Windows Vista x64 searches 5 times longer than Windows XP!

Discussion in 'Windows 64bit' started by Dima, May 10, 2008.

  1. Dima

    Dima Guest

    Why does Windows Vista x64 search so long, especially when the progress in
    the bar is at the end and the ring is rolling (a replacement for the sand
    When a search is not "nearly instantaneous" it takes nearly forever. That
    is, when you ask for an Advanced Search of Computer, the bar first goes
    half-way across fairly quickly. Then it goes more slowly to about 3/4 of
    the way, appearing to redraw the bar every second or so, then more slowly
    still to 7/8, etc., getting closer to the end with each redraw - but never
    quite reaching the end. I watch hopefully as it gets to the little
    down-pointing triangle, thinking that it will give up when it gets there and
    report that it can't find what it's searching for. But it doesn't. It
    keeps creeping further, past the vertical separator at the end of the
    Address Bar, and then at a maddeningly slow pace across the red "X" and...
    hours later, the green bar is still being redrawn and it STILL hasn't got to
    the end.
    Windows XP Pro on the same computer (but on another HDD) searches for the
    same files (on all HDDs) five times faster.
    Dima, May 10, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  2. Dima

    marfi Guest

    Uzytkownik "Dima" <> napisal w wiadomosci
    The same for me... Total Commander is 20 times faster than explorer...
    horrible :(
    marfi, May 10, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  3. It's worse than that. It also sometimes cannot find files that are clearly

    Synapse Syndrome, May 10, 2008
  4. Dima

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, Dima.

    Is there an echo in here?

    This sounds like the discussion we had here a week or two ago. Yes, here it
    is: started by you on 4/28/08, Subject: Why does Windows Vista x64 search
    so long? Like this current post, it was cross-posted to 3 NGs; that thread
    has 9 posts, of which 5 were from you. One is from me, one from Tony
    Sperling and 2 from Colin Barnhorst.

    The bulk of your current post is a cut-n-pasted direct quote from my post of
    4/28/08 in that other thread. I don't mind your using my description of the
    problem, but whenever you "borrow" text from somewhere, common courtesy (and
    Netiquette) requires that you identify the source.

    Have you found new information about this problem, Dima? Or are you just
    asking the same question again?

    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX

    Microsoft Windows MVP
    (Running Windows Live Mail 2008 in Vista Ultimate x64 SP1)
    R. C. White, May 12, 2008
  5. Dima

    Dima Guest

    No, I have not find any new information. It's strange that nobody knows a
    resolution to the slow search in Vista!
    Dima, May 12, 2008
  6. Dima

    Tom Ferguson Guest

    I am sure there are many who know how to "fix it", at least, in principle.
    And many of them are at Microsoft. <g>

    Without going into the details of search theory or methods of
    implementation: It could well be that nothing is actually broken so does not
    need fixing in the strict sense. Possibly, the search algorithms are
    performing exactly as designed. However, it also might be true that they
    could be better implemented. For example, they could be recoded into
    assembly or direct machine code-seldom done now-but that's a topic for a
    different place and time. As one example of a fast search-isoHunt, a Torrent
    search engine, is very rapid considering the vast quantity of data indexed
    however it retunes a quantity of false positives.

    In designing any program, there are many trade-offs. All of them affect the
    search speed. E.g. Do you do a full, all storage devices search or limit it
    to a particular set of locations (Vista actually allows the user to modify
    to search entire index or just user files). How highly do you value
    reliability (same results on repeated searches of the same data),
    accuracy/fuzziness (result matches target/result is a near match), &c. But
    Here I am probably not saying anything you don't know.

    In short, if it's not too late for that, we can be certain that these are
    matters that are routinely reviewed as development goes forward as halting
    and retrograde as that motion sometimes appears.
    Tom Ferguson, May 13, 2008
  7. Dima

    Dima Guest

    Why don't they reply then?
    Dima, May 14, 2008
  8. They probably haven't found an answer either.

    If someone had an answer they would have shared the information.
    Bobby Johnson, May 14, 2008
  9. This is a peer-to-peer newsgroup and does not have monitors or moderators.
    Unless another user has a suggestion or technical answer no one will reply.
    Colin Barnhorst, May 14, 2008
  10. Dima

    Tom Ferguson Guest

    As Colin points out, this is a peer-to-peer help group. Sometimes MS softies
    drop in but MS has no formal presence here.

    As for your question, I have enough trouble accounting for myself without
    dragging out "ye olde crystal ball" to divine anyone else's motivations. <g>
    Tom Ferguson, May 16, 2008
  11. Microsoftie here :)

    The progress bar was a design decision made by the program management team.
    It does not show progress, but it does reflect that we're still performing
    work. It was tweaked significantly during the different Betas and Release
    Candidates until people were generally ok with it.

