Windows Files: Search, Indexing and Online Backup

Discussion in 'Blogs' started by Mike, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    Jul 22, 2005
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    Windows Files: Search, Indexing and Online Backup
    Windows Libraries and the Windows Search Index

    In this video, I will discuss with you:

    The power of the Library feature in Windows 7.
    The configuration of Indexing Options.
    And the ability to backup your files at any time, on the the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud using Dropbox.

    1. How to Identify and Use Libraries
    2. How to Configure a Library
    3. How to Add a New Library

    First, let’s check out Libraries. To access Libraries, we go to Computer. When we go to Computer, we get a better understanding that Libraries actually exist, under Windows 7. Fair enough to understand. But, how can we create custom libraries, and how can we use libraries to our full advantage? As you can see, I have already created a custom library called Downloads. I will show you how to create an additional one. But first, let’s look at the existing custom library.

    This custom library called “Downloads” exists because there is no custom library called “Downloads” in the official release of Windows. So, I create a new library by right-clicking on Libraries, going to New, and going to Library. What I did, if you go to my “Downloads” properties here, is that I linked “Downloads” in my user profile, so c:\users\mike and “Downloads” in My Documents. So, I can access both. Any time I download something, I can simply go to Downloads, and Libraries, and view them from there.

    To create a custom Library, let us take a look. We go to New, Library, and we can type in whatever we want. In this case, let’s call it “Dropbox”. And in this case, and in this scenario, I will show you what I am talking about. We can link to our “Dropbox” folder, which exists within Documents. There is my Dropbox right there, and we go to Include Folder. Now, whenever I go to the Libraries pane, I will find my Dropbox files.

    Second, let’s take a look here at the Indexing Options. To access the Indexing Options, we go to the Start menu, and Start Orb, and we type in Indexing Options. The Windows Search Index determines what you pull up whenever you conduct a search through the Start Menu by clicking on the Start Orb. By now, if you have been using Windows 7 or Windows Vista for awhile, you will probably be acclimated with this feature and will probably be using it quite often. Yet, not all files are stored in the Search Index and for good reason. If all files were stored in the Search Index, it would take up an enormous amount of input and output disk I/O. It would also, probably, result in a faulty index. So we will look at ways to not only ways to not only optimize, configure, and use the Search Index, but also ways to reset the Search Index if your computer is running slow.

    As you can see we have a number of folders that are indexed automatically. These are all folders under the Users pane, so anything in your Documents, Videos, Pictures that you have will be indexed. Any application data that you have will be excluded, which is a smart move. We can go Modified and take a look at what is going on here. You can see that Sticky Notes, Offline Files, Sharepoint Workspace, and C Drive (not indexed), and Internet Explorer history is also indexed. When we go to Start Menu, we know that the Start Menu is indexed automatically. Office Tools are also indexed. Just say we wanted to index a custom folder, we can do that. We would go to Modify, we would see the existing stuff we have. We would go to Advanced. We could choose to index encrypted files. We could determine how, in some cases, the Index works, and we can go to File Types. But to truly add a new folder, we go to Modify, we go to C:\ and we can choose what folder we want to index simply by clicking on it and pressing OK. This will then index that folder. You will then be able to search on it, by using the Start Menu.

    Now, there may be some things that you don’t want to Index. For example, if you have Microsoft Office, but don’t use Sharepoint Workspace, you go to Modify, and remove Sharepoint Workspace from the index. You can remove OneNote, Outlook, and you could even remove Internet Explorer history, Sticky Notes, and Offline Files for the most part. You can hit OK, and go to close.

    Now, you may wonder, “Now that I have removed these things, what do I do?”. Under Indexing Options, we want to do one more thing. We go back to Indexing Options and go to Advanced. Sometimes, if the computer is slow to boot, this is also due to an Indexing issue. So you can go to Rebuild the Index (delete and rebuild it). You will get a warning that “Rebuilding the index might take a long time to complete. Some views and search results might be incomplete until the search result is finished.” You can go to OK. At that point, the Search Index is being rebuilt from scratch. There may be no indication that this is happening, so you should keep your computer on for a while, but for the most part, it will be rebuilt. Now let’s move on to Dropbox.

    We will take a look at a software application called Dropbox. Dropbox provides free storage of up to 2GB, at no cost. Dropbox creates a folder, usually within My Documents, or wherever you tell it to, and anything you place in that folder is:

    1. Backed up for all time.
    2. Synchronized between any computers where you install Dropbox
    3. Accessible whenever you log into Dropbox from the web

    Dropbox has many uses in academia, business on the go, and home use. It is clear that Dropbox is a good idea for those of you who need data protection. The 2GB of free disk space that Dropbox gives you is equivalent to a free USB flash drive that will never die, is completely portable, and will always be with you. Furthermore, Dropbox solicits no advertisements and collects no personal data about you when you use the software.

    I will show you how to find dropbox, where it is, and how to get to it. First, we will go to our web browser and type in Now we can see that we have the website, Dropbox, and in order to download Dropbox, we simply click here.

    The instructions on how to install Dropbox are very simple and shown here. I will show you that you can actually log in to to retrieve your files. I login with my information. So here, we have all of our files that we may want to download from the Dropbox online utility. But, not only that, when we go to the Dropbox library, or My Documents, we see that these are all synchronized files. When I create a new file, a Word document for now, this is automatically updated to the Dropbox servers. It is accessible online, and usable from any location, or computer where you install Dropbox. The information is secured using similar to technology to what banking companies use. It is a pretty good way of backing up your stuff (for free, no less).

    So when we consider all of the elements of this video that includes: Libraries, Indexing Options, Windows Search, and Dropbox. We can see better ways of managing our files on our system. We can see better ways of managing search features, and the search index. We can see ways of backing up files that are free, appropriate, and highly secure.

    Thanks for watching this video.

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