Free Software for DOS
File Utils – 3
Finders and Identifiers

9 Dec 2005

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FILE FINDERS: System only

FILE FINDERS: System and Archive




Page 1:
RENAME: 8+3 file names only

RENAME: Long File Names supported






Page 2:






FILE FINDERS: System only

Most of the file finders listed below don't support Win9x long file names (LFNs). Two that do are LOCATE and FArc. Also see: directory listers which can usually be used as file finders, but don't often support enhanced wildcards. A capable Win9x LFN compatible dir lister / file finder is 1DIR.

LOCATE — Small, very fast file finder transcends DOS wildcard limitations.

* * * * *

[added 1996-11, updated 2004-12-22]

This little 10K program is on my personal "top 5 most frequently used programs" list – Win or DOS. Even when running Windows, I'll always fire up LOCATE in a DOS box rather than using a GUI finder. LOCATE finds files fast and offers the user several display options – including the default paging of results. While LOCATE can't search inside archives, it finds files faster, easier, and in more different ways than some programs 10 or 100 times its size. Win9x compatible (can *display* Win9x LFNs beside short file name but only allows searching of abbreviated 8.3 names).

Features I especially like:
Syntax:  LOCATE [filespec] [switches]
  /H   Hidden or system        /D-  find files, not Directories
  /X   .COM, .EXE, .BAT        /D+  find Directories only
  /Fn  only First n items      /D   find both (default)
  /A   check Attributes        /T   path search
  /0   0-byte files            /R   local hard drives only
  /G   Go to directory         /K   Kill (delete) items
  /N   bare Naked display      /W   Wide display
  /S   Summary info only       /P   Peter-style display
  /L   Win95 Long filenames    /NP  No Paging

  /B:"command" Batch output    /D:[start][,end]  Date range
  /O:"string"  macro Output    /T:[start][,end]  Time range
  /C:"string"  run Commands    /S:[small][,big]  Size range

Space between the filespec and any switches.  Output will be paged
unless it is redirected or /NP used.  Specify default switches in a
LOCATE= variable.  Try /D? /T? /S? /A? /B? or /O? for more help.

See more about LOCATE in Batch Utils - 1.

Author: Charles Dye / Freeware, FreeDOS and 4DOS-related stuff (2002).


"Some features may not work correctly under FreeDOS."
"This is an older release for FreeDOS compatibility."


More in these pages from Charles Dye.

SNiF — Versatile file finder.


[added 1999-09-12]

This multi-drive file finder complements LOCATE in some areas, but does not support enhanced wildcard searches.

Some interesting features:
Syntax:   SNiF [-/+options] [path]mask , ...
Default options:
  -a : no attribute criteria             -b : no logfile comments
  -c : don't ask for confirmations       +d : display file(s) found
  +e : enable escape key                 -f : snif continuously
  -g : no file-contents sniffing         -i : don't use a control file
  -k : no user-formatted log output      -l : don't make a logfile
  -m : no advanced exceptions            -n : no filemask exceptions
  +o : criteria are logically OR'ed      +r : snif recursively
  -s : don't show sniffing statistics    -t : no time criteria
  -u : no date criteria                  +w : snif whole current drive
  -x : don't execute trailing commands   -z : no filesize criteria
  -? : quick help on these options

Limitations: No enhanced wildcard support. No Win9x LFN support.

Author: Carl Declerck, Belgium (1992). Suggested by Howard Schwartz.

Download (35K).

XFF — File finder with enhanced wildcards and options to perform move, copy, del actions.

* * *

Like LOCATE, this program isn't limited to searching with DOS wildcards and it can perform delete, copy, or move operations on found files. Appears to allow only single drive searches.

Syntax : XFF d:\path file [file file ..] [switches]
Condensed options:
/p..........Pause after every screen with files
/a=XXXX.....Match attributes (X may be R H S or A).
/d..........Match date.
/s..........Match size.
/k..........Kill files. Delete every file matching.
/m=d:\path..Move files to d:\path.
/c=d:\path..Copy files to d:\path.

Author: Snorre Løvås, Norway (1997).

1997-03-31: v1.10. Last freeware version – later versions are shareware, not fully functional until registered.

