To make it easier to search for information on the whole hard disk it is worth to consider an indexing engine, such as lucene. http://lucene.apache.org/
Not always applicable, but can be very useful to index information on a local network. There is an addon for lucene called Nutch, which seems to be useful for that purpose.
It can also be a generic plugin to manage Lucene databases or make queries for them. This can be used, for example, in disk catalog database to index description files.
I can only imagine, but if lucene engine interface can be exposed from internet/intranet web-site - it can also be used to search and retrieve files from online database.