I first discussed the Windows XP search for all files and folders in tip 4627 and tip 4689.

To configure the search to include all file types:

1. Use the Registry Editor to navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ContentIndex.

2. Double-click the FilterFilesWithUnknownExtensions Value Name, a REG_DWORD data type, and set the data value to 1.

3. You must restart your computer for this change to take effect.

You can also use the GUI to configure this option:

1. Start / Search / Change preferences.

2. If you have never configured the search to use the indexing service, press With Indexing Service (for faster local searches). If you have previously configured the search to use the indexing service, press Without Indexing Service.

3. Select the Yes, enable Indexing Service radial button.

4. Press the Change Index Service settings (Advanced) button.

5. In the Indexing Service window, press Customize on the View menu and check Console tree.

6. Press OK.

7. Right-click Indexing Service on Local Machine and press Properties.

8. On the Generation tab, check Index files with unknown extensions and press OK.

9. Close the Indexing Service windows.

NOTE: See Windows XP Search companion doesn't search hidden or system files?