Download (32K).

FILE FINDERS: System & Archive

FArc — System & archive file finder: 70+ formats, enhanced wildcards, Win9x LFNs.

* * * *

[added 1999-02-27, updated 1999-07-05]

FArc is a multi-drive system and archive file finder which implements enhanced wildcards and can display long file names (LFNs) under Win9x, in both the DOS and native Win32 variants. In my opinion, this is the only reliable archive file finder on this list for a DOS/Win9x system.

Supported archives:
777 0.04b1 BSArc 2.00 Links LS SKY 1.15
ACE 1.1 Cabinet LZA SQWEZ 2.3
AKT 0.5C CHZ 1.2 LZOP SQZ 1.08.3
AMG 2.2 CODEC 3.21 MAR 1.0 SWG
AR 1.1 Compress 5.0 MSXIE 1.4 Synetic
ARC > 6.00 DPA 1.1a PACK SZip > 1.05
ARG 1.01á DWC 5.10 PAK 2.51 TAR
ARHANGEL ELI 5750 PHP 1.0 UFA 0.00
ARI > 2.15 Finish 2.6 PKZIP 2.04g UFA 0.01, 0.02
ARJ > 2.41 GZip 1.2.4 ProPack 2.14 UFA 0.03, 0.04
ARQ 3.2 HA 0.999á Q > 0.90 XLink 2.02
ARX 1.0 HAP 3.0 QFC xpa 1.0.2
ASD 0.13 Hyper 2.5 Quark 1.00b YAC 1.02
BIX 1.00b2 Hyper 2.6 RAR < 1.50 ZET 0.10
BLINK > 2.50 ICE 1.14 RAR > 1.50 ZOO > 2.01
BOA 0.58 JRC 1.10 RAX 1.02 ZPack 1.0
BS2 2.0 LHA > 2.13 SAR 1.0 "EX_"
BSA 1.95 Limit 1.2 SBX > 1.2 "LIB"
     FArc [options] [filemask to search for - no default]
     [path to search in - default: ".\"]
     [filemask to scan - default: "*.*"]

Options (starting with "-" or "/"):
  /AD   -  scan all drives with all subdirectories
  /H    -  this little help screen
  /Mn   -  stop after n found files (n > 0).
  /NA   -  do not scan in archives (then you better use dir :-)
  /NE   -  do not show errors
  /NF   -  do not scan for files in the file system
  /NL   -  do not use long file names under Windows 9x
  /NM   -  show only files that do NOT match the filemask
  /NS   -  do not check for EXE-SFX archives
  /P[n] -  pause after every n lines out screen output (default = 24)
  /S    -  search subdirectories too
  /X    -  extended information at the end

Author: Philip Helger (PHaX), Austria (1999). Suggested by Lars-Erik Sandberg.

1999-07-05: v1.24 for DOS16 and Win32 console. Last version.


More in these pages from Philip Helger.

SeaRCHZIPRar — File(s) finder for ZIP and RAR archives.

* * * *

[added 2001-10-28, updated 2003-05-15]

SeaRCHZIPRar is a recursive file(s) finder for ZIP and RAR archives.

Features: Limitations: Usage:
SrchZipR [D:][P] <-Sfilename_substring> [-F] <-Z|-R>[FileSpec] [-L] [-V] [-H]

  [D:][P]               [Drive:][Path] to look for ZIP or RAR archives
  -Sfilename_substring  Filename or substring thereof to Seek inside archives;
                        '*' and '?' wild card characters in substring supported
  -F                    Find filename_substring in initial part of filenames
  -Z[FileSpec]          Search ZIP archives. Default FileSpec is *.zip
  -R[FileSpec]          Search RAR archives. Default FileSpec is *.rar
  -L                    Limit search to current/specified directory
  -V                    Send Verbose list (archive names, archived files'
                        names and sizes) to ARCFILES.DOC
  -H or -?              This Help

Authors: G.Namasivayam and G.Gurupandian / Systech Software, India (2003).

2003-01-30: v1.4.

Download (34K).

LGAFIND — Small file finder also searches in arcs; enhanced wildcard searches.

