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Animated Search Assistant & Change Preferences Missing

Posted on 2006-04-09
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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
In my Dell Notebook, Inspiron 1150, the search assistant is missing. I've reinstaled the search asistant from the following instructions:

http://www.tweakxp.com/article37259.aspx
  1. Click Start , click Run , and then type the following command: %systemroot%\inf
NOTE : There are no spaces at all in the preceding command line.
   2. Click OK to open the INF folder.
   3. Locate the file Srchasst.inf .
Right-click the file, and then click Install . This will reinstall the files that Search needs to proceed normally.

There still is no 'CHANGE PREFERENCES' selection nor is there any animated characters such as the Doggie that I have in my Dell 8400 Desk Top. Both computers have the same version under the HELP>ABOUT WINDOWS selection in the search window. Can someone assist me in resolving this so as to have the animated search assistant in my Notebook also?

Thank You,
Scott

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Question by:sag817
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Expert Comment

by:moorhouselondon
ID: 16412468
I don't know whether this might help:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/831430/en-us

Other than that, Battersea Dogs Home might be able to help ;-)
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 16412530
There is a registry tweak that makes the WinXP search window look like Win2K (i.e. without any animation but also without a Change Preferences  tick box)

Try this in RegEdit:

Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ CabinetState \
Right-click an empty space in the right pane and select New > String Value
Name the new value "Use Search Asst"
Double-click this new value, and enter "Yes" as its Value data
Close the registry editor


Also consider the Hotfix here: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q319949


If those fail try here for resetting your search options to default:
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_s.htm#search_advanced



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Author Comment

by:sag817
ID: 16415376
I have tried the optins given to me to resolve the problem, all with no success. I'd like to E-mail a pic of the two different windows that i speak of to whomever feels they might be able to assist me in resolving this problem. Maybe that would be of help to whomever sees it.

Scott
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Author Comment

by:sag817
ID: 16416688
After getting to work I looked at our computers that have Windows 2000 on them and my Windows XP search is the same as 2000. I dont know why but can someone provide additional clues as to how I can change my current XP search that is like 2000 to the XP search that has the animated companions?

Scott
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 16419193
The registry fix I posted is meant to do just that.  If you have an entry which reads
HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ CabinetState \
Where the value "Use Search Asst" = no
then delete this.
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Author Comment

by:sag817
ID: 16420208
Well I was instructed to create that registry entry at some point of my reserching this problem = yes. And I did so, and it still remains in the registry.
I was instructed to create the "Use Search Asst" = yes in:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ CabinetState \

And I did just that. It doesn't say no, it says yes. It's typed exactly like this: Use Search Asst
With no " and with the spaces between Use & Search & Assist. Exactly like this: Use Search Asst
I double clicked it and then typed in: yes
First with the Y capital (Which didn't resolve the problem).
Then with the y lowercase (Which didn't resolve the problem).
The search still looked like 2000.
I then followed these instructions to the letter again:

1. Click Start , click Run , and then type the following command: %systemroot%\inf
    NOTE : There are no spaces at all in the preceding command line.
2. Click OK to open the INF folder.
3. Locate the file Srchasst.inf .

I saw the 'BLUE LINEs' go across the grey instalation box, as it does when something is installing.
I saw the names of the contents opening above the 'BLUE LINE' showing the items that were installing.
They were indeed the files that were needed for the search assistant to have the animated characters.
I saw the doggie file and its extension as well as merlins file and extension as it was opening.
Once done, I checked my search (Before & After Rebooting) and it was still the same.
it looked like Windows 2000 search and not Windows XP search.

So.....
How can I just Un-Install the search all together? So I can maybe then Re-Install it with the above instructions. Do you think that might work?

Perplexed,
Scott
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 16420450
OK the registry "fix" doesn't seem to have made any difference.  Best remove it before it messes up any future reinstallation

Now you have copied the Search Companion files have you tried reregistering jscript.dll, vscript.dll and urlmon.dll?

(In the Run box: "regsvr32 jscript.dll",  Click Ok, repeat with the other two libraries)

Equally perplexed

M :o)

"Can I just uninstall the search all together?" - haven't needed to do this before but it seems the logical progression, checking now ...
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 16420676
Hmm ..Windows File Protection got very upset with me trying to remove this.
What I did find though was another registry entry that might be worth comparing with your machine

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Search Assistant]
"InstallDir"="C:\\WINDOWS\\srchasst\\"
"Actor"="c:\\windows\\srchasst\\chars\\rover.acs"
"UsageCount"=dword:0000001e

Any help with getting Rover back?
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Author Comment

by:sag817
ID: 16422702
Interesting......
I followed your path:    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Search Assistant
And there is no 'Search Assistant' folder in the registry.

1. So what does that mean, and what should I do?
2. And what exactly, if anything, should I do with the information you gave me that I pasted below:

"InstallDir"="C:\\WINDOWS\\srchasst\\"
"Actor"="c:\\windows\\srchasst\\chars\\rover.acs"
"UsageCount"=dword:0000001e

Scott
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 16423917
Cut & paste everything below the line below into notepad and save as rover.reg

The double click on the .reg file to insert the information

This should put the missing entries back into your registry.

