What exactly is "INDEXing" a drive?

By IT2MD ·
About a month ago, I posted a question about undoing and accidental indexing of my Win 7 laptops hard-drive...I've been ill for the last year and am just now getting around to undoing my stupidity...but I was wondering....what exactly does indexing do to files, folders and document...I mean I even lost my Internet Explorer icons, and my Accessories folder!!!....

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Indexing does nothing to your files,

what is does is create a "table of contents" type reference so that subsequent searches of our system for a particular file will hopefully be quicker, since the table of contents is smaller than the actual hard drive. That's why you can turn indexing off, and it doesn't affect the performance of your installed software, but it may cause a delayed search result when searching for a file in a large number of them.

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Same as the Index in a book, except

by Charles Bundy In reply to What exactly is "INDEXing ...

The content of your hard drive changes, thus the index needs to be updated periodically. During this search and update your hard drive access will slow down (because it's doing a lot of read/writes) thus causing your system to be sluggish.

Indexing would not be the cause of your desktop items being gone, but there is a wizard called 'Desktop Cleanup' that might be the culprit.

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Indexing may slow down your computer

by jclu52+news In reply to What exactly is "INDEXing ...

Indexing slows down your computer, especially if it's a few years old.
I turned off indexing through the drive property page via Windows Explorer for each drive letter. Since I organized my files in folders, there is no need to index and find them.
Besides, I've used Free Commander to search for either file name or file contents containing specific words. FC also has some basic regular expression capabilities.

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Reponse To Answer

by SKDTech In reply to Indexing may slow down yo ...

Indexing should not have an appreciable affect on the normal operation of your PC as it should only be happening when the PC is idle.

It is admirable that you have your entire PC organized to a T but most people do not organize their PC that strictly and in my experience the majority of them just dump everything in their Documents/My Documents folder with no further organization. For those people indexing can be a life saver since most will never take the time to properly impose even a basic file sorting and organizational structure on their HDD. Of course, these are also the people least likely to use third-party file browsers..............

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