Saturday, January 24, 2009

Find Files Quickly

I’ve published a free command line utility that can be used to quickly find files on your hard drive. You can download it here.

I’ve always been frustrated with the file search capabilities in Windows. The search is slow and turning on the indexing service rarely increases performance. I know I’m not alone, as there are a handful of freeware and shareware utilities that provide enhanced file search capability. Even Google has tried to address this deficiency with Google Desktop. All of those solutions slowed my PC down or came with a ton of overhead and security concerns.

I wrote this utility sometime in 2004. I’ve been using it since then on all of my development and home PCs. Last week after performing steps to manually install it on some new laptops, I decided to create an install. Once the installation existed, I figured I might as well share it with everyone else.  :)

If you’ve used Linux before this is basically my own implementation of the Linux “locate” command.

The database locate uses will build in the background after installation, and be automatically updated each night via a scheduled task the installer creates. You can start using locate immediately after installation, but it will take a few minutes for the database to be populated. Searches during this time frame (immediately after installation) will not locate all files on disk.

The download is only 2 meg and installation takes seconds. Try it out and let me know what you think.


Anonymous said...

Nice utility, well done and super fast. One question though, when we add a new drive (it seems "locate" by itself only indexes the drive where it was installed) via the -build d: option, does it remember to continue indexing the added drive when the scheduled task automatically starts?

J.D. Mullin said...


No, you will need to open "scheduled tasks" in the control panel and add the build option to that task.

Anonymous said...

Made sense and sounded fairly easy. However, you failed to mention that under the "scheduled tasks", it is locatebuild.exe that is ran rather than locate itself. Could not figure out if locatebuild.exe accepts the same arguments and options as locate.exe. Also, what exactly is the purpose of the -friendly option? I thought it was some sort of verbose option, but locatebuild.exe -friendly runs rather silently to me!!! ;)

J.D. Mullin, Advantage Engineering Manager said...

Sorry, I forgot about locatebuild.exe. -friendly makes it take it easy on the disk and processor so it can run nicely in the background without affecting pc performance.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that "locatebuild d:" does not actually index the D: drive? I even tried adding the -build option to mimic locate but still does not want to index my D: drive. Thanks in advance for your input on this otherwise extremely useful utility.

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