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Trying to compete a simple search for files


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#1 jcbii

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 01:13 AM

Ok, I have to admit I'm primarily a windows person, as I'm comfortable with the operating system and know my way around. Not so much with the Mac.

I bought a Mac Mini for use at home and it's alright unless I want to do something beyond reading email or searching the internet. Take, for example, my attempt to complete a simple search for jpeg files I saved on an external drive. In windows, I just use the search menu option, type in the wild card "*", the file extension, the drive letter I want to search, "click" the search button and I'm off and searching. Apparently not so easy with my Mac. Typing "*.jpg" in either Finder or Spotlight results in nothing - just a blank screen. All I want to do is find a picture of a motorcycle I took a couple of years ago. It's somewhere on my 3TB external drive, but my Mac can't seem to find anything with a jpg extension (even though there's hundreds of jpeg files on the external drive). Is there an easy way to do a simple search for files with the same extension on my external drive, or should I take it in to work and connect it to a Windows computer?

Below is a print screen of my failed attempt to find all jpg files on my external drive. Don't understand why it has to be so difficult.


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Edited by jcbii, 15 March 2012 - 01:21 AM.


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#2 Buddyme2

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 04:14 PM

You might need to have Spotlight index the external drive.

From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
Click Spotlight.
Click the Privacy tab.
Drag a folder or even an entire volume (your hard drive) to the list.
Remove the item or volume you just added.
Spotlight will re-index the contents of the item you initially dragged to the list.

It might take a while to index the drive and your system will feel sluggish until it is done indexing. You will see a little blinking dot in the middle of Spotlight's menu icon during the indexing.

A third party app that will work in searching external drives is EasyFind.

I just tried a search with Finder using *.jpg on my startup disk and I didn't get any results, using .jpg did.

Edited by Buddyme2, 15 March 2012 - 04:19 PM.


#3 jcbii

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 05:34 PM

Thanks Buddyme2. The "*" is a wildcard that I normally use in Windows. I forgot that Apple may not like it. I'll try the ".jpg" search instead.

Question about indexing the drive. Will this be a problem if it is in NTFS format?

#4 Buddyme2

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 06:20 PM

NTFS formatted drives are read only on a Mac, just can't write to one without a third party app. Spotlight can search an NTFS formatted drive, you just need to index it first.

#5 jcbii

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 03:52 PM

Buddyme2, I tried the steps you mentioned with Spotlight, and it still wouldn't search the NTFS drive. I hooked up another external drive that was formatted for Mac (Journaled extended) and copied some of the folders over from the NTFS drive. Once these folders were on the Mac drive, Spotlight searched and found the jpg files. So I'll just copy over whatever folder I need to search from NTFS to the MAC drive. Btw, I did have to remove the "*" and just type ".jpg" in order to get Spotlight to search those type of files (thanks).

#6 Buddyme2

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 05:24 PM

Are you by any chance using OSX 10.7 Lion? I read somewhere that Spotlight under Lion won't search NTFS formatted drives.
You could try forcing Spotlight to index the drive.
Or again, use EasyFind instead. It's a free app that will search NTFS formatted drives.

#7 jcbii

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 12:27 AM

Are you by any chance using OSX 10.7 Lion? I read somewhere that Spotlight under Lion won't search NTFS formatted drives.
You could try forcing Spotlight to index the drive.
Or again, use EasyFind instead. It's a free app that will search NTFS formatted drives.


Yes, I'm using OSX 10.7.3 Lion. I used the link you provided to download EasyFind. I'll give it a try.

#8 jcbii

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:31 PM


Are you by any chance using OSX 10.7 Lion? I read somewhere that Spotlight under Lion won't search NTFS formatted drives.
You could try forcing Spotlight to index the drive.
Or again, use EasyFind instead. It's a free app that will search NTFS formatted drives.


Yes, I'm using OSX 10.7.3 Lion. I used the link you provided to download EasyFind. I'll give it a try.



Buddyme2,

Easyfind worked great - found all my jpg files. Thanks!

Edited by jcbii, 26 March 2012 - 12:31 PM.


#9 Buddyme2

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 02:30 PM

Your welcome, jcbii.




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