Windows 7 / Getting Started

Understanding Remote Search

In addition to being able to search content stored on the local computer, users of Windows 7 can also search content stored in shared folders on the network. To do this, the following prerequisites are required:

  • The remote computer must be running Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows XP or have Windows Server 2003 with WDS 4.0 installed.
  • The Windows Search (WSearch) service must be running on the remote computer (on Windows Server 2008, you can enable the search service by installing the File Services role and then enabling the Windows Search role service within that role).
  • The shared directory on the remote computer must be included in the indexed scope on the remote computer.

Note To provide an optimal experience for remote search, Microsoft recommends that computers running older installed versions of Windows with WDS 2.6.6 or WDS 3.01 be upgraded to WDS 4.0. For more information concerning support for WDS, see the section titled "Understanding the Windows Search Versions" earlier in this tutorial.

Remote search performed from the local computer uses the Windows Search service on the remote computer to perform the query against the index on the remote computer. Results of the user's search are security trimmed based on the permissions assigned to the files in the shared folder. For example, if a document in the share contains the text "Microsoft" but the document's permissions do not allow the user to read the document, the document will not be returned as part of the search results when the user searches the share for documents containing the text "Microsoft."

Note Windows Search 4.0 automatically indexes all share folder locations. WDS 3.01 and the Windows 7 (and Windows Server 2008 R2) Search feature do not index shared folders automatically. To disable automatic indexing of shared folder locations, enable the Prevent Automatically Adding Shared Folders To The Index setting in Group Policy.

The following example illustrates how you can use a computer running Windows 7 to search for text within documents stored in a shared folder on a file server running Windows Server 2008:

  1. Install the File Services role on the computer running Windows Server 2008, being sure to add the Windows Search Service role service.
  2. Add some documents to a folder named Data that is in the indexing scope for the computer running Windows Server 2008. These should include a text file named Findme.txt that contains the text "Hello world".
  3. Share the Data folder as DATA, granting Read permissions to Domain Users.
  4. Log on to a computer running Windows 7 using a domain user account and press the Windows Logo key+R.
  5. Type the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path to the remote share (\\SERVERNAME\DATA) and press Enter.
  6. In the Windows Explorer window that opens, type Hello in the Search box. You should immediately see Findme.txt in the results set for your search.

Note If a yellow information bar appears saying "Network locations and connected devices are searched more slowly than indexed locations," the remote location is not being indexed and the slower grep method is being used to search the remote directory.

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In this tutorial:

  1. Managing Search
  2. Search and Indexing Enhancements
  3. Search in Windows XP
  4. Search in Windows Vista
  5. Search in Windows 7
  6. Understanding the Windows Search Versions
  7. Search Versions Included in Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  8. Search Versions Included in Windows Server 2008
  9. Search Versions Available for Earlier Versions of Windows
  10. How Windows Search Works
  11. Understanding Search Engine Terminology
  12. Windows Search Engine Processes
  13. Enabling the Indexing Service
  14. Windows Search Engine Architecture
  15. Understanding the Catalog
  16. Default System Exclusion Rules
  17. Understanding the FANCI Attribute
  18. Default Indexing Scopes
  19. Initial Configuration
  20. Understanding the Indexing Process
  21. Modifying IFilter Behavior
  22. How Indexing Works
  23. Rebuilding the index
  24. Viewing Indexing Progress
  25. Understanding Remote Search
  26. Managing Indexin
  27. Configuring the Index
  28. Configuring the Index Location Using Group Policy
  29. Configuring Indexing Scopes and Exclusions Using Group Policy
  30. Configuring Offline Files Indexing
  31. Configuring Indexing of Encrypted Files
  32. Configuring Indexing of Encrypted Files Using Control Panel
  33. Configuring Indexing of Similar Words
  34. Configuring Indexing of Text in TIFF Image Documents
  35. Other Index Policy Settings
  36. Using Search
  37. Configuring Search Using Folder Options
  38. Configuring What to Search
  39. Configuring How To Search
  40. Using Start Menu Search
  41. Searching Libraries
  42. Advanced Query Syntax
  43. Using Federated Search
  44. Deploying Search Connectors
  45. Troubleshooting Search and Indexing Using the Built-in Troubleshooter