Find Files Fast

At a Glance
  • dtSearch Corp. dtSearch Desktop With Spider

  • Lookout Software Lookout

  • Lycos HotBot Desktop

  • Blinkx

  • Caelo Software NEO Pro

  • Stata Labs Bloomba Professional

  • X1 Technologies Inc. X1 Search

  • Enfish Software Enfish Find

  • iSleuthHound Technologies Sleuthhound

You know the file is somewhere. Windows can locate it in a twinkling, no doubt. You click Start, Search, type a word or two, click Search, and wait.

And wait.

A banana and half a sports section later, you get the news: 'Search is complete. There are no results to display. But that can't be! Since you know the file arrived as an e-mail attachment, you open Outlook, click Find, type your term, click Find Now, and see 'No items found'. Oops! Outlook can't search attachments.

I know your frustration. My boss recently gave me a simple task: to find the original version of a Scott Spanbauer Internet Tips column about wireless network security from a few years ago. That's all he remembered about it--no file name, no date, nothing.

The search functions built into Windows and Outlook came up empty. (The next Outlook, expected in 2005, and the next Windows, code-named Longhorn and due in 2006, will ostensibly offer superior search functions.) As I scanned through row upon row of file names in Explorer, I knew there had to be a better way. Then in a vision of folder paths and mystery extensions, I saw my quest: to discover the best finder of lost data files.

I chose ten file-search utilities, known and not so well known, and tried using each to unearth that lost Spanbauer file in either or both of two locations: as an attachment among my 30MB of Outlook data (comprising 1104 files) and as a .doc file in my 750MB data megafolder, which held 1110 assorted files and 43 subfolders. I limited the e-mail tests to Microsoft Outlook because it is the most widely used Windows e-mail program.

At a Glance
  • dtSearch Corp. dtSearch Desktop With Spider

  • Lookout Software Lookout

  • Lycos HotBot Desktop

  • Blinkx

  • Caelo Software NEO Pro

  • Stata Labs Bloomba Professional

  • X1 Technologies Inc. X1 Search

  • Enfish Software Enfish Find

  • iSleuthHound Technologies Sleuthhound

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