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If you want to improve your searches, the best place to start is with the indexing feature itself. In Control Panel, open the Indexing Options window to show the folders in which Windows currently looks for files.

Here, you can choose each folder to include in the index; you can index an entire drive index only certain subfolders.  By default, only your personal files are indexed. But if you plan on hacking up Vista as described elsewhere in this book, you may want to index your entire drive.

This will make it easier to find .exe files in the Windows folder, for instance, but doing so will increase the size of the index, which may slow down the rest of your searches. For privacy purposes, you may wish to exclude certain folders by removing them on this list. You can further speed up searches by also excluding folders you don’t need to search.

Click OK when you’ve selected folders to index, but you’re not done yet. Next, click the Advanced button to open the Advanced Options window. Most of the options shown here are fairly self-explanatory, but what may not be obvious is that Windows won’t index many file types unless you select them by hand in the File Types tab:

Choose only the file types that you want to be indexed to speed up searches.  Watch out for more Windows optimization tips!

Ben Carigtan shows you how it’s done!