I've been using both Copernic Desktop Search
and Lookout as local hard drive search tools. I've slightly preferred
Lookout because of its blazing speed, but its indexing does not appear
to be as “deep” as Copernic Desktop Search, especially with PDF files.
1.2 of CDS, after limited use, seems to tip the scales in favor of CDS
as a local search engine. Lookout's integration into the Outlook
toolbar still makes it my preferred search tool for email messages.
Outlook is completely different with Lookout – you will see that your
frustration with the “find” tool in Outlook was quite justified.
Microsoft bought Lookout a while back, but I believe you can still download a free copy here.
warning about Copernic Desktop Search: the indexing can take several
hours. While the results are worth the wait, I suggest that you think
carefully about indexing for search only the folders where you keep
data you want to search for rather than simply indexing your entire
I'll leave the work of experimenting with the
Google Desktop to others. That program makes me nervous and, given
Google's track record so far, I'm content to leave the beta testing of
privacy and security issues to those who own stock in the company –
they are much more comfortable with risk than I am, and they can afford
to take more risk. [DennisKennedy.blog]