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 Post subject: Classic Search and Windows Search 4.0 under XP and Vista
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:17 pm 
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One of the features highly touted in Windows Vista is the Windows [Desktop] Search (4.0), which is an extremely powerful indexed search that can almost instantly find information in your documents, e-mail messages, music files, photos, and many other types of data files: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/produc ... fault.mspx

While it is very fast and powerful (once everything is indexed), Windows Desktop Search unfortunately fails miserably as a simple file search, something that users of earlier Windows versions have come to know and love as "Classic Search". Note that by Classic Search I mean the clean and efficient file name search found in Windows 2000 and earlier Windows versions, not the *Search Assistant* that includes the infamous "search dog", which was the default in Windows XP. If you have been using Windows XP with that irritating dog and would like it to go away in lieu of the true Classic Search, enter the following command (all on one line) in the Start; Run box or at a command prompt, and that annoying dog will forever be put back in his kennel:

Code:
REG ADD "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CabinetState" /v "Use Search Asst" /t REG_SZ /d "no" /f

Unfortunately this command does nothing whatsoever for Vista, which lacks the Classic Search capability altogether. However, while Microsoft may have nothing to offer Vista users in the Classic Search department, there is an excellent free 3rd party file name search application called "Agent Ransack" that fills the void very nicely: http://www.mythicsoft.com/agentransack

On the other hand, Windows XP users can actually have the best of both worlds. In otherwords, in Windows XP you can have *both* the Classic Search *and* the new Windows Search 4.0 (i.e. Vista style indexed search) available at the same time and on the same system.

Windows Search 4.0 can be downloaded from the following location: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940157

Unfortunately if you install it under XP normally, it will by default take over the search functionality of the system, eliminating access to the Classic Search (or even the Search Assistant) in the process. Plus it will install both the new Search program and an indexing service that run all the time in the background, exacting a performance penalty on the system. Fortunately by applying some additional tweaks after the install, you can re-enable the Classic Search as the default, disable the automatic startup of the new Search, and yet still have access to the new Windows Search 4.0 anytime you desire.

In order to tame Windows Search 4.0 under XP, there are several tweaks to consider. In a default installation Windows Search 4.0 installs both the Search program as well as a Search indexing service, both of which are configured to start automatically whenever you boot the system. I wanted to remove the Search program from the startup folder and change the Search service to manual operation, such that both would start up only when I actually ran the program. In addition, I wanted to restore the WindowsKey+F and Ctrl+F key combinations such that they would invoke the Classic Search instead of the new Windows Search 4.0.

To accomplish this, I wrote up a simple script that installs the Windows Search 4.0 program and then automatically makes the registry and program link changes that tame it. To use the script under Windows XP, first download the WindowsSearch-KB940157-XP-x86-enu.exe file into a folder or onto your desktop. Then in the same location, right click, select New; Text Document; and name it InstallWindowsSearch.txt. Then open the file in Notepad, select *all* of the text in the code box below, paste it into the file, and save it. If you are sure you have correctly cut and pasted all of the code, then rename the file, changing the extension from .txt to .cmd. Windows will give you a warning, click Yes to allow the rename to take place.

Code:
@echo off
::Windows Desktop Search install and cleanup
::By: Scott Mueller http://forum.scottmueller.com

: Install Windows Desktop Search (WDS) 4.0
START /wait WindowsSearch-KB940157-XP-x86-enu.exe /passive /norestart

: Set Windows Search service startup to Manual (default is Automatic)
:  2=Automatic, 3=Manual, 4=Disabled
REG ADD "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WSearch" /v Start /t REG_DWORD /d 3 /f

: Disable WDS launch via WindowsKey+F - launch search assistant or classic search instead
REG ADD "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\DB" /v UseWinKey /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

: Disable WDS launch via Ctrl+F in Windows Explorer - launch search assistant or classic search instead
REG ADD "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\DS" /v ShowStartSearchBand /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

: Disable Search Assistant (irritating dog) - use Classic Search instead
REG ADD "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CabinetState" /v "Use Search Asst" /t REG_SZ /d "no" /f

: By default Windows Search creates two links:
:
: Link location: "%AllUsersProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\Windows Search.lnk"
: Link properties: "%ProgramFiles\Windows Desktop Search\WindowsSearch.exe" /startup
: Function: Starts search service, launches search in taskbar notification area (system tray)
:
: Link location: "%AllUsersProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Windows Search.lnk"
: Link properties: "%ProgramFiles\Windows Desktop Search\WindowsSearch.exe" /launchsearchwindow
: Function: Opens search window, service must already be running

: Copy Startup folder link (starts search service, launches search taskbar) to Start Menu
COPY /Y "%AllUsersProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\Windows Search.lnk" "%AllUsersProfile%\Start Menu\"

: Move Startup folder link (starts search service, launches search taskbar) to Programs
MOVE /Y "%AllUsersProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\Windows Search.lnk" "%AllUsersProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\"

EXIT

With both the cmd file you saved as well as the exe file you downloaded from Microsoft in the same location, click on the InstallWindowsSearch.cmd file to run it. This will install Windows Search as well as apply all of the taming tweaks I described.

Once the install completes, you should notice the Windows Search Deskbar in the taskbar, as well as the Search icon in the taskbar notification area (system tray). If you like, you can disable the Search Deskbar by right clicking on the Search tray icon, then select Help; Hide Windows Deskbar. You can then right click on the tray icon again and select Exit, which will end the program. Note that even if you exit the program, you will still likely notice disk activity (indexing) as the Search indexing service was started during the installation, and it will remain running in the background indexing files until either it finishes or you reboot. If you restart the system right away it will stop the indexing, and because of the changes in my script it won't start up automatically again when the system restarts. Don't worry about the index being incomplete, as it will resume the next time you manually run the Search.

After restarting, normal searches will continue to use the Classic Search, however you can also use the new Windows Search at any time by clicking on Start; Windows Search, or Start; Programs; Windows Search, upon which the Windows Search 4.0 service and tray icon will both start, and the new Search will be at your disposal. With this setup, you can have the best of both worlds. Scott.


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