Puritan Hard Drive -- how to add new files to the search feature?

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Puritan Board Senior

One of the families in our church surprised me with a Puritan Hard Drive for Christmas this year. I've enjoyed it, still really figuring it out, but it's a great resource -- which brings me to my question.

I have hundreds of books in PDF format that I've downloaded (i.e., from Google Books or CCEL), and it would benefit me tremendously if there were an easy way to add them to the PHD's search engine. I understand that they're not going to have the OCR functionality that a lot of the "native" PDF's on the PHD have, and I'm okay with that. I'd just like the titles to show up in searches. For example, if I search for "Ephesians commentary," I'd love it if the commentaries I have in there came up as well.

I ask because on the emails that the PHD folks send out, they are always advertising a new book or MP3 that's for sale. I haven't purchased any of them, but if I were to do so, there's bound to be a way that it would be included in their search engine...

They don't seem to answer email inquiries (at least thus far). So can anyone help me? Or is this a dumb/impossible request?

Thanks in advance.
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Puritan Board Freshman
I don't have the PHD myself, so I can't test this, but have you seen this document? http://www.affiliates.puritan-hard-...fic Words and Phrases in Searchable Books.pdf

In there it mentions "Even though there are only (ONLY!) 1564 searchable PDFs currently distributed with the PHD, setting the
value to 10000 will allow you to add additional PDFs as they are made available in the future without having to change the value in

Maybe have a look and see if that helps.


Puritan Board Senior
Jordan, thanks for your reply. I had not seen that before. I'll tinker around and see what I can do with it, though based on this morning's response from the SWRB folks I don't think it will make much difference:

"Greetings Reagan! Good you hear you are finding the PHD to be a blessing. Though you may add files to the free space on the PHD, they will not be integrated with the software or the database. However, I'll mention your request to our software developer. Please keep us in your prayers. Thanks."

But thanks anyway!

So the next question is this: what sort of workaround do y'all suggest? For example, is there a way to install the google desktop search onto the PHD and use it as a secondary search engine?


Puritan Board Freshman
Well, this is what would be nice to do, not recommended, still nice :)

1) Edit their database and add your books with tags and all - it appears they make this difficult if not impossible.
2) Create your own database and front end (just like they do), it would be like your own mini PHD - still too much work, is doable though.

Your options, use free tools to manage your additional e-book collection, either a file manager or cataloger - very doable as long as you like the interface you look at when you search or maybe read, if the tool includes a reader.

One option - Calibre ebook management

Calibre is pretty feature rich, runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac, has a built in reader, makes use of tags, on Windows is portable so you could unzip it to your PHD drive assuming you have enough room after you put your collection on the drive. You could also have it installed on your computer, after you plug in the PHD, have Calibre scan your e-book folder with your collection, add tags etc.

What you need to provide is what OS you are running - Windows, Linux, ...? Plug in the PHD and open your OS file explorer, in Windows it's Windows Explorer, determine the layout of the drive, how much free space is available. You also need to determine the size of your collection to see if you have room on the PHD.

Do you know how to get a screenshot of the PHD drive layout - in Windows it's ALT-PrintScreen for the active window, hopefully they did a clean job of placing the directories and files on the drive, ... G:\PHD would be nice. If they did it something like this, you could simply add a new folder, maybe G:\MyBooks

When viewing the drive it would look something like this, the drive letter is random,


All the PHD content is in the \PHD folder and all your new content is in \MyBooks.

If while exploring the PHD you see a bunch of strange files (and folders) in the root directory, .exe, .pdb, whatever, they simply figure you don't want to add anything on your own, they put everything directly in the root directory, and their software will manage any new content. You could still drop a new folder in there but you don't want to disturb their files or the folder structure. It may look like this,


Can you get a screenshot of the PHD plugged in and have your OS file explorer displaying the drive contents, this would help?


Puritan Board Senior

Wow, thank you for the prompt and detailed reply! We just got in from an all-day funeral/family trip, so I will get the picture you requested posted either tomorrow evening after worship or Monday. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me!


Puritan Board Freshman
Hi reaganmarsh

Google Desktop Search is no longer in development, no new fixes and older releases are unsupported - I would avoid installing it. You can read about it Here.

The PHD is drive F:, the label, Win-PHD, it appears you're on Windows, some progress but not enough. More "details", you have all that white space on the right, move the windows a bit so everything is in view. Also, you're inside the \Puritan Hard Drive folder, we want the root - F:, you want to highlight Win-PHD (F), no biggie. It appears the only folder is \Puritan Hard Drive.

With enough free space, you could add a second folder to the PHD drive, maybe, ...
Win-PHD (F)
................\Puritan Hard Drive

With the root drive selected, click New Folder, give it a name - keep it simple and short.

Also, you could add sub-folders in your new folder to organize your collection (assuming there's room), we need details on the size of the drive and the free space.

Now, we need the "Properties" of the PHD drive, "capacity", "used space", and "free space", you can get this by right-clicking drive F:, scroll to Properties, when the window appears you should see details similar to mine. I'm on XP so the windows wont be the same but the "Details" should be. Also, what's the size of your collection, get these details as well. Before you move them, name the books wisely, searching will be quicker - (title/author) or (author/title) works.

Let's assume this is your drive (my pic), what did we determine, the drive, "L:", the label, "Slave", the capacity, 23.886GB, used space, 20.420GB, free space, 3.465GB - the "free space" is what's left for books, audio, video, etc. Btw, don't use every bit of free space. I'd assume about 3GB is available for new materials. Remember, new resources from the PHD people uses space, you have 3GB max regardless of the source.

Finally, if you look at your image, the upper right-hand corner - Search Puritan Hard Drive, when in the new directory (\MyResources), experiment with Windows built-in search, searching \MyResources directly, it should work fine for you if you know what it is you're after, naming your resources wisely will come in handy. I would experiment searching the PHD drive, search for a book you know is in the collection, see how it works. The result if double-clicked should load using the default application, .pdf is likely "Acrobat", a text file will usually open in "notepad".

Talk at you soon :)



Puritan Board Senior
Hi Mark,

Thanks again for your detailed reply; it was very helpful. Upon your recommendation, I will avoid the Google Desktop software. I use a Dell Windows 7 Professional laptop, if that matters.

I have 193 GB free (of 298GB total) on the PHD after copying all of my files onto the drive. So I've got space to download a few more books. ;-) I've added the "MyStuff" folder as per your directions -- great idea!

The Windows search seems to work pretty well for the immediate moment. I appreciate you taking the time to point out the Calibre option, though, and I will look into it further.

Thank you for your time and help! This will work much better for my purposes!
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