Search for Files on Server Core

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 24 Feb. 2010 / Last Updated on 5 June 2009]

How to search for files or folders on a volume on a Server Core computer.

Neither the Windows Search Service role service nor the older Indexing Service can be installed on Server Core. This means that if you need to search for files or folders on disk volumes on Server Core, you must do it using one of the following two ways: by using the Dir command with the /s switch to search all subdirectories on a volume, or by using grep search in Windows Explorer running on a remote computer.

To use the Dir command to search the entire C: drive for files named Test.txt, type dir C:\Test.txt /s at the Server Core command prompt.

To use Windows Explorer to accomplish the same task, do this:

1. Log on to a remote computer running Windows Vista using credentials that have administrative privileges on your Server Core installation.

2. Press the Windows key+R to open the Run box.

3. Type \\SEA-SC1\C$ where SEA-SC1 is the name of your Server Core installation.

4. Click OK to connect to the C$ administrative share on your Server Core installation using Windows Explorer.

5. Type Test.txt in the Start Search box at the top right of the Explorer window to display all instances of the file Test.txt on your Server Core installation.

For more information on managing the File and Print Services roles on Server Core, see my book Windows Server 2008 Server Core Administrator's Pocket Consultant from Microsoft Press.

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