First time ever Windows 7 Search crashed


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I've suddenly got a problem with Windows Search when used in the START bar.
If I put in a search word to search for anything I want related to say 'Network', the search lists a window full of results, but previously I used to click on 'See More Results' at the foot of the box and it would open Windows Explorer with all references to that search result. But since I did a Registry clean using CC Cleaner (I really shouldn't have done that!) clicking on 'See more result's shows a quick flash of a Windows Explorer empty window and then it vanishes, never presenting the window for viewing.

The initial search seems to work fine but that's only a synopsis really.

I have tried to Rebuild the Search Index but the controls are greyed out and it says the Search is not active. I can't choose to make it active as there's no button. The REBUILD button does nothing. It tells me it could take some time but nothing is actioned because the Pause is greyed out. I tried leaving it like that for an hour and still nothing happened.

I then tried Restore to a date before I had done the CC Cleaner job and still it won't work.
I then tried a Microsoft Hotfix but it wasn't applicable to my Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit so that went out of the window.

In desperation can anyone throw light on this please? I've done an sfc /scannow and it found no issues.
It's not urgent because I have Agent Ransack to do serious searches but W 7 own search is very quick when it works ! I've never met this kind of odd behavior before.
So I'd be very grateful for some guidance. Thanks
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Plado
 
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TrainableMan

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When you run a registry clean with ccleaner it suggests you back up the changes first ... did you make this back-up? If so then simply run the .REG file it created so your registry is restored.

If not then you might try booting to a Windows 7 Installation DVD and running the System Repair option from the main Installation screen.

You could also try creating a new userid and if things work properly with that ID then you could move all your data and delete your old userid. Not a perfect solution but might save off the most drastic solution ...

You may need to completely reinstall.
 
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Many thanks for that well-reasoned diagnosis. I must admit that there is a chance I didn't use the reg backup yet I did back in Feb and March 2013 when I used CC to clean the registry, but sadly on this occasion I can find no cc_2013*.reg backing up the registry when I did my scan with CC a week ago.

I like your idea to try the new ID and see if it works in that. I might have a Windows 7 Disc somewhere too that could be used to make a windows repair.
Think I'll try the new ID first and then go down the Repair route if it seems to work ok in that new ID. Many thanks for the help. I'll report back and see if anyone has added anything but your procedure sounds like it's my only hope!
Cheers
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Plado
 

TrainableMan

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If the damage is the registry then the W7 DVD system repair isn't likely to help; that will only help if it is a damaged system file.

And the new userid will only work if it is damage to the current user section of the registry.

Still I mention them because sometimes that is the issue and not so painful to try as a complete install will be.
 
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Well the plot thickens. I tried to set up a new user account and called it Test. Logged into it and checked the new layout desktop and went straight to the Search bar in Start menu to induce my Search fault; Nope - fault still present. Quick 10th of a second flash of WIndows Explorer window as before then nothing. No show of the extra results.

So I deleted the new Profile "Test" and found that not having remembered to log out of it when I deleted it, I messed up the logging record so now when I come to restart the PC it tells me another user has logged off but it can't show that user for me to go log it off properly! Large Sigh. Pick one's self up, dust off and start over.

Next I got hold of my Windows 7 Recovery disc, one of two and it's marked D/L 150 W7 Repair which is what I wrote on it when I created it internally. I booted from it but the choices offered nothing to repair windows system files, only a choice of system restore and other options un-related to system files. It did offer curing a faulty startup which is not my problem but I let it do that anyway no harm when one clutches at straws. It found nothing wrong there.

So it was sadly back to the drawing board. I tried a System Restore to 22nd May and that didn't help the problem. No damage done by these procedures as you can see I'm still back here reporting on this. This one has really stumped me. I don't often get problems with W7 except those of my own making through slipping up with procedures. Well certainly I couldn't face transferring all my main profile stuff into a fresh one especially as the fault would still be there. Seems little point.

What next? Anyone got another plan - I'll try them all!
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Plado
 
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TrainableMan

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What you created are "recovery disks" rather than the W7 Installation DVD.

You could download and burn an Installation DVD from >>HERE<< but I suspect it won't help because I believe the problem is a corrupted registry. Still you could try if you wish.

