Windows Explorer File search feature not working

Posted on 2008-06-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-10-19
I can't get the Windows Explorer file search feature to work.  When I try to do a search, either starting from the Start menu or the Search icon in Explorer, I get the funny looking window in the attached file (SearchScreens.doc).  Nothing works in this screen.  It just sits there.  Additionally, I attached another file (hijack.log) that shows some technical information about my PC and the software on it.

My wife and I both have accounts on this PC.  The File Search Feature does not work in either account.

Any assistance in getting the Windows Explorer search feature working again would be greatly appreciated.
Question by:JoeHR
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Expert Comment

ID: 21787245
It looks like you have Windows Desktop Search (WDS)...which is a separate add-on, and not the default search built into Windows.  WDS is also not apparently functioning properly...so lets remove it.

Uninstalling Windows Desktop Search:
When uninstalling Windows Desktop Search on individual systems, it is recommended that the product be removed using the Add/Remove Programs functionality provided in Windows Control Panel.  When uninstalling from Add/Remove Programs, be sure the check the Show Updates option and uninstall the newest product or product updates first.

While using Add/Remove programs to uninstall WDS 2.6.0 or later you may receive a message dialog stating Setup has detected the following programs on your computer: followed by a list of updates.  This dialog also states that If Windows Desktop Search is removed; these programs may not run properly.  Do you wish to continue?.  This is a due to the fact that WDS is installed using an update.exe package and is listed with other Windows updates.  Some products updates are dependant on previous updates and if one is removed, it may cause issues.  This is not the case with WDS and removing WDS will not disable or impact any other programs or updates listed.

More info here if you weren't able to uninstall:

Once you remove it...restart the computer.  That should go back to the default Search tool for Windows.  If not...you could always download Google Desktop Search...to get a search option again from here:

Hope that helps!

LVL 18

Accepted Solution

Wakeup earned 500 total points
ID: 21787722

Sounds like one i helped answer the other day....is this what seems to be the problem?  if so...this may be your answer!  Let us know how it goes....and maybe see if we can get a bit more specifics as to what you are getting if anything at all....

Author Comment

ID: 21789612
I uninstalled Windows Desktop Search (WDS) successfully and now the Search screen looks like the screen at the link for the other poster you suggested I look at:  a little dog at the left bottom of the screen, but no way to perform a search.  I tried running the command --  regsvr32 jscript.dll-- as suggested and got the attached error message attached.  I also tried running the command SFC /SCANNOW.  This produced a progress bar, but when the scan had finished, I got no other message or feedback.  The problem still persist.

If the failure of the search feature is related to a corrupted jscript.dll file, I really don't have access to the Windows installation disk because my Dell computer came with Windows pre-installed and all I have is an image restore disk.  Using this would wipe everything off of my hard drive.
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Author Comment

ID: 21789620
I unistalled Windows Desktop Search successfully.  But this did not solve the Search problem.  Please see my response to Expert :21787722

Expert Comment

ID: 21789667
Use or create a different user profile and try registering it as the other user.

I found some info here that might help:

Author Comment

ID: 21809330
I ran regsvr32 jscript.dl successfully in my wife's account and from her account created a new profile for myself.   The search feature is restored in this new profile, but the search engine is so slow that it's not work using.  It is very, very slow.  I running Symantec 360 on this PC.  Could that be the cause for the slow down.  But if that's the case why doesn't it slow things down for my wife's profile?

Any other suggestions?

Expert Comment

ID: 21812113
It may speed up as it goes...I believe windows search indexes as it goes.  Maybe add ram or run some spyware tools such as Spybot Search & Destroy or Ad-aware 2008 to clear some stuff off the computer and make it run faster.

Glad we got your Windows Search back up and running!

Author Comment

ID: 21838107
I appreciate everyone's comments/suggestions.  I was able to uninstall Windows Desktop Search which I think was preventing Windows from working at all.  But I have not been able to get Windows Search operating.  Running regsvr32 jscript.dll on what was my real Admin account did make the search look like what it's supposed to look like, but it never has functioned correctly.  Whenever I try to a search the system hangs up.  I can operate other programs but the search function just gives me an hour glass and spins and spins.  I even tried letting it run all night.  The next morning it still running with no results.  And this was a simple search--find an Excel (any Excel) in My Documents.

I haven't tried Google Desktop Search yet.  I have heard that Google Toolbar and/or Yahoo Toolbar may interfere with Windows Search.  While I have made progress in solving this problem, the bottom line is I still don't have a Working (emphasis added) search engine which is what I originally asked help for.

Assisted Solution

authen-tech earned 500 total points
ID: 21838145
Have you considered a repair install of XP?  That should recover any system files that are corrupt or misplaced and should also repair the problem.  

You can also try this which worked after Kaspersky antivirus messed up windows search for some people:
Open a shell (start -> run -> cmd):
regsvr32 /i C:\Windows\Srchasst\srchui.dll
regsvr32 /i urlmon
regsvr32 jscript
right-click windows/inf/srchasst.inf > install

The repair install will almost definately help.  You will need to backup before doing so and reinstall any Windows updates (SP3 most important) after doing so...

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