* * 1/2

[added 1998-06-02, updated 2000-02-23]

A newer multi-drive file finder that's small (6K) and capable of searching for files packed in archives, including self-extracting executables. Supports these archive formats: 777, ACE, AMG, AR, ARC, ARJ, A0?-A9?, ARK, ASD, B58, BIX, BSA, BSN, CAB, CHZ, DPA, ELI, HA, HAP, HIT, HYP, ICE, LG, LIM, LZH, MP3, NSK, OOP, PAK, PCA, PUT, Q, QFC, RAR, R0?-R9?, RAX, SB, SKY, SPA, SQZ, UFA, XPA, YC, ZET, ZIP, ZOO, ZPK and EXE, COM (if /i is specified).

Usage: LGAFIND [/Option] <fmask> [/Option]
/d        - Don't expand archives
/s        - Stop at first occurrence
/g        - Stop at first and go to target directory
/f        - Full information(size,data,etc.)
/2        - Full information in 2 lines
/i        - Include SFX archives
/e        - Any archive extension(slow)
/a        - All drives(default-current)
/tb<date> - Before <date> (DD-MM-YYYY)
/ta<date> - After <date>

Author: George Lyapko, Ukraine (1999).

1998-07-31: v2.3. The v2.4 release (1999-03-29) seems to be broken when using wildcards so I've removed the link to 2.4 and replaced it with v2.3 which does work. See the author's page for a link to 2.4 ( for more archives, bug fixes, com size decreased, more; see docs), aa well as other shareware and freeware utilities.

Download (8K).

Archive Finder (AF) and Super File Find (SFF) — Older file finders can also search in arcs; enhanced wildcard searches.

* *

[updated 2005-07-01]

Archive Finder and Super File Finder can search inside archives using enhanced wildcards. Neither one is recommended for serious use because they can miss matches when searching for filenames inside archives. However, they might be of some use on older PCs. AF can search within ZIP, ARJ, LHA, ZOO and a few other older formats. I liked the speed of AF, but only recently noticed that it can miss some filename matches. Also, AF was released in 1993 so expect it to crash on Win9x systems with many files / dirs unless you restrict its operation to smaller subdirectories. It also generates the RTE 200 error on high MHz PCs and does not display year 2000 dates correctly (two digit century value garbled). Unfortunately, SFF suffers all the problems of AF, and additionally *freezes* on many .RAR files. SFF has few options, can't search multiple drives, but can search within executable archives.

Authors: AF by J. Boggio, France (1993). SFF by John P. Arkins (1995).

1993-08-14: AF v1.26, in French & English.
1995-05-24: SFF v1.04.


Also see: PKzoom (ZIP find only), DDR (freezes on certain RAR files). The Connect IDE integrates a robust file finder with very good archive searching capabilities.


Useful for finding identical files / file names (often for the purpose of deleting unnecessary copies).

Notes: Dirtotal can also function as a basic duplicate filename finder (using the /dup switch), and offers multi-drive search capability (generates report).

DDup — Multi-drive duplicate-file finder with delete/rename prompting.

* * * * *

DDup is quite old but one of the best I've found for older PCs. DDup includes multi-drive search capability, enhanced wildcard handling, definition of duplicates, and it prompts for deletion or renaming of found files. To search multiple drives from root dirs, you should first cd to roots. Won't handle long file names (LFNs), and will run out of memory on huge drives. Package contains Windows and Desqview .PIFs.

Syntax: DDup [drive(s):][directory][files] [options]
/T..files with identical name, size and time
/N..files with identical name but different specs
/S..files with identical specs but diff names
/D..for discrete scan.

Rare on the Net.

Author: Jean Lalonde, Canada (1987).

Download (20K).

ShowDupe — Multi-drive duplicate-file finder with compare, view, and delete options.

* * * *

[updated 2004-05-15]

ShowDupe is a useful multi-drive duplicate-file finder that can also test same-named files for identity at the byte level. This full screen, text mode program also provides menu options to view and delete selected files. Configuration file can save default search drives / directories, color settings, and a user defined file viewer. Source code included.

