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Start/Search/For Files or Folders does not work


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#1 Kenasam

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 03:43 PM

Whenever I click onto Start/Search/For Files or Folders, the Search window will not appear. Computer systems immediately become sluggish and slow. The hard drive keeps "churning" away, but nothing new appears on the screen and no error messages appear. I can move the mouse cursur as always, but due to unresponsiveness, including the fact that it will not even shut down, I have to manually turn off the computer. Upon reboot, it runs fairly well again, but I dare not try the Search for Files or Folders or I get the same result.

The other Search functions work okay: On the Internet, For Web Pages, For Internet Audio-Video, and For People.

Our computer is set up for 2 users. This problem only occurs on my side of the computer. Everything works fine on my husband's side of the computer.

We have a Dell Dimension 8200 PC. 512 mb RAM. Windows XP Professional, SP2. Running Spybot and McAfee. Periodically run Lavasoft Ad-Aware and HiJackThis. Also running the XP firewall.

This problem has been going on for several months. I cannot pinpoint anything I have specifically done to cause it, although it is probably my fault.

Things I have already tried: Going back to a restore point; uninstalling/reinstalling SP2; run various "registry fix" software; check for viruses periodically as well as having McAfee antivirus running at all times (and automatically updating).

I don't know what else to do. I'd appreciate some helpful advice.
:thumbsup:

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#2 johnnyking2007grd

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 04:59 PM

I am had the same problem the sad news it that i had to back up everything then do a system restore (format hard drive) :thumbsup: I didnt want to but i had to

One thing that you can try if you have a windows xp cd try doing a restore with out formating the hard drive or even if you know someone that has one.. DONT DO IT IF YOU DONT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!!! Wish you luck

#3 Kenasam

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 06:04 PM

Yes, I forgot to mention earlier that I tried the restore using the xp disk. Just add that to my tried and failed routine.

I guess I was hoping that perhaps there was a simple solution such as adding or deleting lines in the registry. But I am not a registry expert ( I managed to really mess up the computer a few years ago by doing things I shouldn't have there), and so I don't do any editing there without explicit knowledge.

:thumbsup:

#4 johnnyking2007grd

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 06:25 PM

Yes, I forgot to mention earlier that I tried the restore using the xp disk.  Just add that to my tried and failed routine.

I guess I was hoping that perhaps there was a simple solution such as adding or deleting lines in the registry.  But I am not a registry expert ( I managed to really mess up the computer a few years ago by doing things I shouldn't have there), and so I don't do any editing there without explicit knowledge.

:thumbsup:

Have you tryied safe mode when booting up hit F8 and go to safemode!
OR debugging mode

Edited by johnnyking2007grd, 12 June 2005 - 06:30 PM.


#5 Rimmer

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 10:58 PM

That's an odd problem, particularly if another user can use Search Ok. Perhaps it is related to the number of files you have and your temporary internet files. Try this:

Do some basic maintenance:
(These instructions apply to Windows ME and XP, other versions may not have the functions described)
  • Clean your internet cache and temporary files:
    Click Start and Run then type in cleanmgr this will start the windows disk cleanup tool.
    Tick the boxes beside Temporary internet Files, Recycle Bin and Temporary Files then click OK

  • Boot in Safe Mode and do a scandisk with the 'Thorough' and 'Fix' options checked.
    If you are not sure how to boot in Safe Mode there is a tutorial here:
    Safe Mode
    How to find scandisk:
    Start>My Computer. Right click the C: drive then Properties>Tools tab, click on Check Now

  • When that's finished do a defrag.
    Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter
    They will take some time but at least you will know your hard drive is working correctly and tidied up.

  • Reboot and see if there's any improvement.

  • Check how much free space you have on your hard drive.
    Start>My Computer click once on your C: drive and look in the Details box on the left.
hth :thumbsup:

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#6 Kenasam

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 07:02 PM

Well, Rimmer, I did all the things you wrote, but still the same old problem that Start/Search/For Files or Folders will not happen. Although when I do click on that command, I can hear the hard drive working periodically. But no search results come up on the screen (maybe if I wait all night it might???)

By the way, while in Safe Mode, I went to the Help command. Upon entering a search term, the screen stayed put and nothing happened regarding searching from here. I had to close it down via control-alt-delete.

Windows xp said my drive did not need defragging (but should we ever believe that message? LOL). Anyway, I did defrag it as you wrote.

Current info (all the same as before I did any defragging, etc.):
Files system: NTFS
Free space: 39.6 GB
Total size: 74.5 GB

:thumbsup:

#7 Rimmer

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 09:33 PM

Try reinstalling the Search companion files as per this MS article (method 3):
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...kb;en-us;319949

If that doesn't help try this:
Click Start>Run and type sfc /scannow (Make sure you have your WinXP CD available.)

When you search what is in the 'Look in:' box? Do you have many archived files on your hard drive? Are you connected to a network? Are you searching while online? Are you logged on as an Administrator?