    Searching in indexed locations should be fast. It should be even faster
    with Window Search 4 ( installed. The
    more locations on the disk you have indexed, the faster the searching of
    these locations should be. Keep in mind that we don't index the entire drive
    on purpose, as the indexer wasn't designed to handle the load that is
    associated with indexing directories like Windows or Program Files.

    Searching all of the Computer is a very costly operation, because a majority
    of the time is spent crawling the disk trying to find the items that you're
    looking for. The non-indexed search of Vista is slower than XP and other
    engines by default, because we end up searching more properties. Also, we
    perform our searches differently than most engines (word based, rather than
    character or regular expression based). This isn't an excuse, we should
    still do a better job of being more efficient.

    Granted that it may be slower in some situations, there are things you can
    do to improve performance of your searches.

    1. Scope your search location. Only include the locations you think that
    you may find the file you're looking for. This will obviously speed things
    2. Scope your search to only search for properties you care about. Use
    either the Advanced Search Pane or directly use Advanced Query Syntax (such
    as name:foo, or author:bar). See for more details. The
    syntax isn't perfect and there is a lot of work trying to keep the behavior
    of non-indexed searches to match the behavior of indexed searches (which
    isn't perfect), even though it is two completely distinct search providers.
    3. Add more locations of the files you care about to the index. When
    searching non-indexed locations like Computer, we will leverage the indexer
    to return results for indexed locations on the system.
    4. Keep the "Search system folders" checkbox unchecked in the Search
    Options, unless you're sure that's where you want to look. When this option
    is set, searching from c:\ will not search within system directories like
    c:\windows and c:\program files.
    5. Don't use the "Include non-indexed, hidden and system files (might be
    slow)" checkbox in the Advanced search box unless you have to. This option
    will not use the index at all and will perform a non-indexed search of all
    locations and also look in system folders.

    Hope this helps,

    PS - I'm going to try to do a better job of popping into the newsgroup now
    and then to see if there is anything that needs answering.
    Justin Martin [MSFT], May 18, 2008
  12. Dima

    Charlie Tame Guest

    I believe you are trying to say that the Vista search function is a
    hopeless waste of space. If we follow your suggestions we will know
    where everything is anyway, In XP *.mp3 found all the mp3s, in Vista it
    does not.

    You bet there are things that need answering.
    Charlie Tame, May 18, 2008
  13. I believe you are trying to say that the Vista search function is a
    That's not what I'm trying to say at all. I now understand why many people
    don't spend their time trying to be helpful in the newsgroups.

    You'll get people to be much more willing to try and assist and make
    improvements in the product if you do more than just flame. If you honestly
    are having a problem and would like help, please be descriptive of the
    problems you're running into. For example:

    1. Where/how are you initiating the search?
    2. Where are the files that aren't being found? Are they random or is it a
    specific set of items that aren't coming back?
    3. Have you changed any of the default search or indexer settings?

    Justin Martin [MSFT], May 18, 2008
  14. Dima

    Charlie Tame Guest

    Actually your presence here is most welcome, and I was being somewhat

    I know there are many settings and that indexing can be useful to some,
    however the situation seems to have been made quite confusing to many users.

    For example, I rarely "Search" for anything, when I do it probably takes
    the form of *.dll because I want to locate some file or other to work
    with. I don't really care if it takes 5 minutes to find, but I do want
    to be sure if it is there or not. What I do care about is that I have to
    wait 5 minutes EVERY time as Vista "Indexes" things at boot. Despite
    this time during which the disk drive is grinding away when I type *.dll
    it comes back with nothing. Even if the file is in plain sight on the
    desktop Vista does not find it. W2000 and XP used to just "Find" things,
    indexed or not.

    On the other hand if I want to find something on the Internet I use
    Google or similar.

    So my experience when first using Vista was with the default settings,
    and despite 5 minutes every boot and 5 minutes every search I could not
    be sure the file wasn't there, only that Vista wasn't locating it. Once
    I went to the drive properties and turned indexing off the boot process
    went back to a realistic time and Vista still couldn't find anything but
    waiting time was acceptable.

