To speed up the Search function and increase its capabilities (such as searching for the author of a Microsoft Office document), use the Indexing Service. Click the Indexing Service link in the Search dialogue box and follow the screen prompts. This begins a process that parses every document on your computer or specified hard drive partition, lifting properties such as author information from Office documents, e-mail and newsgroup messages, and HTML documents. It interprets a document's language and extracts key words. These details are indexed in a compressed file that Search can root through quickly.
Indexing a whole hard disk takes time and system resources - you will want to compile your first index over-night while you're away from your computer. Subsequent indexing sessions don't take much out of your system, and they are performed automatically. Indexes don't take up much disk space, either - our index of almost 1700 documents takes up about 1MB.
If you notice your system performance suddenly begins to drag, disable indexing for a while. Select Start-Search-For Files and Folders, click the Indexing Service link, and click No, do not enable Indexing Service.