:thumbsup:

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#8 Kenasam

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 10:22 PM

Rimmer,

I've got a couple of very busy days coming up, so may not have much time at the computer to try the most recent things you mentioned. Regarding the Search Companion reinstallation as per the MS article--I forgot to mention that I have tried that in the past with no success. Although I could try it again. I'll try your latest suggestions in a couple of days. Sorry for the delay. I certainly appreciate your suggestions!

It's been so long since I've been able to use the Search function, that I don't remember what appears in the "Look In" box.

I don't think I have a lot of archived files on the computer, although am not sure.

I have a cable modem connection and am always "on," so yes, I search my computer while online. But if you mean do I search/surf the web, yes, I do that just fine.

I am not on a network.

I am logged on as the administrator.

Edited by Kenasam, 13 June 2005 - 10:26 PM.


#9 Kenasam

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 06:49 AM

Try reinstalling the Search companion files as per this MS article (method 3):
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...kb;en-us;319949

If that doesn't help try this:
Click Start>Run and type sfc /scannow  (Make sure you have your WinXP CD available.)

When you search what is in the 'Look in:' box? Do you have many archived files on your hard drive? Are you connected to a network? Are you searching while online? Are you logged on as an Administrator?

:thumbsup:

Turns out I did have time today to sit at the computer--

Well, I received a message that Windows could not find sfc/scannow, so could not even proceed on that.

I decided not to reinstall the Search Companion files since the description says it is to correct problems dealing with the internet, which I do not have a problem with.

It's been so long since I could use the Search function for files or folders that I don't remember what is in the "Look In" box.
I don't think I have many archived files on the hard drive, but am not sure about that.
I am not connected to a network
I can search while online, using Google or MSN or Webferret, etc. I can also use Start/Search/On the internet function just fine.
I am logged on as Administrator.

:flowers:

Edited by Kenasam, 14 June 2005 - 06:52 AM.


#10 Rimmer

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 07:25 PM

It's sfc<space>/scannow

You can check what's in the lookin box by starting a search - you can then check the parameters and cancel the search before it gets going. I'm just wondering if there are any unusual parameters set that might be sending it off to look for CDROM drives which are empty or something like that.

I decided not to reinstall the Search Companion files since the description says it is to correct problems dealing with the internet, which I do not have a problem with.


No, it's to correct problems with searching for files and folders locally and on the internet caused by connection to the internet.

Search Companion files may be damaged if you have Search Companion open when you connect to certain Internet Service Providers.


The MS article is not specifically about your problem but it shows you how to reinstall files which are relevant.

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#11 Enthusiast

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 07:48 PM

You mentioned that your husband's account works properly.

Have you tried just setting a second account up for you (as you would for an additional user) and see if search works there? Give it the same permissions you gave your first user account - either admin or just user. (by the way, it is advisable not to use a admin account to surf with or open email with as if you do, any malware you might load by accident by inadvertently clicking on an exe in an attachment that loads will have admin privileges)

If the above works, you found a workaround for your problem although the flaw in the system still remains in your first account.

Edited by Enthusiast, 14 June 2005 - 07:49 PM.


#12 tg1911

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Posted 15 June 2005 - 12:12 AM

You could try copying your data to another profile.
How to copy data from a corrupted user profile to a new profile
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#13 Kenasam

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Posted 15 June 2005 - 06:23 PM

Try reinstalling the Search companion files as per this MS article (method 3):
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...kb;en-us;319949

If that doesn't help try this:
Click Start>Run and type sfc /scannow  (Make sure you have your WinXP CD available.)

Are you searching while online? Are you logged on as an Administrator?

:thumbsup:

Well, I attempted to reinstall the Search Companion files as per the MS article. Upon attempting to run it, received a message that the SP2 would have to be removed in order to install it. Been there, done that before (at least twice) and it is a royal pain to have to uninstall then reinstall Service Pack 2, only to have the Search Companion still not function properly. I'm not eager to uninstall SP2 now.

I did successfully go to sfc /scannow. I put my XP disk into the drive as prompted, but then what am I to do? I was faced with various choices from the cd.

I am wondering about being logged on as an Administrator, which I always am. Some of you here have written that it may not be wise to be logged on as Administrator while connected to the internet?

Also, I created a new identity and voila, the Seach function works fine for Files or Folders.

Are we out of ideas to solve my original problem? I appreciate all that you've suggested and I've given most the old "college try."
:flowers:

Edited by Kenasam, 15 June 2005 - 06:30 PM.


#14 Kenasam

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Posted 15 June 2005 - 06:32 PM

You could try copying your data to another profile.
How to copy data from a corrupted user profile to a new profile

I'll look into this. It may be the only solution.
:thumbsup:

#15 Kenasam

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Posted 15 June 2005 - 06:37 PM

Yes, I forgot to mention earlier that I tried the restore using the xp disk.  Just add that to my tried and failed routine.

I guess I was hoping that perhaps there was a simple solution such as adding or deleting lines in the registry.  But I am not a registry expert ( I managed to really mess up the computer a few years ago by doing things I shouldn't have there), and so I don't do any editing there without explicit knowledge.

:thumbsup:

Have you tryied safe mode when booting up hit F8 and go to safemode!
OR debugging mode

I tried safemode and it did not help.

I'm not sure how to get into debugging mode.




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