    So I guess the question is why change the "Expected" behavior and force
    the user to make changes he/she is not familiar with when it seems that
    what "Windows always does" was quite acceptable. I may well have missed
    the point somewhere, I just want to know where :)
    Charlie Tame, May 18, 2008
  15. Dima

    Tom Ferguson Guest

    Even while accepting that other people have different experiences based on
    what they customarily have need or desire to do, I have mine. It appears to
    me that an effort is on-going to improve both the scope (where do you
    search? How broadly do you set the parameters of the search?) and speed
    (what methodology/algorithms do you use; do you keep an index of searches to
    improve speed of later searches? Do you pre-index-if so, what parameters so
    you set for that?). Please forgive my repetitiveness but I though it worth

    Any time there is a change to the behavior of a tool, users are forced to
    experience some-to-much re-familiarization time. Hopefully, most will find
    the newly expanded abilities worth the admitted pain. Also, one hopes that
    usability improves as development continues.

    MSMVP 1998-2007
    Tom Ferguson, May 19, 2008
  16. Dima

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, Justin.

    Welcome to the newsgroup! ;<)
    Well, it APPEARS to show progress. Where is there any indication to the
    user that it is showing anything other than progress?
    But there is NO feedback as to whether it might be finished - or give up -
    in another 10 seconds or that it might take another 10 hours - or 10 days.

    There is no clue as to whether it is now searching in Drive C: or in Drive
    X: or even somewhere on the Internet maybe?
    I participated in the last year or more of the Vista beta; at least a
    half-dozen builds, both 32-bit and 64-bit. I recall significant
    improvements in some parts of Search, but NOT in this "progress bar" area.
    That feeling that it would never get to the Finish Line did not go away
    during the beta - or since.

    The non-productive and non-informative pulsing of that green bar gets to be
    INFURIATING!!! Doesn't anybody on the Microsoft Team understand that?

    Thanks for the tips about how to speed up the Search. My frustration,
    though, is not that the search takes so long, but that it NEVER gives up, or
    even pauses to take a breath, give me a progress report, and ask me if I'd
    like to trim my parameters or if I want it to just "press on!"
    Please do, Justin. You will, of course, get flamed by some immature
    readers. But you also should hear some legitimate complaints, questions,
    requests and suggestions that you will never get from anywhere else.

    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX

    Microsoft Windows MVP
    (Running Windows Live Mail 2008 in Vista Ultimate x64 SP1)
    R. C. White, May 19, 2008
  17. You mean the moronic beta testers that Microsoft uses that typically
    can't find their rear ends with both hands behind their back?

    The change from the long ago established practice of ANY Progress Bar
    in any Windows application including Windows itself that would
    steadily move from left to right IN ONE SINGLE PASS regardless how
    long it took to indicate how much longer a task will take has been
    rendered useless and laughable in Vista as a indicator of anything
    other than the stupidity of Microsoft for changing what if anything it
    is now suppose to indicate.

    Now it is common for Vista's "progress" bar (the butt ugly green bar
    at top of Explorer Window) to make multiple round trips from full left
    to right thereby giving absolutely no real indication how much longer
    some task will take. This is very noticeable in moving large volumes
    of files and also in extended searching.
    Confirmation the Boys of Redmond are clueless idiots that don't know
    how to program intelligently. It seems the changes were made in some
    feeble attempt to hide their incompetence on how poorly Vista
    internals now work under the labor of stupid things like DRM, and the
    biggest red herring of them all "security" which means core features
    now often must pass through a maze of bloated code just to get from
    point A to point B thereby greatly slowing down routine tasks like
    file handling.
    They don't give a damn. Which is the answer you can apply to nearly
    every known Vista issue. Microsoft has an annoying habit of making
    changes for change's sake without regard to how it actually impacts
    performance or usability.
    Adam Albright, May 19, 2008
  18. Dima

    Celegans Guest

    Vista search simple DOES NOT WORK when searching for strings on my Vista
    Ultimate machine. I've seen it work on another Vista machine, but search
    does not work on my machine. I have given Microsoft an example of searching
    for six identical files with six different extensions. Vista can find three
    but is blind to the other three. Even "Advanced Search" and its checkbox
    "Include non-indexed, hidden, and system files (might be slow)" cannot find
    three of these six identical files.

    In the last year, I have literally spend DAYS indexing and re-indexing and
    re-indexing, trying to get Vista search to work. It does not work on my
    machine in my hands. I have demostrated to Microsoft I can get search to
    work correctly for Windows 95, 98, 2000 and XP. Why is prior Windows
    knowledge NOT enough to get search to work in Vista?

    I have begged and pleaded with Microsoft to find out why search doesn't work
    on my Ultimate machine, OR give me the right to go back to XP. Microsoft
    REFUSES to fix the problem, and REFUSES to let me go back to XP without
    paying them more money because they made a flawed product. I just want the
    search functionality that was in Windows Explorer in Windows 2000 (or XP
    with the registry hack). Why is that too much to ask? Why is wanting a
    product that works correctly too high of an expectation?

