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We have more than 30,000 MS Office and PDF documents in Windows shares on Windows Server 2008 R2. What possibilities do we have to get full text search on all of these documents? It's important that the whole text of the documents is taken into account, not just some 1000 characters at the beginning of the documents.

If the search is integrated in Windows Explorer, that's great, but it's not a requirement.

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Are you trying to search them using native search in Windows or via an app? – mrdenny Oct 26 '11 at 7:33
Are the PDFs already searchable individually in Adobe Reader, or do they need an OCR pass? – Skyhawk Oct 26 '11 at 15:44
PDFs are only relevant if they are fully sarchable, embeded graphics can be ignored. – BetaRide Oct 26 '11 at 17:41
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If that's an option, you can try Windows Search Server, a web site based on SharePoint. The express version is free:

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I know that many people have a hate-hate relationship with Windows Search 4.0+, but I've used it on occasion and it seemed to be OK. It will not by default index network locations (unless you cache them locally, which is retarded), but you can use This add-on to enable this for UNC shares. You should see a new tab when in search settings to allow for MS network drives to be indexed in your indexing options.

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As far as I know Windows Search does not index the full document, but just some 1000 characters at the beginning of the document. Right? – BetaRide Oct 26 '11 at 9:09

What exactly do you mean by "Windows shares". Are they accessible with Windows or are they on Windows servers? It would help to know where those documents are stored.

What you may looking for is a search appliance.

[Edit] You could also install the role service "Windows Search Service" on the Windows server. But this is not intended to index huge amounts of data.

Here is a list of different enterprise search softwares.

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The are on a Windows 2008 R2 server. – BetaRide Oct 26 '11 at 9:09

The file system searching and indexing is pretty badass in windows server 2008.

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Easiest way for me was using Notepad++

Search -> Find in Files...

And it's really fast!

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