Duplicate File Detective provides the ability to scan multiple duplicate file search paths in a single pass. These paths are managed via the Search Paths docking window, located (by default) in the upper left hand corner of the Duplicate File Detective application window.
Managing Search Paths
The toolbar buttons near the top of the search paths docking window pane provide the ability to add, delete, protect (more on this in a minute) and alter the position of search path entries. Search paths are processed in the order in which they appear in the search path listing.
Note that each search path in the search path listing has a check box to its left. Duplicate File Detective will only process paths that have a mark in this check box. This provides a quick way to disable or enable paths during search operations without removing and re-adding them.
Right-clicking within the Search Paths window will cause a special context-sensitive menu to appear. This menu provides another means of manipulating search paths, and also allows you to check / uncheck all paths at once. Double-clicking a search path will edit that path.
When a new Duplicate File Detective project is created, the search path listing is populated with a list of default values correlating to the fixed drive on the host computer. This behavior can be altered in the preferences window.
Search paths are saved and loaded on a per-project basis.
Tip #1: Network paths can be entered into the Search Paths window by clicking the "Add" toolbar button and either selecting a path from the "My Network Places" branch of the file system tree, or by entering a UNC path (e.g. "\\myserver\sharename") directly into the Folder edit box.
Tip #2: You can also drag folder paths from within Windows Explorer and "drop" them on the Search Paths panel.
Inclusive vs Non-Inclusive Search Paths
Search paths can either be inclusive or non-inclusive.
•Inclusive: The files contained within inclusive search paths will be compared against other files contained within the same path.
•Non-Inclusive: The files contained within non-inclusive search paths will not be compared against other files contained within the same path.
By default, search paths are inclusive. To mark a search path as non-inclusive, right-click it and select "Toggle Non-Inclusive Mode". A small red icon will appear next to the search path to indicate that it's now operating in non-inclusive mode.
Protecting Search Paths
Search paths can be protected from processing by selecting the path in question and clicking the Protect toolbar icon.
When a search path is protected, any duplicate file found within that path (or any of its subfolders) will also be protected. Protected entries will be shown in the duplicate results report view with a small lock icon in place of the normal check box image that appears adjacent the file name. This effectively prevents such entries from being eligible for processing by Duplicate File Detective.
Note that search paths can be protected either before or after a duplicate file search is run.
Important: Search paths (and therefore search path protection) is a property of the current Duplicate File Detective project. As such, duplicate search results imported from an existing XML export file will never be identified as protected unless the associated project is also loaded.
Master Search Paths
Search paths can optionally set to master path mode. When a search path is promoted to master status, at least one file in that path must be present in every reported duplicate group.
Important: When you toggle a search path to master path mode, Duplicate File Detective will also automatically protect the path and make it non-inclusive (since you'll generally want to use these modes in combination with master paths). However, you can then toggle the non-inclusive and protected modes off if you so desire.