    When "there is a change to the behavior of a tool" that breaks the
    functionality, and when this is in a new product, I would have thought
    Microsoft would care enough to listen and investigate. The bottom line is
    MICROSOFT DOES RESPECT CUSTOMERS. Microsoft simply does not care about the
    problems they create in their own software.

    I normally want to do very targeted searches. I usually know what directory
    to start in and usually need to search for a string in a few hundred or a
    few thousand files. The free Agent Ransack
    ( lets me do searches that ALWAYS
    work in Vista (it can find all six files in the search failure example I
    gave Microsoft). But why should I need a 3rd party tool for such basic
    search functionality when I paid for the "ultimate" version of Vista?

    Here are the Microsoft guys that REFUSE to discuss the search failure of
    Vista any more. They have blocked E-mails from me, since it's easier to
    ignore me than fix the search problem in Vista:

    Delivery has failed to these recipients or distribution lists:

    An error occurred while trying to deliver this message to the recipient's
    e-mail address. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message
    for you. Please try resending this message, or provide the following
    diagnostic text to your system administrator.

    An error occurred while trying to deliver this message to the recipient's
    e-mail address. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message
    for you. Please try resending this message, or provide the following
    diagnostic text to your system administrator.
    The following organization rejected your message:
    Celegans, May 19, 2008
  19. Dima

    Tom Ferguson Guest

    That is a telling point. Why is it not working on your machine but is on
    another? Is it a search with the same parameters on both machines?

    I have given Microsoft an example of searching
    I wonder if this is not a question of where the search is being done rather
    than what is being searched for.

    If it is a different tool, then different technoques might be required and
    the same techniques might get different resumts.
    Did you inquire about "downgrade" rights?

    OK. You have a solution. Use it and worry not. <g> That's what we all do if
    we find a tool or feature or two we don't like. Use a work-around or another
    tool. It's difficult for one system to be all things to all people, in my
    Well, I can't speak for them but my thought is they might believe they have
    said as much as they think is helpful about the case you submitted.


    In any case, this topic has brought a light to bear on a high degree of
    frustration in some users. Hopefully, that will not be without effect.
    Tom Ferguson, May 19, 2008
  20. Dima

    Celegans Guest

    Luckily, our IT guys won't touch Vista, so search is not a problem at work.
    I am penalized for trying to be on the leading edge of adopting Vista for
    personal use. [I wanted to be a proponent of using Vista's search of file
    tags on a special project at work -- a great solution to a particular
    problem -- but there's no way I'm pushing for that pilot project using
    Vista given how I've been treated by Microsoft on their failed Vista search.
    Our IT manager won't let me call on behalf of the company about the search
    problem because he doesn't want to talk to Microsoft AT ALL about Vista --
    it's my fault I bought a personal copy, and Microsoft has treated me like
    dirt as an individual on the flawed search on my Vista Ultimate.]

    I worry about the future: I am also involved in aspects of technical
    support at work and may need to search for certain kinds of files, which
    means with Vista I will now need to take my own tools to every PC for
    troubleshooting -- or talk users on the phone or E-mail into installing a
    new tool before we can even look at certain problems. Some troubleshooting
    using Vista will be a problem when files cannot be found because of Vista's
    flawed search. I have explained this to Microsoft about how some scientific
    files don't "obey" their rules, but Microsoft doesn't care.

    Microsoft should have added a new feature, not removed an old reliable one.
    But what good does bringing light do when Microsoft's arrogance and
    condescension prevents them from caring enough to help customers get work
    done? The flaws in Vista and the needless user interface changes in Office
    2007 easily cost me a week of work last year (likely more). Why would
    anyone want Vista/Office 2007 when Microsoft is hindering productivity and
    provides NO SUPPORT when they screw things up?

    Microsoft's attitude strongly says "we don't want customers" -- a bit like
    IBM when I tried to buy OS/2 from them many years ago.

    I have not considered Macs for a long time, but the arbitrary and
    unnecessary differences Microsoft is imposing on customers with Vista and
    Office 2007 make me really wonder if switching might be better. I truly
    enjoy the PC Guy - Mac guy commercials, especially the recent one about PC
    customers leaving and not coming back. Why should we tolerate the terrible
    arrogance of Microsoft and all the wasted time they have caused with Vista?
    The flawed Vista search has been the "deal breaker" for me. FRUSTRATION
    levels are quite high when I cannot find old files, or even new ones, with
    Vista's search, and Microsoft doesn't listen, doesn't care and doesn't fix
    the problem.
    Celegans, May 20, 2008
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.