If you want to disallow users from using the Microsoft web service to search for applications on the Internet that can open files with unhandled or unknown file extensions or if your environment dictates that the use of unnecessary web services may pose a security risk, then you can disable this feature using Group Policy.
There are a variety of tips and system tweaks that can be applied to Windows 7 to offer better convenience and other useful features for the user. Tweaks range from easier access to files, the ability to incorporate an Internet search from the start menu and other option-settings for a quicker user-session.
The search for programs and files feature on the Start Menu of Windows 7 gives you a direct way to search for programs, files and emails on your computer. Once you get accustomed to this method, I am pretty sure that this text field will become your default search tool. However, unlike Windows Vista you cannot include an Internet search by default, but you can enable this functionality through Group Policy.
If you need to read through large log files and search for specific keywords, there’s no need to write complex scripts but a simple three liner inside PowerShell can do all the work for you! The sample PowerShell code below, allows you to search through text files such as, log files in Windows 7 systems and outputs every line where a match of the given keyword is found.
Search for embedded strings within binary files using the Strings command-line utility by Mark Russinovich. Executables and object files will many times have embedded UNICODE strings that you cannot easily see with a standard ASCII strings or Grep programs. In combination with the Grep utility, Strings utility allows you to perform a search and find specific text such as, version numbers in binary files. It can also assist you in malware investigations such as, searching for URLs embedded within malicious binary files. However, the utility will not find any meaningful strings in compressed or encrypted binary files.
In Windows 7 you can troubleshoot Search and Indexing problems using a built-in tool that allows you to fix common issues. You can start the troubleshooter tool by typing fix search in the Start menu search text box and clicking the Find and fix problems with Windows Search. Alternatively, you can use the links at the bottom of the Indexing Options Control Panel dialog box.
The catalog contains the results of the indexing process running on your local computer. Your Windows 7 computer has a single catalog located in the Search subfolder under %SystemDrive%\ProgramData\Microsoft folder. Remember to make hidden files visible in order to view the ProgramData folder and its contents. The location of the catalog can be changed using either Indexing Options in Control Panel or Local Group Policy. The catalog contains three type of information: