Cygwin GNU Utils as a Work-a-round for Broken Windows 7 Search

Written by James McDonald

March 15, 2011

Remember in XP when you could press F3 type in the file contents you were searching for and be confident you would be able to find all the files that contained a search term.

That is no longer the case.

You can dig around the W7 Search menus and tell Windows 7 to search the file contents, add file extensions for Windows 7 to give special consideration to and still you type in a simple search term and you don’t get returned what you are looking for. Especially if you have un-indexed network drives.

A work-a-round:
Goto www.cygwin.com

Download Cygwin Setup.exe and Install cygwin including the grep package

Launch the “Cygwin Bash Shell”.

Change directory (cd) to the area you need to look into. Tip: with cygwin if you have a H: drive in windows you need to cd to /cygdrive/h

e.g. $ cd /cygdrive/s

Then use fgrep to search

fgrep FILECONTENTSEARCHTERM ./* -R
(this searches all files in the current directory and below)

run man fgrep to get information on the options to pass to fgrep

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