search suckageSo I’m using Windows Desktop Search at work for quick retrieval of emails and files since we’ve grown so used to the “search instead of sort” motto Google thought us. It’s WDS not because we want to use it, but because we have to from the IT guys. They got a bit spooked by the fact that Google Desktop Search allows you to search from other computers, which means parts of company files are stored on Google servers on teh interweb. And t3h intahweb is dangerous! I can get that really, even though it’s a feature you have to activate manually for it to work…

Anyway, so the damn Redmond solution to search it is. Most of it works swell though, but there’s this one thing they got it really wrong. That one thing is the integration with the OS. Yep, you read that one right, their own bloody operating system.

You see, when you’re explorer your files and want to search a file by hitting CTRL-F you used to get this simple Windows search box in the left panel. It’s basic, but it works. Now this panel has of course been replaced by the more advanced, and also more complex Windows Desktop Search. Even if you haven’t indexed the current folder in WDS!

Now, the guys at MicroSoft aren’t stupid, so they warn you about the fact that the current folder isn’t indexed. They also advise you to use the so-called “Search Companion” instead, which is that old search box. They also put a picture of that stupid yellow canine in there again, probably because they found out that the animated search companion bitch (I bet it’s female) is the first thing you turned off after you installed XP. Is that thing still around in Vista btw? I wonder.

Instead of warning you that the search form they are putting up is completely useless, how about directing you to that bloody search companion right away, and save me the frustration of having to do that myself. In a pop-up window of course, using the same window wouldn’t be confusing enough.

So the only option is to index the whole fucking disk if you want to get rid of this nuisance. Which of course eats at your disk space, slows your searches, and stuffs your search results with results you never wanted.

Excellent suckage if you ask me.

26 thoughts on “why windows desktop search sucks ass

  1. Johnny P.

    Finally I found a group of people who share my frustration with Microcrap Windows. I wish I had kept a list of things that had me pulling my hair while letting out f-words after f-words. What I don’t understand is simply: Why can’t they fix these little annoyances? What prevents them? What do they do with their time and all that money? It’s obvious removing these annoyances don’t add anything to their bottom line. And like all big corporations, that’s all that matters. We need to boycott this gay-ass company, MICROCRAP

  2. John

    Not only does it take forever to index your drive, the index is never up to date. How hard is it for the search indexer to as the kernel to tell it every time I make a change, my brother who is a programmer uses this functionality he says its a breeze, why can’t the people who make the OS and the programming APIs themselves utilize it i can never understand. Also it routinely kicks off my mapped network drives from the places to index thing. So i have to re add them and of course wait hours, days, weeks, possibly years to index, and then when I go to use it It doesn’t come up with a file that’s on the disk (the indexed disk by the way), I eventually found using search companion which is slow as it has always been but at least it eventually finds the file that is actually there.

  3. hamster

    This tutorial is on HOW TO SAVE A SHORTCUT IN YOUR START MENU FOR THE SEARCH COMPANION just in case you want to SKIP that useless new seatch thing to the classic Search Companion.

    1) click on START–>Search–>search for files and folders..

    2) When that Dumb Search thing comes up, click on Search Companion..

    3) When Search Companion is executed, do a search on a blank, which starts a search on all files. Immediately stop the search and…

    4) in the Menu Bar, click on FILE and SAVE SEARCH.. which then it would want to save a short-cut named “All FIles.Find” which is what I usually like to see when I want to do a search. So, save it in your START MENU folder which is located in C:\Documents and Settings\your-name-whatever-it-may-be\Start Menu folder.

    That’s it. From now on, when you want to search, click on start and you will see the icon “All Files.Find” Say good bye to that annoying search-good-for-nothing-crap!

    5) If you often do a search for lets say *.mid then do a search on *.mid and save it in the Start Menu folder or whatever folder you like, and it will save you time tying *.mid everytime you want to search for midi files iin your local drives.

    I have Win-2K-Pro on my old computer and it performs far better than any of the newer OS!

  4. Tony Karavidas

    I just tried searching for know content in a directory full of files and it didn’t work! P.O.S.

    I do the same search on file in Textpad, and IT finds everything just fine. MS Sucks.

  5. Tony Karavidas

    I just tried searching for know content in a directory full of files and it didn’t work! P.O.S.

    I do the same search on file in Textpad, and IT finds everything just fine. MS Sucks.

  6. MS Pest

    Lol @ #2 Mitch Stevesn, that sounds plausible. MS has teams of stupid people on the pay list who don’t understand a simple thing.

