|Which Search ?|
The one built in, or the optional add on Windows (Desktop) Search ?
If the latter has been installed, it's listed in Control Panel - Classic view - Add or Remove Programs - Un-install it.
I recommend you don't install it. I've seen that it has bugs that cause Windows XP to run a lot slower on many systems.
If it's the one built into Windows....
Start - Run - type.... cmd (press Enter)
Type... CHKDSK /R (press Enter)
Answer Y to the question.
The next time you boot the computer CHKDSK will want to run - let it.
CHKDSK /R performs more checking than CHKDSK /F does and it checks the entire partition Windows itself is installed on including the free space - it takes a while to finish.
A summary is displayed when it's finished if you happen to be in front of the screen - if problems were found they will be mentioned in that.
Press the Pause key to freeze the loading of Windows / the display, any other key to continue.
If that summary mentions bad sectors, your hard drive is probably failing.
Try the computer to see if you still have the problem with Search.
In any case, it's a good idea to....
Test the hard drive with hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:
If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibility, on another computer if you need to.
Seagate's Seatools will test any brand of hard drive.
Do the long test.
The bootable Dos versions of SeaTools can be used even if Windows is not working properly.
If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.
If the hard drive itself tests okay, if you still have the problem with Search....
- if you a generic desktop system, or if you have a brand name system that no longer has it's original brand name software installation, if you have or can borrow an XP Pro CD (32 bit or 64 bit - whatever your system has - most people have the former) that has SP3 updates integrated into it, an original CD, or a slipstreamed CD that has them integrated into it, you could use SFC (System File Checker) to probably repair your problem.
I'm assuming you have SP3 updates installed in Windows . The SP updates version integrated into the CD contents MUST be the same as that installed in Windows for this to work.
If the integrated SP versions are different, sfc will NOT accept the files on / at the source as a valid source,
With the XP Pro CD in a drive...
Start - Run - type... sfc /scannow (Press Enter).
It takes a while for that to finish running - the slower your computer, the longer it will take.
If the CD is a burned CD, sometimes you may get error messages about a file on the CD that can't be found. If you click on Retry, usually the file will be found and SFC will continue and complete successfully .You may need to sit in front of the screen and do that MANY times.
There are no messages about what SFC did.
Restart the computer after it has finished, and try the computer to see if your Search problem has been fixed.
- if you have a brand name computer that still has it's original brand name software installation on it, the \i386 folder normally found on the Windows CD has often been installed on the hard drive - you may not need to insert a Windows CD when you run sfc /scannow.
However, if your original software installation did not have SP3 updates included, I don't know whether the files in that folder are updated when you install SP3 updates in Windows - if they are not, sfc /scannow will NOT accept the files in the \i386 folder as a valid source.
If sfc /scannow will NOT accept the files on /at the source as a valid source, you CANNOT easily stop running it.
In that case, press the Alt-Ctrl-Del keys at the same time, let go, press the Alt and U keys at the same time, let go, then press U to Turn Off (Shut Down) Windows,or R to Restart Windows.
If you can't boot Windows normally, SFC will NOT run in Safe mode, but it WILL run in Enable VGA mode if that works.