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Windows search doesn't work, finds nothing

Posted on 2006-06-27
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I am using XP pro.  Was trying to do a search for files with a particular phrase (with indexing on) and it found nothing.  I tried another phrase, same nothing results. I tried looking for files by file name,  searching for known folders and then for files by extension and it still found nothing.  So, in a nutshell, my search process isn't working at all.  
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Question by:robin286
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by:AndreDekolta
ID: 16994106
Install ALL Windows SPs, Updates, and Patches:

It's important to ensure that you have installed all available Windows Service Packs, updates, and patches.  This helps to eliminate known issues.

For Windows XP see:  http://update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/default.aspx?ln=en-us

Andre...
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by:robin286
ID: 16994202
The search has worked for years, just stopped recently.  I've never updated my service packs, so my version isn't even supported online anymore, I would have to order the CD.
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by:callrs
ID: 16994211
Try cleaning the system
- Antivirus with updated defs (use free AVG from www.grisoft.com if you don't have antivirus)
- Anti-Spyware etc.: http://www.lavasoft.de/software/adaware/   http://forums.majorgeeks.com/showthread.php?t=35407  
- Check system files: http://ask-leo.com/what_is_the_system_file_checker_and_how_do_i_run_it.html
- Disable unneeded startup items: http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Autoruns.html
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by:callrs
ID: 16994232
>>The search has worked for years, just stopped recently.
Then why not  System Restore to a point to when the Search WAS working?
Be sure to run the restore from SAFE MODE as it may not work otherwise
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by:AndreDekolta
ID: 16995015
<The search has worked for years, just stopped recently.  I've never updated my service packs, so my version isn't even supported online anymore, I would have to order the CD.>
Huh?  You're using Windows XP, correct?  If so, it IS still support and you need to install all of the SPs, updates, and patches.

Andre...
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Here2Help earned 250 total points
ID: 17000185
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by:robin286
ID: 17012329
I have a pre-SP-1 version, and I have tried in the past to update online but can't -- had to order the CD, which I did.  
I tried running sfc but when it wanted my original CD (which I have, and inserted) it didn't like it, said I had the wrong CD.
I run updated antivirus daily and spyware checks regularly, ran them again, had no impact.
I had already disabled unneeded startup items.
Really don't want to just randomly start restoring my system...

None of the above answers gave me an immediate solution to fix the actual search problem, but the desktop search looks promising, and I didn't want to leave this hanging unanswered.  Thanks.
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by:callrs
ID: 17012618
Note: When you do a search, sometimes  the columns to the right may be squeezed to the center bar & so are hidden, giving you apparently no results. But the status bar should say if it found files. Did it say no files found?
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