    Microsoft sucks because of their eternal attitude to destroy features and move things around. Did something take one click? Tah-dah, with this new version of Windows it now takes three clicks! In the next version it will take seven clicks. And finally the feature will be gone.

    I have Vista and I hate the interface. Damn, I’d die for a Windows2000 shell, I will download and install all the nifty desktops gadgets myself. Or not. Who on earth at Microsoft decided to remove the up-button in the explorer? WTF??? Who on earth decided to remove ‘search’ from the right mouse button context menu? WTF??? Who on earth managed to create a nagging ‘search’ option that takes several windows, clicks and changing of stupid defaults in order to get bugged with ‘click here for more results’ and ‘click here to start indexing now’. I avoid searching for files, except if I am in a network with older Windows versions. Spooky enough, searching remotely from an old Windows2000 machine works fine.

    Microsoft is extremely annoying. We also use Windows 7 and 2008. Manage a computer by right clicking the computer icon and choose manage? NO!!! Of course not!!!

    We should be glad that Microsoft is not making cars. With every version the steering wheel would have been moved. You’d be annoyed by messages warning you you are in a car. With every new version there would be more locks to be opened before you could get in. And after service you would discover that your radio is replaced with an MS Music Receiver that is not able to tune in to your favorite stations.

    Microsoft sucks. The arrogance of a company with too much power. They fix a lot of things, but still we need to reboot-reboot-reboot-reboot-reboot and fix problems after express updates. Explaining to your network users that their settings are vanished forever because of an update is a problem. Loss of productivity because of the need to reboot-reboot-reboot is a problem. Stupid defaults is a problem. But hey, that’s Microsoft. All wise. You stupid user. Now pay us. And again. And again.

  7. MS Pest

    Lol @ #2 Mitch Stevesn, that sounds plausible. MS has teams of stupid people on the pay list who don’t understand a simple thing.

    Microsoft sucks because of their eternal attitude to destroy features and move things around. Did something take one click? Tah-dah, with this new version of Windows it now takes three clicks! In the next version it will take seven clicks. And finally the feature will be gone.

    I have Vista and I hate the interface. Damn, I’d die for a Windows2000 shell, I will download and install all the nifty desktops gadgets myself. Or not. Who on earth at Microsoft decided to remove the up-button in the explorer? WTF??? Who on earth decided to remove ‘search’ from the right mouse button context menu? WTF??? Who on earth managed to create a nagging ‘search’ option that takes several windows, clicks and changing of stupid defaults in order to get bugged with ‘click here for more results’ and ‘click here to start indexing now’. I avoid searching for files, except if I am in a network with older Windows versions. Spooky enough, searching remotely from an old Windows2000 machine works fine.

    Microsoft is extremely annoying. We also use Windows 7 and 2008. Manage a computer by right clicking the computer icon and choose manage? NO!!! Of course not!!!

    We should be glad that Microsoft is not making cars. With every version the steering wheel would have been moved. You’d be annoyed by messages warning you you are in a car. With every new version there would be more locks to be opened before you could get in. And after service you would discover that your radio is replaced with an MS Music Receiver that is not able to tune in to your favorite stations.

    Microsoft sucks. The arrogance of a company with too much power. They fix a lot of things, but still we need to reboot-reboot-reboot-reboot-reboot and fix problems after express updates. Explaining to your network users that their settings are vanished forever because of an update is a problem. Loss of productivity because of the need to reboot-reboot-reboot is a problem. Stupid defaults is a problem. But hey, that’s Microsoft. All wise. You stupid user. Now pay us. And again. And again.

  8. n3wjack Post author

    That part about the wi-fi connection is certainly odd. I can’t think of any proper reason why the search would interfere with that unless you’d be indexing network shares oslt. Bad network usage could mess up your wi-fi bandwidth in that case since that’s limited compared to using UTP cables.

  9. Jons

    Yea, I agree. I had it installed for 6 mo.

    I never found anything I was looking for – sometimes it wasn’t found at all as there were so many search options to set (cryptically named) that it was difficult to identify one from the other. When items were found, they were buried in so much irrelevant minutiae that I couldn’t find the the patience to sort through it all.

    Each time it went into an indexing spasm, it would create a new file that, guess what, couldn’t be “defragqed” unless indexing was turned off before the defrag attempt – like, I needed another thing to shut down before defragging.

    Although it shouldn’t have had a nasty side-effect on my wi-fi connection to my cable modem, I was experiencing repeated drop-outs and reconnects (every 10 minutes or so) that I hadn’t had previously and that I first blamed on neighbors over-running channel 11, then on the placement of the router and client, and then on the ISP – a famous cable network. However, when I finally unistalled the ugly Win Search, all problems vanished, my wi-fi to cable ISP is consistently blazingly fast and reliable with no drop-outs (for three weeks now). Coincidence? Too many variables to be certain, but no other change can explain.

