Managing Files, Folders, and Search Methods

When Windows 2000 Professional is connected to a Windows 2000 Server using Active Directory, you can search the directory for resources such as computers, printers, people, and shared folders, as long as the resource is published in the Active Directory.

To help users locate resources quickly, you can create custom Active Directory searches and distribute query directory search (*.qds) files to workgroups or organizational units.

Active Directory contains objects and each object is assigned specific attributes. For example, if a printer is capable of printing double-sided pages, the Active Directory administrator can specify that attribute for the printer in the Active Directory. When a user searches for printers capable of printing double-sided, the search returns all printers with that attribute. If the administrator chooses not to give the printer that attribute, even if it is capable of that function, the printer wouldn't be found by searching only for that attribute.

For more information about Active Directory, see the Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit .



To search using Active Directory, the computer must be part of a Windows 2000 Server Active Directory domain.

Searching for Printers

To search for printers in an Active Directory domain, click Start , point to Search , and then click For Printers . If For Printers does not appear on the Search menu, your computer is not connected to an Active Directory domain.

Searching for People

In an Active Directory domain, click Start , point to Search , and click For People to start an Active Directory search. You can also specify to use an Internet search service in the Look in box. If you are not in an Active Directory domain, Active Directory does not appear as an option in the Look in box.

Searching for Computers

When you use Windows 2000 Professional in an Active Directory domain, you can search for computers two ways: using NetBIOS or using Active Directory. It is important to understand the difference between the two methods.

In previous versions of Windows, any time you specify a search for computers, the computer executes a NetBIOS search. If the computer you search for is logged on to the network, you can connect to it and view its shared folders. Figure 9.7 illustrates the results of a NetBIOS search and the available shares on the computer that was found.


Figure 9.7 NetBIOS Search Results Displaying Available Shares

To search for computers using NetBIOS

  1. Click Start , point to Search , and then click For Files or Folders .

  2. In the left pane, click the Computers link.

In an Active Directory network search, computers in the directory are represented by objects. You can locate an object even when it is disconnected from the network. Therefore, when you double-click the icon representing a computer found using an Active Directory search, only the properties for that computer are displayed, as shown in the Figure 9.8. The actual computer and its available shares are not available from an Active Directory search. To access shares in an Active Directory domain, the shares must be published and you must know the name of the share.


Figure 9.8 Active Directory Search Results Displaying the Computer's Properties

To search for computers using Active Directory

  1. In My Network Places, double-click Entire Network .

  2. Do one of the following:

    • If Web View is enabled, click the entire contents link, and then double-click Directory .

    • If Web View is not enabled, double-click Directory .

  3. Right-click the object representing an Active Directory domain, and then click Find .

  4. In the Find box, click Computers .



You might need to specify an object in the In box.

Searching for Shared Files and Folders

To access files and folders in an Active Directory domain, the Active Directory administrator must first publish them. Folders that are shared but not published do not appear in the Search Results window. If you search for a computer by using Active Directory, you can not view or access any shared folders residing on that computer. You must execute a NetBIOS search to view shares. For more information about NetBIOS searches, see Searching for Computers earlier in this chapter.

You can use the Search Assistant in Active Directory to locate shared folders, but you must specify the exact folder name. You cannot browse a list of shared folders. To find a shared folder in Active Directory, open the Search Assistant, and in the Find box, click Shared Folders . Then, in the Named box on the Shared Folders tab, type the shared folder name.

Group Policy Settings That Affect Active Directory

Table 9.16 lists Group Policy settings that affect Active Directory searches and provides a brief description of each. Before you change a Group Policy setting, you should be familiar with using Group Policy and MMC snap-ins. To make changes to these settings, you must log on as a member of the Administrators group. You can find these Group Policy settings by using the Group Policy MMC snap-in and then following this path:

Local Computer Policy\User Configuration\Administrative Templates \Desktop\Active Directory.

Table 9.16 Group Policy Settings That Affect Active Directory

Group Policy Setting


Maximum size of Active Directory searches

Specifies the maximum number of objects returned on an Active Directory search. Use to protect the network and the domain controller from the effect of expansive searches.

Enable filter in Find dialog box

Displays a filter bar above the results of an Active Directory search, so additional filters can be applied.

Hide Active Directory Folder

Removes the Active Directory folder from My Network Places.