I have seen this problem all over the Internet and here, and few of the solutions fit my problem, and none of the ones which I have found do fit, work.
I have SharePoint WSS 3.0 and have installed Search Server Express 2008. After much work I have been able to get a Crawl working on my site (it involved a certificate). So, crawling works, it writes to the database, etc.
What doesn't work is the search box on my page. I didn't do anything to "upgrade" the search box on my page and don't know if I need to. I have little experience with page design in SharePoint (as a programmer I usually don't absorb solutions which don't involve writing code).
No matter what I have tried, I still get "The search request was unable to connect to the Search Service."
Does this ring a bell for anyone?