Searching for System Files not Working?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by Autokon, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Autokon macrumors 6502

    Autokon

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    #1
    Need some advice here on how to fix a search issue on Mavericks. Back in the day when I was uninstalling an App or something I'd simply use an App like AppZapper or something...but then I moved on from those since they didn't seem to remove all traces of a given app. When I nuke an app, I want all traces gone (I'm OCD!). So, I started using finder and adding in the search option for "System Files - Are Included" in my searches to ensure I delete proper plist files and such.

    Well, now "System Files - Are Included" doesn't seem to be revealing files from the /library/preferences/ folder. I have to manually navigate to that folder, find the files and delete them.

    For reference, I'm running a late 2013 rMBP, latest updates on everything. I also tried this on my Mac Mini server running latest everything as well, and it does the same thing...wont find /library/preference based files in my search despite having system files being included in the search.

    This a new mavericks deal? excluding some folders from a system files included based search?

    Any ideas? :confused:
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #2
    Interesting... I saw your post and just tested on Mavs 10.9.1 This Mac selected and system files are included and I see the same behavior.

    I used this search method on previous OS X versions and it picked up everything.

    I searched for an ibank5.plist file in /Library/Preferences and it does not show up in the search, although I can see the file if I go to that folder in Finder.

    I have been using the file search tool iFileX for the last year or so, so never noticed this before. I did the same search in iFileX and the same ibank5.plist is shown there.

    Looks like you are correct that Finder is not searching /Library/Preferences for some reason.
     
  3. Autokon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Autokon

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    #3
    Least its not just me! :D
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #4
    Try re-indexing your drive: If that fails to index, enter the following command in Terminal:
    sudo mdutil -i on "/Volumes/your drive name"​

    While searching with Spotlight won't reveal results from system or library folders, the reindexing may improve Finder's ability to do so. If that doesn't help, you may have discovered another flaw in Mavericks.

    This may or may not be related, but do you have "Show Library Folder" checked in your view options?
     
  5. Weaselboy, Jan 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014

    Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #5
    Nope... first thing I tried.

    To be clear, we are talking about /Library/Preferences not the user ~/Library/Preferences folder.
     
  6. Autokon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Autokon

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    #6
    Yeah, no dice here either....very weird. Any alternatives for properly uninstalling? Alternative uber-spotlight replacements?

     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #7
    I'd suggest some testing with Finder alternatives.
     
  8. Autokon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Autokon

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    #8
    Wouldn't it be the users library folder? not the system library folder? Maybe I'm just confused by what your saying :p ....everything specific app based goes into the user library folder...correct?
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #9
    Nope... I understand the difference. The iBank5.plist file I am talking about is in the system /Library/Preferences folder and not the users ~/Library/Preferences folder. It looks like it contains registration information.

    What is odd is if I am in the /Library/Preferences folder and search ibank, it comes right up. But if I search ibank for This Mac with system files included that same file is not found.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I repeated the test with a default Apple plist defaultpapersize and get the same results.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    At any rate, the previous method of deleting apps with Finder is not working at this point, so some other tool like iFileX or similar will need to be used.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #10
    As I'm not on Mavericks, perhaps you could check something out for me. Is it possible that there is a new category besides System Files in the search criteria dropdown list (perhaps found by selecting "Other"), such as one for Library Files? Or some other search criteria that isn't in earlier OS X versions that could be added to identify those files?
     
  11. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #11
    I poked around there and it all looks the same from previous versions that I recall.

    The main drop down looks the same.

    [​IMG]

    If you look in Other there is an entry for System Files, but that is checked by default.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the entire list of items in Other... I don't see anything that looks like it would change the results with this issue.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #12
    Thanks for checking. No, I don't see anything that would affect this issue, either. I compared the list to the one in Snow Leopard and found several new fields, but at least some of them could have been introduced in Lion or ML.

    Application Categories
    Attachment Names
    Attachment Types
    Borrowed By
    Category
    Collection ID
    Comments
    Date added
    Date Last Viewed
    Date Received
    Director - DVDpedia movie director
    Document Container
    Executable Architectures
    Executable Platform
    File Size
    Flag Color
    Flagged
    Genre - Pedia app genre attribute
    Is Application Managed
    Is Junk
    Logical size
    Message ID
    On
    Priority
    Purchase Date
    Read Status
    Release
    Replied To
    -Size (became File Size)
    Starring
    Studio
    Tags
    Tags - Pedia app tags​
    It looks like there's a bug in Mavericks, as I can't imagine this being an intentional omission.
     
  13. Autokon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Autokon

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    #13
    Any suggestions for a super powerful spotlight replacement? I'm seeing a few...but referrals always work the best.

    Found these...

    Disklens
    Alfred
    EasyFind
    Path Finder
    ForkLift
     
  14. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #14
    I have been using iFileX. I prefer it over Finder since you start it up and by default it searches for all files, including system files.

    I have used Easy Find in the past and it worked well, but I like the interface of iFileX better.

    I have Alfred and Forklift and they both use the Spotlight index, which is not searching all the folders as we have seen. Never tried the others.
     
  15. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #15
    I use Find Any File:
    http://apps.tempel.org/FindAnyFile/

    The app store version has a few limitations. That's the reason why i use the non-MAS version (see above). I bought the app in the MAS, because a) it is cheap and b) i used FAF for a long time.
     
  16. paulsrandall macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Disklens

    I've used all of the utilities discussed in this thread and they are all great in their own way. iFileX and EasyFind have always worked great, but my all time favorite is Disklens. It finds everything and right from the menubar.
     
  17. seanlv macrumors newbie

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    Nov 23, 2014
    #17
    I met the same problem in 10.9.5 and finally fixed by FileX. However, I prefer it could be done in the finder.
     
  18. jorgk macrumors member

    jorgk

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    #18
    Just filed a bug report ...

    It it stays like this it's really annoying - and the 'Best way to FULLY DELETE a program' (GGJstudios) would not work any more so easily ... :-(

    [And who knows if it's just the Library/Preferences folder that is invisible, might be much more].
     
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #19
    The ~/Library folder isn't invisible. It's just not available unless you go directly to it, which can be done in Finder by holding the Option key down while you click "Go" on the Menu Bar. What specific problem are you having?
     
  20. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #20
    That is not what jorgk is talking about. jorgk was speculating there may be folders other than /Library/Preferences that are not being searched during a default search from Finder as described in the earlier posts.
     
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #21
    Ahh! The "invisible" comment threw me off.
     
  22. jorgk macrumors member

    jorgk

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    #22
    Sorry, my formulation was bad. Meant that it is not good that searching for system files in finder, even when specifying to show system files or to show invisible files, some files apparently don't turn up (as described by the OP). For the moment we are aware of this for files within /library/preferences , but who knows where else this is also the case.

    E.g., try to find this file via finder: com.apple.print.makequeues.plist
    It's not there ... if you don't know where to find it.
     

    Attached Files:

  23. jorgk macrumors member

    jorgk

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    #23

    That indeed could explain some further result when searching, for instance, for this file again:
    com.apple.print.makequeues.plist

    Result: File found when searching for 'Visible' files (only when searching within /Library/Preferences, as pointed out by OP), not found when searching for 'Visible or Invisible'. Seems some logic got lost when reaching Mav :confused:
     

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