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Finding files Using Name, over _All_ Extensions (CLI, GUI)?

  1. Apr 10, 2015 #1

    WWGD

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    Hi All,
    Just trying to figure out if we can find a file by knowing the name , without knowing the file path nor the
    extension:

    If we want to find all files with extension, say, .txt , we can use ( in Command Line ) the command

    dir *. txt ; to find al files with extension .txt in a specific folder , say , D\ data , we use dir D: \data.txt

    BUT , what if we only know the name of the file, without knowing the extension , or maybe not knowing

    parts of the path , is there a way?

    EDIT : Basically, I have a file whose name I know, but I don't know the directory that the file is in.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2015 #2

    WWGD

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    Ah, never mind for one of the questions; I just remembered we can use the wildcards ? for the extension. But then I guess we can then just look over all extensions with fixed number of letters/characters , by using any number of ? 's. Still, if we only know the file name, is there a nice way to do a search over all possible paths, or at least all paths in a fixed root directory?
     
  4. Apr 11, 2015 #3

    Borg

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    It depends on the OS that you're working with and how you're performing your search. Since you referenced a C drive, I'm assuming it's Windows. Are you using a command prompt or the search in Windows Explorer? The newer versions of Windows Explorer hide certain file types from your searches by default. See this article about turning that annoying behavior off:

    http://lifehacker.com/5887848/make-...on-times-more-useful-with-these-simple-tweaks
     
  5. Apr 11, 2015 #4

    WWGD

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    Thanks Borg, actually I am using Win 8.1 and the command prompt. Thanks for the link; you are right it is a bad habit: one may miss out , e.g., on java applets in the extension.
     
  6. Apr 11, 2015 #5

    mathman

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    There is a program called "everything", which is free and available from CNET. It will find all files with a given string in its name. I have found it extremely useful.
     
  7. Apr 11, 2015 #6

    Borg

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    I noticed that there was a link to it at the end of the article that I posted. I haven't tried it but maybe I should.
     
  8. Apr 11, 2015 #7

    OCR

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    Well, it seems CCleaner might do that ... but I'm probably over my head, here... :olduhh:

    CCleaner.JPG


    Probably enough screen grabs, too... :oldeyes:
     
  9. Apr 12, 2015 #8

    mathman

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    Yes, you should.
     
  10. Apr 13, 2015 #9

    Borg

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    I tried it and it is remarkably fast. Unfortunately...
    Still, it seems to be very good at what it does.
     
  11. Apr 17, 2015 #10

    meBigGuy

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    In windows 7 you just type in the file explorer search window and it will find all instances of that sequence in all files in and below the directory you are viewing. I'd be surprised if 8.1 did not do the same.
     
  12. Apr 17, 2015 #11

    Borg

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    Windows ignores many types of files in their search tool. You can change this filtering but it's a pain and still doesn't work all of the time.
     
  13. Apr 18, 2015 #12

    meBigGuy

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    Windows might ignore hidden files or system files if you have explorer configured that way. What else might they ignore.
    tools->folder options -> view. Not so complicated.
    Probably 99% of people searching don't care about hidden or system files.
     
  14. Apr 18, 2015 #13

    Borg

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    I wasn't referring to hidden or system files. The default configuration of Windows search will only search specific types of files that they think people need. If you try to search for text within a .java file, .xml file, or anything else that isn't in their specific list, the search will come back empty. You have to manually add every type of file that you want to search. There is no way to turn off this so that it will search everything.

    This is what I'm talking about:
    http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Windows-7-Search-File-Contents
     
  15. Apr 19, 2015 #14

    meBigGuy

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    You are talking about searching for file contents, not file names.

    OP asked :
    "Just trying to figure out if we can find a file by knowing the name , without knowing the file path nor the
    extension:"

    I have not had any issues with finding files by name (in windows 7).

    As for searching file contents, one doesn't generally want to search binary files for text (not always true, I know) so the extensions searched are limited to known text formats.

    If you rename a text file to a binary or unknown extension then it won't be searched.

    I can see where that might be bothersome. grep tells you about binary files. (I usually use grep)
     
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