There are about 6 references to Search Assistant in my test box registry so it may mean putting them all back but this is the only entry that refers directly to the animated search companion "rover"

***Usual registry warning here:  Messing with the registry can potentially destroy your windows installation ***
I think we'll be OK with this one as it inserts a specific key which can be removed again if necessary but always take care when editing the registry.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Search Assistant]
"InstallDir"="C:\\WINDOWS\\srchasst\\"
"Actor"="c:\\windows\\srchasst\\chars\\rover.acs"
"UsageCount"=dword:0000001e
"CheckForNonUSAcceptLang"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Search Assistant\ACMru]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Search Assistant\ACMru\5603]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Search Assistant\ACMru\5604]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Search Assistant\Tips]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Search Assistant\Tips\SrchAssCtl]
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Author Comment

by:sag817
ID: 16433174
OK....
I have new info that you might be able to help me put together.

I read a web page / blog where someone had exactly the same problem.
http://www.mcse.ms/archive60-2004-8-997540.html

It only happend to him when he loged on his computers at work, but when ever any one else did, the computer had the Animated Search Companion rather than the Search Assistant. Whomever he was getting advice from told him to get with his Administrator to change his privileges. So after coming across another site that said I needed to log in as Administrator before installing Search Assistant:
http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org/how_do_i_reinstall_the_search_c.htm

I tried to log on as Aministrator. I followed these instructions:
http://searchwinsystems.techtarget.com/ateQuestionNResponse/0,289625,sid68_gci1103699_tax299745,00.html

So after Loging into safe mode as Administrator I saw Rover in the search! So My problem now is that I can only log in as owner and get to my desktop (Not In Safe Mode). When I try to get to the desk top as Administrator it asks for a password and wont let me in.

So what do you suggest? I think I'm onto something. Can you please help me?

Scott
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 16433664
Sounds promising, not sure why you can't get in.  It this your PC or part of a network?

From your account can you create another new account as an administrator?  What does Search Assistant look like in that one?

Getting the Admin password is either from the SysAdmin for your network or - if this is your own PC & you didn't set one up youself - from the supplier, they will have setup a standard install with an administrator password.  'phone whichever is appropriate.

If it turns out there shouldn't be an administrator password you will have to try to recreate it. This could potentially lose data on the machine.
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 16625374
Looked like this was solved but some last minute confusion over who had administration rights to this PC, still waiting to hear ...
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Author Comment

by:sag817
ID: 16625777
It is a home owned Lap Top Note Book PC bought by me and owned by me. I purchased it from Dell and it was sent to me by Dell. They have been unable to resolve this issue and have twice said that I need to reformat my hard drive, wihich I have done twice. Yet this issue still remains. I am single, no live ins, no one uses or has acces to this Lap Top Note Book PC but me. This issue isn't resolved as i have yet to receive a solution. I'm certain that I'm not the only one that has run into this problem but I can't seem to locate anyone who has a resolution. I am still seeking assistance in resolving this if anyone knows how I can correct this issue.

Thank You,
Scott
[email address removed by MASQUERAID]
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by:moorhouselondon
ID: 16625842
When you refer to the laptop as being "reformatted", does this extend to the removal of the existing partition by deleting it (so that the screen shows just one entry showing Free Space)?  Then there is another option: Format NTFS or Format NTFS (Quick).  It is better to use the first option, it takes longer but is less likely to leave something behind.
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 16625856
If you reformatted the drive then the install disk that Dell provided must be the culprit.  Any setting changes in the registry would be lost and reset on the reinstall of XP.  I can't think of any other explanation.

Perhaps the best way to resolve the thread would be to close it refunding your points.  If the information provided so far has been no help it should be deleted.  If it might help someone else with a similar problem it should be retained.

This would give you an opportunity to link to this thread in a further question.
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Expert Comment

by:moorhouselondon
ID: 16625916
Masqueraid:

I agree that if the drive has been "reformatted" then, yes, it will have been wiped, but it may be the case that Dell directed sag817 to "reinstall" by putting the disk in, it may not have actually "reformatted" the drive.  It is not obvious to the user that a format of the drive is actually taking place unless one has to sit and wait for half an hour or so for it to happen, when the fact that it is being "formatted" (not "recovered") is displayed on the screen.  If the disk provided by Dell is a Recovery Disk - a Ghost image of the Factory Delivered status of the pc, then I agree that the fault is with Dell's Ghost Image.  The solution then is to take it to someone who will use a proper Windows XP Hologrammed CD to reformat the laptop, then download the Drivers for the PC from Dell's website, or from the Blue driver CD's supplied with the machine.
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Expert Comment

by:bruintje
ID: 16724215
there's been some work done here without a resolution, maybe it would help to keep this thread open at first for a follow up question or pointer in another TA like the Windows XP area
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ID: 17068473
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