    So, to me, it was functionally worthless, a memory and storage hog that took extra effort to control, and, probably, was doing shite-tricks in the background that were corrupting my “user experience”.

    Yea, IMO, Win Desktop Search do sucketh maximally.

  10. n3wjack Post author

    In fact, there are a number of commands you can specify in the search query to refine your results though. I think that using doc:py for example would filter out anything but the *.py files. I don’t know if it’ll actually index the contents though.

    If you look in the help file there’s a list of commands you can use to refine results. If you still have it installed of course.
    It would of course been a lot more intuitive to simply allow a *.py search, or have it search subfolders and extensions the same way google looks into URL’s for your search keywords.

  11. Matt

    And here I thought MicroShaft was actually going to provide us some technology that has been around since the 1980s, a basic indexing file search utility. Macs have had it for a long time. They are so stupid and probably don’t even use their own tools.

    Case in point: Suppose I want to search for all files with a .py suffix in a given subdirectory. Can I type *.py into their search engine? Nope sorry it doesn’t understand ‘*’, can’t do globs or regex or anything in any obvious way. I can’t see any easy way to even differentiate between file names and the contents of files. They are freakin geniuses!

    When things are indexed and ready to go, it will just dump useless matches wherever they occur. Hey how about search filters guys. It’s not rocket science anymore, digital tries and suffix tries have been out for decades.

    I think the basic problem is that they refuse to use any existing paradigms from the rest of the software world. That’s why we got backslash for directory delimination, and spaces in file names.

  12. Matt

    And here I thought MicroShaft was actually going to provide us some technology that has been around since the 1980s, a basic indexing file search utility. Macs have had it for a long time. They are so stupid and probably don’t even use their own tools.

    Case in point: Suppose I want to search for all files with a .py suffix in a given subdirectory. Can I type *.py into their search engine? Nope sorry it doesn’t understand ‘*’, can’t do globs or regex or anything in any obvious way. I can’t see any easy way to even differentiate between file names and the contents of files. They are freakin geniuses!

    When things are indexed and ready to go, it will just dump useless matches wherever they occur. Hey how about search filters guys. It’s not rocket science anymore, digital tries and suffix tries have been out for decades.

    I think the basic problem is that they refuse to use any existing paradigms from the rest of the software world. That’s why we got backslash for directory delimination, and spaces in file names.

  13. YogurtBoy

    Agree 100%. Every time MS puts something out, it’s a little worse than the previous piece of $hit before it

  14. Mitur Binesderti

    No, they are stupid. If you have the worst file search utility on the face of the planet that even find simple files if it feels like it doesn’t want to look for them then why the FUCK wouldn’t you make sure your shit works the next time you put it out.

    Not only is the “new” windows search fucking usless it’s even worse than the total piece of shit it replaces.

  15. Mitur Binesderti

    No, they are stupid. If you have the worst file search utility on the face of the planet that even find simple files if it feels like it doesn’t want to look for them then why the FUCK wouldn’t you make sure your shit works the next time you put it out.

    Not only is the “new” windows search fucking usless it’s even worse than the total piece of shit it replaces.

  16. n3wjack Post author

    I wouldn’t call them stupid, but it’s just sad they didn’t manage to intergrate their own desktop search with their own OS in a better way.

  17. Mitch Stevesn

    You know, Redmond people are not bright. They’re pompous little pussy’s from India. World’s brightest people USE LINUX. PHUCK Microsoft. Consisently they put out STUPID code.. and stupid products. And here we go again. An index tool that doesn’t work with their own OS!!!

    How stupid is that???????????

  18. Mitch Stevesn

    You know, Redmond people are not bright. They’re pompous little pussy’s from India. World’s brightest people USE LINUX. PHUCK Microsoft. Consisently they put out STUPID code.. and stupid products. And here we go again. An index tool that doesn’t work with their own OS!!!

    How stupid is that???????????

  19. Lew A

    I couldn’t agree more!

    I tried to search for something on a DVD… it immediately complained that it wasn’t indexed. I don’t understand why it doesn’t just search regardless of indexing.

    Don’t tell me what’s wrong, just do what I asked you to do!

    Morons.
    Lew

  20. Lew A

    I couldn’t agree more!

    I tried to search for something on a DVD… it immediately complained that it wasn’t indexed. I don’t understand why it doesn’t just search regardless of indexing.

    Don’t tell me what’s wrong, just do what I asked you to do!

    Morons.
    Lew

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