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Issue #834: July 16-22, 2023

Q: I recently converted from an SSD main drive with a HHD backup to an NVMe main drive and replacing HHD with the SSD which is used as a backup drive. The problem is that when I search the NVMe drive (C drive) it only gives results from the SSD (F drive). In the Settings menu, I have tried changing indexing options to include the C drive but it does not show up in the indexing locations even after multiple attempts to include the C drive. The C drive shows in the “Indexed Locations” but it never shows in the “Summary of selected locations”. Is there a way to force indexing of the C drive other than through the Settings app?

 – Fred W.
Shalimar, Florida

A: Pardon me a moment, Fred, while I translate for my Geek-impaired readers.

Fred is saying that his computer used to have a Solid-State Drive (SSD) as the primary hard drive.  An SSD is a drive based on memory chips rather than spinning magnetic platters and moving read/write heads.  With no moving parts, they are substantially faster than an old-fashioned disk-based hard drive.  If Fred’s second acronym – HHD – is not a typo, he’s saying he had a hybrid hard drive as a backup.  This strikes me as an unusual configuration, which makes me suspect his intended acronym was HDD – a common abbreviation for Hard Disk Drive.  In other words, a conventional drive.

Fred goes on to say that he has replaced the SSD with a Nonvolatile Memory Express (NVMe) drive.  NVMe delivers one of the fastest response and throughput times of any mass storage technology to-date, meaning that Fred is out for a performance improvement.  He’s also moving the SSD (which was probably pretty peppy in its own right) to the old “HHD” position and making it the backup drive.

Are all those acronyms and jargon now clear?  Well, that’s not even Fred’s problem.  The actual issue is that the Window’s File Search function that’s built-into File Explorer is failing to find files that Fred knows very well are present on the new NVMe drive, which, being his system’s primary drive, is drive C.

Are you still here, Fred?  Didn’t mean to ignore you.  I’ll admit, I’ve had an ongoing feud with the File Search function ever since Windows XP went away.  That version of Windows had a nice, practical file search capability, and Microsoft just had to go improving it to make it difficult-to-impossible to use.  Thanks, Bill!

I could refer you to a dozen articles online that purport to show you how to set-up indexing, or rather, the locations that do or don’t get indexed.  However, you strike me as someone who already knows all of this, and is just frustrated that things don’t seem to be working as advertised.

Rather than try and “fix” your problem, let me give you some food for thought.  The first thing that crosses my mind is that indexing is supposed to be done in the background, or when you’re not using your computer.  If you shut it down when you’re done using it, then perhaps the indexing is not complete, and if that’s the case, perhaps that’s why the new drive isn’t showing up as an indexed location.  I know what’s a lot of “ifs and perhapses” but it’s what I’ve got.

Beyond that, since you now have a super-duper fast drive, have you given any consideration to whether you’re getting any real benefit from the kind of indexing you’re having problems with?  If it was me, and I was only going to achieve a marginal boost in search speed, I’d just let it go, and save myself a whole bunch of frustration.

In the end, it’s your computer and your decision.  So, if that’s not for you, I fully understand. I can only offer the following tips: You must be signed in with administrator privileges to add or remove locations for the Enhanced Search Indexing.  Go to Settings> Privacy & Security> Searching Windows.  Make sure “Enhanced” is turned on under “Find my files”.  And under “Exclude folders from enhanced search” make sure you’re not accidentally excluding the location(s) you want to search.

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