SHOWDUPE <d:\path> [d:\path]

Important limitation: There is a practical conventional memory limit restricting the number of files this program can process: With my 500 and 200 MB drives I've noticed the program fails to completely read the second drive when I use root directories as parameters. It works fine when comparing single subdirectories on different drives.

Author: R. H. Shaw, published in PCMag (1992). Suggested by Lars-Erik Sandberg.

Download (92K).

Repeats — Find duplicate file names.

* *

[updated 2004-05-15]

Repeats is an old PCMag utility that finds duplicate file names on a single drive. It doesn't test for identity (i.e., date, bytes). This little 1.2K program works fine on my 500MB drive but crashes on the big 12.7 GB drive. Could still be useful for a zip drive. No command line options. Output can be redirected to a file.

Author: Michael Mefford, for PC Magazine (1987). Suggested by Marianna Van Erp.

Download VOL6N11.ZIP (10K).

RFW (ROSE's File Weeder) — Finds & processes duplicate files.


[updated 2005-12-08]

Intended mainly for virus files, but can be used more generally. Uses 2 CRC32 checksums, compares file contents to weed out true duplicates that might have different names. Handles many files but skips extremely long paths.

Snipped from RFW's docs:
...maintains a database so it is not necessary to rescan all files over and over again to search for duplicates... New files can be added to a database (no size limit!). Very useful for anti virus researchers. Automatic file detection and renaming (e.g. COM/EXE/SYS/HTML/Archives/Images). No file number limit – tested with 500,000 files! Contains Kill Goat which detects standard bait and goat files...

16-bit DOS version requires 80286+. 32-bit DOS version requires 80386+ and DOS Protected Mode Interface (CWSDPMI or other). Both versions require FPU and DOS 5.0+. Win32 console version runs under Win9x/NT+.

Author: Ralph Roth / ROSE Software Engineering (ROSE SWE), Germany (2005). Suggested by CyberRax.



Download rvct_Rel11.rar (1.9MB), the ROSE SWE Virus Collector Toolset with all the versions listed here, a Linux version, and a bunch of other programs.

More in these pages from ROSE SWE.


Flarge — Find largest files on single drive.

* * *

Flarge is designed for the sole purpose of locating the largest files on a single drive. Note the high default setting below – if you run flarge without a parameter and get no result, no files were found larger than 8MB. Not designed for huge FAT32 drives (it will miss some files). Flarge is part of the Magic Utilities package.

Syntax: FLARGE [path] [/a:n[ /k/M]][/t:n]
[path] specifies the path to start searching
/a:n shows all files above n ( /k/M)bytes
/t:n specifies that the [n] largest files will be shown
Default is FLARGE /a:8M
Default for top list is 16 items

Author: Bert Greevenbosch, Netherlands. (1997). Suggested by Marianna Van Erp.


Other programs with file size filters: Dirtotal and LSD.

TODAY — Find files by date.

* * *

[updated 2004-06-27]

TODAY can recursively scan a drive for files created today, yesterday and today, etc. A quick and intuitive tool (and what an easy command to remember). Today is part of the larger TSUTLD package.

Usage: TODAY DirectoryMask [/the options (see below)]
 /Bxx     since xx days Back
 /Dddmmyy since dd/mm/yy
 /Thhmm   since hh:mm
 /E       only Exact date (else date and later)
 /N       No recursion (else all files in the default directory and below)
 /S       Suppress captions, only list the files

Author: Timo Salmi, Finland (2000). Suggested by Marianna Van Erp.

2000-07-27: v2.5.

Download (94K), which includes TODAY.

More in these pages from Timo Salmi.


Users of file identifiers seem to fall into two general camps: 1) The non-programmer who desires to know the origin of a file in question, e.g., what is the document type, version, and program which created it; 2) Programmers and hackers are often interested in quickly identifying the origin (e.g., compiler/ packer) of executable files. Programs such as Typ, GetTyp, and FileInfo cater more to the latter group, whereas Filex and Analyzer may be sufficient for most non-programmers. Also see this site's Archivers / Archive Identifiers.

Filex — File identification based on extensions.

