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

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  • #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.
 
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  • #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?
 
  • #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
 
  • #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.
 
  • #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.
 
  • #6
Borg
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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.
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.
 
  • #7
OCR
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Just trying to figure out if we can find a file by knowing the name , without knowing the file path nor the
extension:
Well, it seems CCleaner might do that ... but I'm probably over my head, here... :olduhh:

CCleaner.JPG


I'm probably over my head, here...
Probably enough screen grabs, too... :oldeyes:
 
  • #8
mathman
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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.
Yes, you should.
 
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  • #9
Borg
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Yes, you should.
I tried it and it is remarkably fast. Unfortunately...
Does Everything search file contents?
No, "Everything" does not search file contents, only file and folder names.
Still, it seems to be very good at what it does.
 
  • #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.
 
  • #11
Borg
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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.
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.
 
  • #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.
 
  • #13
Borg
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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.
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
 
  • #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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