Is File Collection the proper use for my needs?
I'm using Utility Panel: Find to search all of my hard drives, 6 drives, to find all of my files that meet these criteria *.dbf. The search includes many *.rar & zip files. My query has been running for 4 days.
It finally stopped without completing after it had 4800 files listed in the File Collection that I had named "DBF".
When I complete this process I will use the files to help me locate folders in the collection that are duplications.
Example: I might have 30 file listings such as city.dbf plus many more permit.dbf, sub.dbf was probably 100 more different *.dbf files.
I'm also wondering if there's a faster way for me to accomplish my quarry.
I hope you can understand what I'm trying to do.
Are the *.dbf files inside archives, or do there just happen to be archives on the same drives you're searching? If you don't need to search inside archives, turning off the option for doing that will speed things up a lot.
Make sure you are not searching file contents as well, and only searching based in file names, or the search will be much slower. (It should not take 4 days to do a simple filename wildcard search on 6 drives!)
If you want to find duplicate files, there is a separate Duplicate Finder in the Tools menu which may be a better choice. (It depends on exactly what you want it to consider a "duplicate", but it has various options to cover the common situations.)
I really recommend using Duplicate Cleaner Pro and Beyond Compare. They are programs that's specialized to do what you're trying to do. I use them together since each one has some features the other doesn't have. I paid for both software because I really needed to organize my files as it was growing out of control. I had so many duplicate files and duplicate file trees!
Beyond Compare helps me compare folder trees that are backups of one another. I end up making a backup of a large folder. Then, making a backup of that. And, I soon lose track of which file tree that is the one I should use. It soon happens that some recent files are on in one tree and other recent files are in another tree. It helps me delete the files that are the older files, even if I renamed them. It can do this since it relies on hash numbers rather than just the title so you know for a fact that they are the same file.
Duplicate Cleaner Pro simply goes through all the folders and find all the duplicates, also relying on hash numbers. I use this program to find files that I have moved and forgot to erase the duplicate copy. Soon, I get many duplicates and I work on many different versions.
Both programs work fast so it won't take you 4 days but just minutes. These 2 programs together helped me out A LOT.
I will try Duplicate Cleaner Pro. I will also take a second look at Beyond Compare. I currently have Ultra Compare, which is part of idmcomp. How are you using Beyond Compare? What is the advantage you feel you have with Being Compare?
Your issues with file management getting out of hand sounds almost exactly like mine.