If you have restored to the oldest restore point you have then unfortunately your best solution is a complete reinstall. I think you should back up all your data to an external drive ... the built-in Windows Easy Transfer software is the easiest way to do that ... then either use your recovery disks to do a system restore (or you can use the W7 Installation DVD to do a fresh custom install). After that you restore the Windows Easy Transfer data and reinstall all your programs.

NOTE: You will probably need the product key; sometimes it is written on a sticker on the computer but if not then I suggest you install SIW before you wipe out the old install and get it from the Software > Licenses section. Keep it in a safe place (example write it on your recovery DVD) but never share it in this forum or anywhere online.

NOTE 2: There are differences between your Recovery DVDs & the W7 Installation DVD so decide which you choose to use for your reinstall. The Recovery DVDs include a specific W7 configuration for your computer including all the drivers but it also includes extra software, including trialware that HP gets paid to install. Generally this can be uninstalled after you finish but it leaves a bit of clutter in the registry. The W7 Installation DVD will not have this superfluous software but you may need to go to the HP website to download any missing drivers as well as any "extra" software that is of value; generally this includes things like onscreen display of volume and maybe contrast, software to utilize the touchpad or special function keys, etc. Because one of the common drivers needed when using the W7 Installation DVD is the network driver, if you choose that method it is best to download the drivers prior to reinstall because you will need the driver to access the internet.
 
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I do appreciate your efforts and attention to detail on this TrainableMan but I fear we are getting into a bit of a danger zone where I'm likely to be working outside my safe barrier with things as technical as this. But do please hold fire on the reinstall front, because I think I have all but cured this on my own today. It's taken a few hours. If you can bear with me describing what I've done I'll try to make it as succinct as possible.
I was puzzled as to why the Rebuild of the Indexing service was greyed out and the Indexing would not allow itself to be Started or switched on. I searched on Google for more people who have found Win7 indexing and search going awol and tried a few fixes that led me down no cure blind alleys but one came along that was rather useful potentially.
They said to Go into Turn Windows Features on or off and untick Windows Indexing and Windows Search. Reboot the PC and then switch them back on again. I had a little panic when I couldn't find Turn Windows Features and had to do a search - and isn't it nice of Windows 7 to find something but then not have a right click properties to inform you where it was located? I unticked the two items. I rebooted and was warned that many programs might not work which was fright number one. Then when it booted up I had no Search function so didn't know how to get back to Turn Windows Functions On/Off - I had to use Google search to find that it was actually in Control Panel Programs and Features. Honestly the messy filing system of categories in Control Panel is an utter disgrace. Obviously designed by someone who has never worked in a library and probably never even used one !

I turned the Indexing and Search back on and went back to the Properties and advanced controls of Indexing (Control Panel) and had a go at seeing if I could now rebuild the Indexing service and to my amazement it was no longer greyed out and is now doing an extended rebuild of the Windows Index and I chose to make it look in C: and Start which should be enough for my needs. I last looked at the job and it had gone to 550,490 files and still working. I may have to leave it on all night. But I suspect this could have cured the crazy flash and vanish W Explorer window. Certainly I did find the Explorer window did open before I did the rebuild when I clicked See More Results in the Start search box. It at least didn't crash Windows Explorer - just found no files so showed an empty space and all the drive's folders as normal in the left panel listed.

I really couldn't see the sense of re-installing windows and doing all that backup stuff just to get a small malfunction going albeit a frustrating one. I have got lots backed up on a Buffalo 300gb hard external drive. But if my HP desktop pc crashed beyond recovery I would simply revert to my Macbook which has all my functionality for email web streaming and so on. I would re install windows 7 certainly not 8. I would then also have my Nexus 7 which is arriving in a few days time to keep me busy with alternative ways of browsing and doing email.

So thanks lots for your ideas. I will certainly save your responses in an offline file so I can peruse the ideas at length and at leisure.
I now have to go and tell 3 other forums about my probable cure. It may be useful information for others with luck.
Regards and thanks
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Plado
 
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TrainableMan

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Well I'm glad it worked out and thank you for providing your solution; maybe it will help someone else in the future. I know it wasn't something that came to my mind and now it might be something I try or suggest going forward.

Just FYI, I don't care for control panel "categories" view either. With the control panel window open, go to the upper right and click the little carat next to category, now choose large or small icons instead. No more categories, just a complete list to choose from.
 

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