* * *

[updated 1998-10-25]

Uses a list of 1800 file extensions to identify sources of unknown files. Filex does not actually analyze the structure of a file – it matches a file extension to a description in it's database. Thus it can't distinguish MS Word "*.doc" files from plain text "*.doc" files (hint: the -a switch will display all possibilities contained in the database). Remains a very useful reference. The -* switch displays a tree of extensions related by program (e.g., Excel's .XL* extensions). New extensions and descriptions can be easily be added to the DAT file: you can also maintain more than one database (just need to point to any valid extension database with an env variable).

Author: Jouni Miettunen, Finland. (1996).

Download (50K).

GetTyp — File identification based on signature.

* * * *

[added 1999-01-16, updated 2004-06-22]

GetTyp (gt.exe) is an up-to-date file identifier that writes to standard output, offers several display options, and can use a configuration file. Displays Win9x LFNs. Emphasis is on identifying archive, exe, and image formats: ~375 EXE packing formats (incl. many sub-versions), 85 archives (incl. 30+ SFXes), several image formats, various programming codes (e.g., bat, Perl, Java, Pascal, C+/++), other file types e.g., some Word and Word Perfect formats, Win help and registry files, more). Useful feature: Can detect archives packed within install programs (e.g., CAB archives in Win9x install programs) and can list the contents. Includes a configuration program to set switches from config. file. DOS version requires 80286+ CPU, 200K mem.

Author: Philip Helger (PHaX), Austria (2000). Cardware. Suggested by Lars-Erik Sandberg.

2000-12-13: v2.60.


More in these pages from Philip Helger.

Typ — Full screen file identifier (reads file signatures).

* * * *

[added 1999-09-25, updated 2005-07-01]

Can present verbose information about exe types, exe packers, version / author information, image info, and contents of many archives. But the sparse documentation doesn't provide any detailed information on specific file types supported ("archiver, crypter, viruses, compiler, music, images data files, BIOS-chipsets"). An integrated full screen text viewer is used to display color-coded results. Typ can render ansi coded files and even Windows icons (in text mode). While the auto-scrolling viewer can display results while the program is processing in the background, Typ won't allow simple redirection of output. A configuration program is included and should be run before using the program. 16-bit (286), 32-bit protected mode and OS/2 versions are available.

Author: Veit Kannegieser, Germany (2004). Suggested by Lars-Erik Sandberg.

2004-08-13: Unnumbered release.


Versions for Linux, OS/2 & Win32, are also available from the programs page.

Analyzer — File identification based on signature.

* * *

[updated 1999-03-24]

Analyzer is a file identifier that analyzes the signature of files rather than relying on extensions. It doesn't claim to identify a huge number of file types, and doesn't provide much detail, but it does identify some popular (c. 1998) formats: Word and Word Perfect formats, Lotus 123, Rich Text Format, Corel Draw, popular movie and image formats. Its strength lies in its ability to identify different compression archives, packed executables, and some high level language EXEs. Analyzer works like a directory lister but has no command line switches. It simply lists all files in a directory with the file type displayed next to the file name. You can use wildcards to filter the listing. Output can be redirected to file.

Author: András Bártházi, Hungary (1998).

1998-01-11: v1.36 (1-98).

Download (21K).

FileInfo — Executable file identifier.


[added 2000-06-08, updated 2001-07-02]

FileInfo is another good file identifier which focuses on executable formats.

Comments from a reader:
An up-to-date identifier that relies on signatures and specializes in executable files; identifies an impressive amount of .EXE/.COM compressors, encryptors, modifiers. Also some non-executable formats are included (HTML, WinHLP, several archive formats). Has a special graphics mode analyzer screen with an opinion about compression/encryption [to access this screen, pass FI a single file of interest on command line, and then TAB]. FileInfo is different from most file identifiers because it shows the contents of file, but a standard output mode can also be used.
Advantages: Everything is contained in a single exe which is under 100KB; fast; simple to use; LFN support under Win9x.
Disadvantages: Few options, no built-in disassembler, short documentation.

Author: Michael Hering, Germany (2001). Suggestion and comments by CyberRax.

2001-06-06: v2.45 (06-01).

Download (135K).

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©1994-2004, Richard L. Green.
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